As a 31-year-old woman I know how hard it is to get your shit together.
You’re often expected to do and know so much about work, exercise, cooking and balancing a budget.
I often get a lot of questions on my food posts about how I can afford to “cook like this” on a daily basis. Or if I really cook like this, or is it for show, just for the blog.
The answer is yes and no.
YES I cook like this on a daily basis and NO it isn’t just for show.
Like many people, I prioritize my passion.
FOOD IS MY PASSION.
I love cooking and I love creating things, plain and simple.
For a lot of people grocery shopping is a total bore errand that they have to run, or else they will go hungry! For me, it’s not like that at all! The grocery store is one of my favorite places to go.
That being said… I don’t have kids. I have a dog and a fiancé and managing our lives and food is EASY.
It’s EASY to get the expensive cut of steak because we don’t have to worry about feeding too many mouths.
It’s EASY for us to get to the grocery store because I don’t have to shuffle kids around.
But for all of you that aren’t living that easy life, which I know is a crap ton of you, but like to cook, I have a few budget tips for you!
Stock Up on Staples
Things like eggs, butter, flour, oil, onions, garlic bread, cheese, fruit, pasta, peanut butter, milk. STOCK UP.
I literally use one or all of these things EVERY DAY. On days that you just don’t feel like whipping something big together these staples will help you!
You can put together a meal in less than 10 minutes with these ingredients like….
Fried Egg Sandwich
Pasta and cheese tossed with olive oil
Cheese on Toast
Apples and Peanut Butter
SHIT – you can even make a pie with these ingredients!
My point is, things that are used in a lot of dishes and don’t go bad quickly like fresh veggies, STOCK UP ON.
Shop on a Full Stomach
THIS IS NO JOKE.
Justin and I went shopping last weekend and I was starving. We ended up spending more than we usually do because literally everything looked good. We even bought snacks to eat in the car because we couldn’t wait to go home to cook anything.
So, yeah. Make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach or wallet!
Make a List, Plan Ahead and Set your Budget
This is V important. By making a list and planning ahead, it can help prevent buying any unnecessary items. You can also price things out before hand by visiting your local grocery stores website or by checking sales in the paper.
By pricing things out beforehand you can ……
- see where your money is going ….what is costing you the most? Is this price per pound cheaper if you buy the generic version over the brand name version? Things like that.
- See how much money you have left over – maybe you have more money left over in your weekly budget than you thought….now you can splurge on that nice piece of meat you wanted or maybe a fancy bottle of wine.
Make 3 columns on your list:
Necessities – stuff you absolutely need
Wants – if you have extra money leftover you can get something off this list
pro tip – use the store hand held machines to track the cost of everything you are buying. Ask at customer service about it.
Do Not Buy Veggies in Bulk
Unless your veggies are frozen (which I am not a fan of….I like having fresh, seasonal veggies) do not buy them in bulk.
Fresh vegetables don’t have a very long fridge life, so only buy what you need for whatever recipe you are creating. That is why planning your list ahead of time is so important.
If you buy more than you need and it goes bad, or you simply don’t use it, you have LOST precious money right there. It is so easy to say, “OH, that was only a $1,” but that DOLLAR will add up.
God I sound like my mom
“money doesn’t grow on trees you know!”
Only take 1 Trip to the Grocery Store
This is HUGE.
We usually go to the grocery store on Sundays and every time J and I make multiple trips to the store, we end up spending more money.
It usually means we didn’t have a plan, or we didn’t check our house to make sure we didn’t have that ingredient.
When you don’t do these things you end up buying the same thing twice, not eating it and wasting it.
If you only take one trip that means you planned it out. You saw what you already have and are only buying on what you need.
This isn’t rocket science.
NOW. If you’re wondering why I didn’t bring up coupons….
I’M NOT A COUPON CUTTER. (i’ll take a coupon, I just don’t wan to cut it)
I have reward cards at all the stores I shop at and a lot of them have digital coupons that are automatically added to my account.
Maybe when I have kids I will be more of a bargain hunter, but for now, the tips above are helping me keep on budget.
What are some ways you stay on budget and grocery shop?