Sabrina emailed in the following simple tips for saving time, money and energy in the kitchen:
::Buy extra veggies when they are at their lowest price, then chop and freeze them. I have found this is usually near the end of their season.
If I find bell peppers for an awesome price, I will buy maybe 8-10, take them home, slice half of them and chop the other half. They then get thrown into a freezer bag and into the freezer. I do this with onions also and it’s perfect for stir-fry.
This will save you lots of money! For example, I bought peaches for $o.49/lb in season, and my store usually has them for $2.99/lb out of season. Great deal!
::Buy discounted meat, and freeze or cook immediately. The stores will not sell outdated meat, so they are trying to get rid of it before it expires. The grocery store near my house marks the meat down two days before the “sell by” date.
I can get a five-pound pork roast for $2.00! I actually have two pork roasts, two Angus beef roasts and two packages of boneless skinless chicken strips in my freezer now, and I purchased these all for under $10 total.
::Keep inventory. I keep a pantry, freezer and refrigerator inventory list in my household notebook. It consists of a list of items, and boxes to check as I use up the items. I put one slash in each box to show quantity, and as I use the items, I put a slash in the opposite direction, turning it into an “x”. This helps you know what you don’t have to buy, and it helps you put meals together because you know what you have.
I don’t have any calculations as to how much money is saved doing any of these, but I will say that I have been following MoneySavingMom.com for about a year now, and the above tips along with the things I’ve learned at this site helped me keep my grocery budget under $40/week (and I live in California, not a cheap place to live!).