Frugal Workshop Podcast #4: Part 2 on Saving Money on Food

by - July 30, 2019

Good morning and welcome to the fourth podcast of the Frugal Workshop blog. I'm your host, Belinda Richardson and I want to welcome you and all of my readers from Frugal Workshop. I'm so glad you decided to join us.

Last week we talked about saving money on food, but because there is so much information out there on this topic, I decided to split it into two different podcasts, so let’s get started on part two.

Last week we spoke about how spending on food can add up quickly and how cooking at home would be easier on your budget.

Foods that Save Extra Money

Another way to save money on food is by cooking some foods from scratch. For example cooking beans from dry is less expensive than buying canned beans.
Eggs, depending on the price, can be a great money saver. Egg salad sandwiches have saved me a lot of money over the years. There are so many things you can do with eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve been having a craving for quiche, which I will be fixing soon.

Oatmeal is another inexpensive food that will fill an empty stomach. I like to doctor mine up with butter, milk, brown sugar, walnuts, and fruit like blueberries and bananas.

I can recall reading once that the purpose of eating is not to stuff yourself, but rather to feed yourself to the point of not being hungry anymore. There is a subtle difference in the two. You’ll save more money by using the later model than the first one.

Another inexpensive source of food are potatoes. I can purchase a 20 pound bag of them for less than $5 at one of our local grocery stores. My favorite way to make them is to bake one for dinner and then serve it with steamed broccoli. This will serve as one of my meatless meals for the week.

Just last week my daughter picked up a five pound bag of potatoes in the produce section for 99¢. I took the entire bag and made a huge batch of potato salad that lasted us the entire week as a side dish.

Have you ever priced ready made potato salad in the store? I think it’s expensive for the little amount you get. I would much rather make it at home and save my money. It’s easy enough to do. Simply boil your potatoes until they are done. Let them cool a little and dice them up. Chop up an onion and add it to a bowl with ½ cup of mayo and ½ cup of sour cream. Squirt a tablespoon or two of mustard in there with some salt, pepper, paprika, and dill. Stir it well and pour over the potatoes.

You can add more or less mayo and sour cream if you wish and even add in a boiled egg or two. Then let it sit in your fridge and chill unless of course you like it warm, which I do sometimes.

Fried Rice is another frugal meal idea especially if you use leftover rice from another dinner. Simply stir fry some vegetables like onions, cabbage, peas & carrots. Add the rice and stir fry it with the vegetables. Add a chopped up egg for protein if you like eggs. Add a little soy sauce or toasted sesame oil and you will have a great inexpensive meal on the table.

Use Store Discount Cards

According to the WSJ, they found that most shoppers who use a discount card are not saving any money at all. In fact, they state that you may be spending more money at a store using a card, than if you shopped at one that doesn't have a discount card.

They must not be frugal over at the Wall Street Journal because most frugal shoppers comparison shop. They are not going to buy the more expensive foods. They will just shop somewhere else to get them cheaper.

Another way you can save money on food is by using grocery rebate apps like Ibotta, Paribus, Checkout 51, Dosh, and Just Google the grocery store app and read about them and do your research first.

Another way to save money on food is by growing some of your own food in a garden. Amy Dacyczyn was known for her big gardens that saved her a lot of money.

My grandparents had huge gardens when I was growing up and they preserved food during the summer to have when times were lean.

Repurpose Food Scraps

Bread Crumbs - Save the heals and make your own.

Vegetable Broth - Save your scraps and make your own.

Regrow Celery & Romaine Lettuce, Green Onions

Leftover Wizardry

Another way to save money in the kitchen is by using leftovers. You can reheat them the next day for lunch or you can make another meal out of them.

We eat tacos every Saturday night. If there is any ground beef left over from the tacos, I make Beefy Baked Beans with it. They are delicious, nutritious and my whole family loves it. And it saves me money.

If you have chicken for dinner and have leftovers, the ideas on using it are endless. You can put it in your crockpot and make soup, roll it into tortillas for chicken enchiladas, make chicken salad.

Use your imagination and see what if you can create leftover wizardry at your house tonight!

Organize Your Kitchen

Having your Kitchen organized will go a long way in helping you to be able to cook at home. Keep a list of what is in your pantry and freezer, date items and use the oldest items first to keep things fresh. I have the pantry here organized so I can find things easily.

I have all the corn in one area, all the peas in another, you get the idea. I keep my spices all in one area and in alphabetical order but that is not necessary, it just helps me because I have so many.

By being organized, I can go into the kitchen and find things that I need to make a meal easily and this helps motivate me to want to go in there and cook. If I can’t find what I need I would get discouraged very easily. So organization is a good rule to go by for me.

Many people could benefit from Amy Dacyczyn's "Use It or Lose It" calendar. She inventoried her pantry and then created a calendar based on how much time she had left until her next harvest, and then divided the food equally among the months left. This system insured that she would use everything in her pantry and not lose anything.

Mr. Money Mustache has an interesting concept about saving money on food. He tends to think of food as a little algorithm:

– if a food is overpriced, buy zero or the minimum possible amount you can live with.

– if a food is regular price, buy an amount to last until your next grocery trip (minimum 1 week supply)

– if a food is under priced, buy at least enough to last until the next expected sale at this level (4 weeks?)

– if a food is drastically under priced, buy a near-infinite amount, limited only by shelf life of food and available stock on shelves. If Bananas go to 1 cent per pound, you can’t really benefit. But if rolled oats dropped to an all-time low, I’d probably buy at least a year’s supply (100 pounds).

In Conclusion

I hope that I have given you plenty of ideas to save money on your grocery budget. There are many more ideas that I have not even mentioned here and as you begin your journey of saving money in the kitchen, I hope you find some new ideas that can help you save a bunch of money. I hope that my article has been helpful to you and thank you for taking the time to read it.


Wall Street Journal

Mr. Money Mustache

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