"How I Saved Over $300 a Month"

Slash grocery billsI used to go to the grocery store every week and just buy things depending on what looked good or struck my fancy. As I walked the aisle, I would kinda create meals in my head ...and I would wind up spending about $200 a week. Then, each night after work, I'd go home and look for recipes to match the items in my fridge and pantry. Often, I'd find ones for which I had most of the ingredients, but not quite everything, so I'd end up making an old staple-boring! At the end of the week I'd often find myself throwing away broccoli and zucchini that had looked beautiful in the supermarket but just didn't fit into a recipe.
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I decided pick out recipes for the entire week every Sunday and go to the supermarket armed with a grocery list of the items I needed to make those recipes. The first week I only spent about $40! It was fantastic! Not only did we save big on groceries but we were eating new dishes and actually looking forward to dinner each night.

For the first month, I incorporated meat from my freezer that I had bought and never used into my recipes, which accounted for the fact that I spent $200 for the month instead of $200 a week. But once my freezer emptied out, the food bills started climbing again. I also realized that I was throwing away a lot of leftovers. So I decided to prepare three recipes a week and eat leftovers on the other 4.
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It's now six months since we instituted this plan and I'm happy to say that we've stabilized at about $120 a week or $480 a month on groceries as opposed to the $800 a month I used to spend. And by cooking 3 recipes a week, I'm not only not throwing away food that never got prepared, I'm also not tossing leftovers that were never eaten!

Do you have strategies for saving money on running your home? Tell us in the comments!

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