Whether you're a victim of our economy (who isn't?) or you're just cheap like me, saving money on groceries and other needed items is a definite PLUS. Lately, my lucky guy and I have been discussing ways to place even more money than usual in savings, so that we have it when it's most needed.
One of the things we'd like to save money on is eating. We've already started the process by limiting the amount of times per month we eat out, but we still spend a chunk of change each week at the grocery store.
Thinking about it caused me to try and come up with recipes that are good, but are really cheap. Below are just 2 of the recipes that I've been using. They're really good, but it costs $10 or less to make them.
Meat and Veggie Pie
This is my kids' favorite meal, and they're super-picky! It's also really good for the meat and potatoes guy.
- 2 cans roast beef and gravy (found in the canned meat section, about $6)
- 1 can mixed veggies ($.75)
- 3-4 cups prepared instant mashed potatoes (about $1)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about $1.50)
Open the cans of roast beef and gravy and spread it over the bottom of a casserole dish or baking pan. Then, drain the mixed veggies and spread that on top of the meat. Next, layer the mashed potatoes on top of the veggies and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes. Place in a 350-degree oven until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Prep time and cook time is about 25 minutes total. If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it!!
Super-Easy "Homemade" Chicken Pot Pie
Another favorite, and so easy to make.
- 1 Whole Chicken (about $5 total)
- 1 diced and cooked potato (about $.50)
- 1 diced and cooked carrot (pennies)
- 1 can of peas (about $50)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup (about $1)
- 1 serving Jiffy pot pie biscuit mix (about $.75 to $1.00)
- 3/4 cup milk (pennies)
Cook the whole chicken in boiling water for 1-2 hours. Pick the meat from the bone and preserve anything over 1 and 1/2 cups to use for another meal. After you've diced and cooked the carrot and potato, add this to the chicken in a large bowl. Add half the can of peas and the cream of chicken soup. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water and stir so that your mixture is creamy. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix the Jiffy mix (about 1 cup) with the milk. The consistency will be thin. Place the chicken and veggie mix into a baking pan and pour the Jiffy mix on top. Place in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour.
Tips for Saving Money on Groceries:
Food is mucho expensive. Until I get to the point where I'm growing all of my own veggies and completely shunning meat of any kind, I'm using a few different methods to save money at the grocery store. First and foremost, clip coupons. You don't have to use EVERY coupon; just the ones that cover products that you're definitely going to use. If your store has double or triple-coupon days, go shopping then and you can save tons of money. I've actually ended up getting free products using this method.
For some items, I buy store-brand rather than name-brand. Granted, some store brands simply will not work, but some things are okay to do this with. For instance, I've found that cereals, milk, canned veggies, syrup, etc. are all okay in the store-brand. However, I absolutely must have name-brand teabags, coffee, sauces, and other things like that.
Always save your leftovers. At the end of the week, have a hodge-podge meal containing all the leftovers. This is a great way to shave some money off your grocery bill. Also, thinking cheaper when you create your grocery list can help. Plan out your meals one week at a time, and buy only the things you've put on your list. Some stores also price-match, so if they have the same item that a competitor has on sale, they'll match the competitor's price. If you have any other tips for saving money on groceries, please add them here!
Image Credit: qmnonic on Flickr