When Ben and I first got married, I didn’t know a lot about meal planning and grocery budgets. We had next to no money, so I knew we had to keep food costs as low as possible, but I felt completely lost as to how to do this.
Each month, our strategy was the same: buy the cheapest food at the store to fill up our fridge, get home from work every day in the late afternoon and pull out my “Company’s Coming – Casseroles” cookbook, open it to the ground beef section (because that was the cheapest meat we could buy), and desperately try to find a recipe that could get done in time before Ben got home from work, and could be made from the ingredients in our fridge.
This continually frustrated me, because I’d never have the ingredients I needed, and time was always tight, because I’d waste most of it trying to find something to make.
I remember getting really tired of ground beef, and mentioning this one day to an older, wiser cousin who asked me about how things were going. “Ground beef?!” she exclaimed. “When we first got married, we were so poor, we lived on love and air! You’re doing well if you can afford ground beef!”
Things got a lot better over time, but actually making a meal plan and sticking to it is something that took far too long to figure out. My current method of using Google calendar is the strategy that’s stuck around the longest, and works so well, I’ve been consistent with it for a few years now.
But as I mentioned in my last blog post, it’s the budgeting aspect which needs some fine-tuning around here. We do it, just not as well as we should. In an effort to save money, it’s my goal to get better at using my meal planning to save money on our grocery budget. It’s one of the biggest categories in our budget, and seems like the easiest to improve on. We can’t easily change our mortgage or our hydro bill, but we can do something about groceries. It’s tricky, because health challenges require us to eat super healthy, which can get expensive.
For this reason, I was excited to come across an online course on meal planning and grocery budgeting on one of my favorite blogs, Don’t Waste the Crumbs. SO practical and helpful. I always find great, healthy recipes on that blog (remember chocolate hummus?), and many tips for how to save money in the kitchen.
I’m so confident this will be a great course that I’ve chosen to become an affiliate, which is a little strange and new for me – I’ve never done that kind of thing before, but I really want to spread the word, because I think this course will be great. It’s $70, but apparently the grocery savings pay it off in the first couple of weeks.
The only problem is I can’t first take it and THEN tell you how awesome it was for me, as I’ll be taking it for the first time right along with you, if you choose to sign up. But I CAN say the reviews from people who did a trial run of the course are what convinced me to register. When people are saying they’re saving over $200 per month because of this course, it makes me think it’s worth a try!
Topics include meal planning, avoiding food waste, making a shopping list, opportunities to save at the store, avoiding marketing traps, making a price book, buying in bulk, organizing your kitchen, creating systems, shopping at Farmer’s markets and online. So much good stuff will be covered!
So what do you think?! Do you want to join me? Registration is open until tomorrow, January 10. You can head over here to sign up: