Archive for the ‘Being Frugal’ Category

I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Whole Foods and I’m always looking for ways to reduce our grocery bill without sacrificing quality.

Last time I was at Whole Foods, the nice guy who bagged my groceries put the store’s flyer, “The Whole Deal,” in my bag.

I had never seen the flyer at the store before. It has articles about how to feed one person, two people, or four people on a budget, along with recipes. Inside the newsletter are coupons for some Whole Foods store brand products, as well as, name brand products.

Along with “The Whole Deal” newsletter, there was another flyer with Back-to-School information, that also has coupons in it. The coupons in the Back-to-School flyer expire on September 30.

“The Whole Deal” flyer is also available online. However, the version that I got in the store has more coupons in it. So, when you are shopping at Whole Foods, be sure to check out their flyers for some meal ideas and coupons. 

[Photo credit: Logo]


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The time for playdough has come to our house. At 20 months, I felt the munchkin was ready, and she loved it!

I decided to make homemade playdough because it is much cheaper than buying it from the store. And, I was also afraid she might eat it, which she did, as did our dog. I would rather have her eat homemade playdough, than commercially made playdough. At least I know what is in the playdough I make.

I found this great recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Becoming Domestic. The recipe is so easy! The hardest part was washing the bowl after it was made.



1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon cream of tarter
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup boiling water

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. 

Yeah, it’s that easy! Store in a plastic bag or container.

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Wow – there are a lot of great blogs out in blogging land. Here is another I just found today – Stretching a Buck. I love her article “Food for Thought.” The article is about how important it is to buy good and healthy food for our families, and not view our spending on food as an area to cut corners. Buying healthy, good food and watching the pennies can be difficult. One of my tricks is to shop at farmers’ markets and buy local food. 

Last week I had an experience at the Worthing Farmers’ Market that reminded me why I love shopping at the farmers’ market. I need a few pieces of bacon for corn chowder. I ask the pork farmer (whose name and farm I cannot remember) if he had bacon this week. He said he didn’t. I told him I was disappointed because I needed it for a soup I was making. He gave me a bag of end cuts from bacon for FREE. The pieces were perfect for making soup with. I wanted to pay him for the meat, but he wouldn’t take my money, telling me that because they were end pieces, he couldn’t sell them anyway.

That’s what great about farmers’ markets – buying fresh, local food from the person who produced it. At the farmers’ markets we get the human element that is usually missing in our food shopping experiences.

For more information about farmers’ markets, visit To Every Meal There is a Season, a blog devoted to finding better ways to feed our families. 

[Photo Credit: Food]

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Being a family of two, not wasting food can be a challenge. Two people (one of whom is a toddler) can not finish a huge pan of lasagna.

One solution of mine is to make small meals, such as quesadillas, grilled cheese, and english muffin pizzas. (I will be posting the recipes for those meals soon!) I recently found a recipe for lasagna made in an 8 inch pan. I also try to cut recipes in half, or make the whole recipe and freeze half. This works well with batches of muffins. Muffins freeze well and can be defrosted in the microwave for a quick breakfast. 

Another solution is to buy local. At the farmers’ markets, I can buy however many potatoes I need, instead of having to buy a 10 pound bag at the grocery store. Buying our bread at Great Harvest Bread Company, the loaf is fresh it will last two weeks.

One of my favorite solutions is to have friends for dinner and share our meals. Or when I make a batch of coconut rice pudding, I try to give half away to a friend who enjoys it too. 

Recently, I found a new blog I love, Becoming Domestic, and on it was a post about cutting food waste

Here is the list of 20 ways to cut your family food waste that originally came from The Guardian:

  1. Avoid the supermarket 
  2. Ignore 2 for 1 offers (just a way for supermarkets to get rid of excess food near it’s sell by date)
  3. Shop daily for perishables
  4. Bulk buy non-perishables (Whole Foods has a great bulk foods section for staples such as oats, rice, and flour)
  5. Be storage savvy 
  6. Meal-plan for the week
  7. Cook! That is not just following a recipe but being able to create dishes from what you have in the fridge
  8. Buy quality not quantity
  9. Freecycle/become a ‘freegan’ – I think this is something to do with getting food from supermarket bins that has damaged packaging but is perfectly fine otherwise
  10. Reacquaint yourself with your freezer – apparently freezers are more efficient when full. Good housekeeping.com has good tips on using the freezer
  11. Don’t be afraid of an empty fridge – this was a revelation to me, I always get twitchy with an empty fridge incase I can’t feed my family, but now I like it not so full so that I can see exactly what I’ve got and I know how I’m going to use it.
  12. Grow your own herbs and salad
  13. Buy vegetables whole
  14. Know how much a portion is so you don’t overcook
  15. Bulk-cook meals – then freeze the rest
  16. Learn how to use leftovers – My mum was saying that they’d have roast on Sunday, cold cuts on Monday, hotpot on Tuesday maybe a pie and then always fish on Friday. There is nothing wrong with having the same meal on the same day of the week…we’re too used to being impulsive with food etc.
  17. Look to previous generations – during the war years and up until the 60’s food was precious, a weeks meals were planned down to the last carrot. Dishes such as shepherd’s pie and bread and butter pudding use up leftover food
  18. Take sell-by dates with a pinch of salt
  19. Rediscover packed lunches
  20. Equip yourself – introduce yourself to the stockpot, freezer bag and salad washer
In my experience, saving money and not wasting food takes some planning, but the results are worth it. Thanks to Cathie at Becoming Domestic for the great post! 
[Photo Credit: Apple]

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