Wednesday, December 26, 2012

::Frugal Fodder ~7~ LATE

I wasn't going to do a Frugal Fodder post this week.
But I changed my mind. :) 

my recipe box. 

 Does anyone do this anymore?  I have this box of hand written, copied recipes handed down from my grandmother, my mother, my mother in love...aunt's and sis-in laws. Some of these recipes have been snipped or torn from boxes, magazines, labels,etc. 
I am showing the box for a couple of reasons. 
  • First, I hope to begin cooking some of these recipes in 2013; in hopes to save money from eating out, buying boxed meals, etc. 
  • Secondly, show you how this little box has preserved HALF THE INDEX CARD... that's right. Half an index card. 

The half on the left, a recipe from The Tightwad Gazette; I copied this recipe for 'make your own: Baking Powder' 

I've never made it. 
  • It's on my list of things to do for 2013--to help save money. Along with *make my own* other items. I already make laundry soap; I hope to make other household cleaners, hba items, etc. 

The other half, quite worn... 

Is a list of things to buy with $10...(that's right TEN DOLLARS) when money is tight BUT YOU HAVE TO EAT; also from The Tightwad Gazette.  I say 'quite worn' because I carry this in my purse. I've carried it for years.  It is just a reference point for me...I can NOT ever remember everything on this list. 
 But it is still a good list---my mental list is slightly modified. 
For instance--- I don't buy margarine, hamburger,or eggs (at all) and I don't buy salt or baking powder every time funds are low. I've also gone off Tuna-- it's too expensive and over fished.  

You may be wondering, "why do you even carry this little card?" I said, just a reminder. It reminds me that even when funds are can still eat and still make small meals to get you through the day. Even if it's just one meal.
 I think I'll rewrite it and modify it for us NOW, for today's prices, needs, etc. 
The other thing I wanted to share with you this week is 
I had bought these groceries on Friday, Dec.21--- I had gone to the store with my daughter to make a few purchases of  on sale items and to pick up a few things to stock the pantry.  

You can tell, just by looking at the photo that I shopped off the list. The 2 wrapped packages of produce-- were *marked down/on sale fruits and veggies. Potatoes, flour, sugar...all marked down or on sale. In fact, everything on the table was either marked down or on sale...except the Velveeta. It was on sale and it had a coupon for $1 off making it $4.49, not great--but was needed for this week. 
 Even the meats were sale items. The roast (came to $2.88/lb) -- I bought as the *sell by date* was approaching and the store would be closed on Christmas-- they actually had lots of meats marked down for that reason. The roast made in the crockpot -- The Honey and I ate bar-b-que over the weekend, from half the roast; and roast beef sandwiches the rest of the weekend and part of the holiday.  I must say-- $2.88/lb is cheaper than any "ground beef" you can buy right now. People have told me "I'm sick of eating hamburger, it's all I can afford."  I tell them, "Well, I can't afford hamburger, so you must be eating pretty well."   They're generally dumb-struck. 
I try to limit the price of meat to $2.00/lb for any red meat that is harder and harder to do; in fact, since we stocked the freezer with chicken and venison we don't eat much red meat, unless it's on sale. 
*edited to say the total for everything here was $43.50... not bad since most of this will stretch, when divided, frozen, cooked and stored properly. The left-over roast beef will make tacos one night this week. The roast has fed 2 people for about 5 meals so far!!!
I said all that to say: Precious @ Frugal Makes Cents  *edited to say, this link is no longer working. the blog has closed due to unforeseen circumstances. It's sad...because I loved that blog! 

has issued a  challenge for 2013 to fix a budget for groceries and share our savings and shopping plans with her and with her readers. I'm going to try and do this. I had mentioned to her, in the comments, that it seems like we spend so little right now; but unless you actually track it you have no way of knowing what you spend and what seems like so little, can actually be costing quite a bit. 
So-- these are my goals for 2013. 
  • Tracking our spending for groceries. I'm setting a goal of $200 a month-- to me that sounds HIGH...but this will cover, groceries, cleaners, HBA, and I'm thinking Chicken Feed too. 
  • *MAKE MY OWN*...fill in the blank
  • Cook More Meals at home, trying new/old recipes. 
Ok, so now if you're still here...your turn. Are there things that you'll be doing this year to help with your budget? Will you be curbing your eating out? Cutting out some frivolous spending? Finding ways to stretch the household earnings? 
Oh, and do you know of any free downloads to use to track this type spending? Do you have a program that you use? Do you just use good ol' pencil and paper? 

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section! I'd love to hear your input. 

I'm linking this post here: 


The LORD is righteous in all His ways; and kind in all His deeds. ~ Psalm 145:17

Truly, this post was long....thank you for sticking with it


Art and Sand said...

