Monday, January 14, 2013

Money Stress: Step 1 - Save on food

As I said in my previous post, each step is worth itself in weight. So lets get right to it!

If you're reading this, maybe you think that you can improve your financial situation with some easy changes. And it's completely true, you can. Please keep in mind that what works for me and my family may not work for you. Try things, see how they work, and adapt for your own personal lifestyle.

Each tip will consist of a general tip followed by some of the changes I will be (or have been) doing to institute this change. You can use these as starter ideas, or you can use them to brainstorm your own solutions. I won't be insulted if you completely ignore any of the tips, I am just putting them out there in hopes that it helps at least one person feel less stress about their finances.

On to step one.

Step 1:
Cook at home using fresh ingredients.

We always have frozen oven meals in the freezer just in case. With WonderWife working 10 hour days and me with my variable moods (and therefore variable energy), it's just safer to have food that can just be thrown in the oven for those really bad days where I don't want to do anything. Unfortunately, they can be quite pricy. Even if you get a 1-pound bag of frozen vegetables for 2$, you're still paying more than you would for fresh vegetables.

I am dedicating it to myself now that I will start to make my own handy helpers for the freezer with what foods I currently have. Then I will move upwards to making full out freezer meals. But small steps...

Tonight I am going to grate up some of the carrots we have in the fridge along with the cauliflower and mix them together in a container to throw in the freezer. This will be an easy to use addition to any meal I throw together, easy way to add more fresh foods to our diet (which is quite fresh already, but no such thing as too much), and save money. Not to mention that carrots and cauliflower are relatively easy on the taste buds, particularly when cooked, so they will blend in nicely with many foods and not overpower.

Next, I am going to thaw out some of the bricks of cheese we have in the freezer and shred them, and refreeze them for easy to use shredded cheese. That will make adding cheese to any meal a snap, and save me time while I'm trying to throw together a meal at 6pm.

Having fresh vegetables on hand is all well and good, but it is important to use them before they go bad. Otherwise you are basically throwing away your money.

Having pre-cooked or semi-cooked meat in the freezer is a goal for me, having premade mixes in the freezer which simply need to be thrown onto a frying pan is another. There are so many possibilities in the realm of precooked and ready-to-eat foods that it is almost impossible to figure out where to start!

So that's my step one. Have you had any successes with doing prep-work ahead of time? Do you have any tips or tricks for throwing together a healthy, homemade meal in less time? I would love to hear them, as time is a valuable asset and I am going to strive to conserve more of it!

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think!

Peace, love, and munch away!


  1. Solid post, Laura. Doing prep work ahead of time is an absolute must for saving time.

    1. No kidding! Having time for the fun things in life is essential!