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Potato Butts

January 7th, 2010 at 06:16 pm

My husband Rick and I are complete foodies. As terrible as it may sound, one of the hardest things about debt-busting is dealing with our grocery budget. I love to cook and going to restaurants used to be our past-time. There are people like my dad, who can eat the same sub sandwich & spagetti nearly every day... but I have never been like that!

We are in week 3 of a "real" grocery budget, and every day it seems like I am tweaking it. I actually don't know certain things like, how often do we go through a carton of milk? How many diapers does our youngest use in a month? I quickly started at a $150/week budget, but I realized it should be lower for a family of 4. But I'm not gonna lie...it's hard to menu plan and not order pizza after a busy day at work!

I'm sure I will post many entries on this subject. I'm pretty proud of myself tonight. After a tiring day at work, I was not at all in the mood to cook, but I got in the kitchen and made somewhat boring, but cheap, grilled cheese sandwiches. Rick made homemade french fries (baked, not fried) that were really tasty. Yes, it took some time, but it was so much healthier and cheaper than fast food fries. Yay for us! If you're wondering why I named this entry "potato butts", it's because that's what Rick calls the last slice of the potato, with the most skin on it. That slice makes the perfect kind of fry, yum.

I will post next week's grocery budget & list, after everything is bought and I can account for the cost. It will be a little lower since Rick will be out of town, but I'd still love to get any input on this subject!

14 Responses to “Potato Butts”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    "Potato butts," that's cute.

  2. mjrube94 Says:

    Great job, sticking with it when you normally wouldn't!

  3. cptacek Says:

    It will take practice and perseverance. I'm lucky that the only "restaurant" in town is the bar, and bar food just isn't good. Otherwise, I would be fighting ordering pizza or something at least 3 times a week!

  4. DeniseNTexas Says:

    It definitely takes practice. Have you tried cooking ahead or at least prepping ahead? I do quite a bit of that because I freely admit that I'd rather eat in a restaurant after a long day at work. You might also try getting a glass jar or some other see through container (I use a pretty vase) and putting money in it every time you really, really want to go out to eat and don't. Even though a cheap fast food meal costs a minimum of $15 for the two of us if I really want to go out and we decide instead to stay in I put $5 or whatever I can in that vase. Every time I pass it it's more incentive to not go out. Smile

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Having a meal plan and ingredients on hand are half the battle. I agree that prepping things ahead of time is a great idea for couples that work. Good luck!

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    It's good that your husband does some of the cooking too. I can say with some certainty that if I had to do all the cooking myself, I'd be reaching for the delivery menus a lot more often! LOL. But seriously, having someone else help you create menus and shopping lists, go shopping (including finding the best prices), cooking, and cleaning up afterward is so invaluable to sticking with a menu plan.

    Can't advise you on the amount you're spending on groceries, because we allot $700 per month for three adults and a cat. (We also put household products and toiletries on that budget, but the majority is spent on food.) We love varied and unusual foods, so it's definitely one of our least frugal areas of life!

  7. HouseHopeful Says:

    I LOVE to make baked fries. Yummy & filling Smile

  8. frugalgal Says:

    Thanks guys! You're encouragement helps...thank goodness for the internet, there are so many awesome ideas and tips for cheap and frugal food. I've been checking out cool websites like "The Hillbilly Housewife" and "livingonadime". I love to see what thrify meals others are trying. But I admit, I still scour the val-pak for pizza coupons, even when I know I shouldn't use them!

  9. monkeymama Says:

    PRactice, practice, practice. You won't cut your groceries in half overnight! (We've been frugal eaters for about 7 years - I swear our bill goes down every year, even still).

    We personally swear by the Taste of Home magazines. There is free recipes galore online, but a little overwhelming. They tend to focus on frugal and/or fast/easy meals. I just like that we have new recipes to try every month. But they have free recipes online, too. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Simple---Delicious-Magazine
    As far as caving in and getting a pizza? We do that fairly often, BUT consider "take and bake" instead. Our grocery chain has the most awesome FRESH pizzas on sale every Friday for $5. Just a tip, there. (We also know where/when the kids eat free, etc., for those crazy days when we just need a night off).

  10. Ms. Pearl Says:

    We do meal planning and Friday nights are "Pizza nights" (Digiorno for me and the kids, Red Baron for the husband...I know gross right?) Once you get into a groove it becomes easier, not always easy though. It helps to have cut up veggies so do that when you bring them home. Takes a couple min. and saves time when cooking. Also, my husband cooks the majority of our meals since he works from home and I work night shift. When he travels or it is a night that I am scheduled to cook I makes something that I can do well like a casserole and salad!

    Good luck!

  11. Jerry Says:

    We find that unless we are really disciplined and organized, we can ruin our budget on groceries, as well. We have the luxury of farmer's markets here (SE Europe) that really save a lot of money on produce, but we also find that it is less convenient than the local grocery. That leads to short term time savings and lots of money lost. But when we really pay attention to what we are eating and spending, we have some insurance that we can keep to the budget and still eat well... good luck with everything!

  12. crazyliblady Says:

    I deal with this by looking at every single cupboard and the refrigerator before I go shopping. I make a list of what assets we have: 1 pound ground beef, 1 package chili seasoning, etc. I look at the online grocery ads for what is on sale so I make sure I have coupons with me for those things. I also make a menu for the week before I go shopping. I try to make my grocery shopping list based on our assets, like the ground beef and seasoning being the beginning of a pot of chili. This helps me to not spend so much buying other stuff. As far as how long it takes to go through stuff like a bottle of milk, you could mark a date on the bottle with a sharpie and that may help you to at least figure out a pattern. If stuff that we use a lot is on sale, I buy a few more than normal to create a stock. Liz Pulliam Weston called this the "savings account you can eat."

  13. bullying and its long term effects on gay men and lesbians Says:

    To cut your grocery budget, plan your family's menu for a week and get the products only strictly according to the plan that you have formed.

  14. www.essaycorrector.org/ Says:

    You can reduce your spending on food if you plan the menu in advance and learn how to make blanks with your own hands.

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