It is so much better for you and cheaper in the long run to eat "real food". When my kids come to visit they complain that there is nothing to eat. There is plenty to eat, you just have to fix it. We were all together for a family vacation and just returned this morning each of us at least 5 pounds heavier. We rented a house so we ate breakfast in, took our lunch and cooked in most nights. The problem was the snack food we bought each time the kids went with us to the market. And I ate it too. The last time to the store, we didn't take the kids and we did not buy junk food and we spent so much less.

If I cooked, I would try some of your recipes.

Hope you had a great Christmas.

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Hi Pat,
Thanks for stopping over to "my place" to check on me. Apparently I took about a month off. It wasn't my plan to put off my blogging that long but my Christmas gift making and the process of getting my kids' gifts ready to mail took over the month of December. It's a great idea to make a plan like this for grocery spending. I tracked my spending last year for about the first 4 months or so, right down to what I bought and how much. I was also trying to stock up on things because of the rising prices, knowing that even though they were expensive then, it was only going to be getting worse. Now I'm working at making and freezing inexpensive dinners in meal size portions. I love having the cooking done and being able to just go to the fridge and having my meal already made. More time for creative things. I never want to stop what I'm doing to make meals. Hope you had a merry Christmas. Looking forward to a wonderful (and frugal) new year!

Kristina said...

I really enjoying heading out to the store, just before the snow storm. I was confident in my choices, as I simply needed a few veggies and broth. with all the stocked up garden goodies, and dehydrated veggies, I can whip up dinner on a dime, and without processed foods.

Breakfast is simply frozen garden green peppers, fresh diced onions, and our own fresh farm eggs. I know how to make English muffins from scratch now, so it's very freeing to feel confident at the store.

While I was searching out the basics, I watched others, purchasing potato chips, pop, processed snack cakes and more.

Sunny Simple Life said...

The grocery bill is killing me around here. I too am re-joining the challenge. I need to double down on the basics as well and I do buy snacks for the kids lunches at school. I know it would be cheaper not to but I make everyone's lunch daily and I like to send a treat. I have not had an egg in over a week. I just have the two girls right now. I guess this is normal for this time of year but I hope they lay some again soon. I want to get a couple chicks this spring but I bet hubby will clobber me. I gave two away but now I love how we have them set up. Maybe I will have to wait another year. Wish I had more room like you. said...

Since my husband's heart attack, I have found our it difficult to lower our food expenses. However our diet of many fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, beans and nuts has helped his health to improve dramatically. I am just working hard at not increasing this budget. I use a steno pad and use one page to keep track of my household expenses. I find it works well for me as I can see how much is left to spend in any category before shopping.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. I usually spend about $60 a week on groceries for the 3 of us. I do not buy anything in a box or premade.
We have saved a lot of money by really cutting back on eating out. (I try not to do it at all, but hubby enjoys it, still we have really cut back on what we spend if we do eat out.
Shopping at Aldi saves a lot and I will buy at the warehouse store IF it is cheaper than Aldi or the grocery store.
No soda, no chips, no junk food, no ice cream. If we need something sweet, home made is always better, and really, it's a lot of fun. You can make just about anything at home, and inexpensively, too.
Plus....eating in moderation is healthier, and cheaper!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I like to get a big roast (pork or beef, whichever is on sale) and cook it once and eat it as roast. I then portion out and freeze the rest into various meal size packets to use in following weeks for tostadas, soup, with noodles and gravy, etc. Works great as long as I take time to label the packets with meat type and future meal idea. We seem to waste a lot of money on junk food and then to really be dumb and dumber, diet soda. I need to stop that. I'd also like to start getting more fish into the lineup.I'd be lost without my grocery list, on notebook paper.

Michelle said...

We are trying to cut our food bill as well. I have a garden I grow every year. We have chickens and my husband hunts. Which help a lot on the food bill. Any time meat goes on sale (if it a good deal) we will buy it then portion it out into meals sizes and freeze it. I love when ham goes on sale. We have a slicer so we are able to cut some up in chucks and slice some for sandwiches and breakfast steaks. I always make sure to save a couple of big pieces for glazed ham.

Jamie @ Prepared to Eat said...

I always tried to keep my meat at about $2 per lb, too, but it's getting more and more difficult to do. Interesting about the baking powder, I never would have known that!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

We try to cook almost everything from scratch and watch the ads for great deals. Even 10 for $10 isn't always the best deal unless you particularly want that brand. We freeze and dehydrate or can as well plus grow what we can except for grains since we don't have the acreage for that. Paper products may be the downfall. I'm not sure if paper plates are cheaper than washing. We have a well so it's electricity to pump as well has heat the water and keep it running -- no dishwasher. So, some things I use paper for like breakfast or lunch and then dinner is on plates.