Last month I reached out to my Facebook likers and asked if they would be interested in a money saving challenge centred on grocery shopping. The idea was well received, so I decided to break it down by weekly challenges, with the end goal of giving you tips and tricks to help you spend less while also providing nutritious meals and preventing food waste. Here is Part 1 of The Saving Money on Groceries Challenge!
To begin, I’d like you to think about how many times per month you go grocery shopping. Is it weekly? Do you make a trip every couple days? We shop once a month (and occasionally a we will pick up more produce throughout the month), and have been for a few years now. But that is going to be talked about later! Right now I want you to consider how many grocery shopping trips you make, and also think about how much food you still have in your pantry/freezer/fridge at this point. It’s likely that you have a lot, so don’t actually NEED to be shopping!
The challenge this week is to take stock of the food or ingredients you already have, and make meals from that. I know it sounds tough, but you can do it! The goal here is to start with a blank slate for your next shopping trip. Here are some meal ideas that are made with basic ingredients that are common in most kitchen:
- pasta and sauce (toss in some cooked chicken or pureed veggies if you have them)
- tuna melts (tuna on bread, topped with cheese, and broiled until the cheese melts)
- chili using tomatoes or tomato sauce, beans, and veggies and/or meat
- chicken, pasta, and veggies tossed with some oil, and a little salt and pepper
- salad with beans and chicken
As I mentioned, these are just examples but there are literally endless recipes available online if you are struggling to find creative ways to use your ingredients. It may take you a couple of days to use the food you have, or it could take longer depending on how much is there. Either way, do your best to use up as much as you can before the next week’s challenge. In preparation for that, I’d like you to think about what types of foods and meals your family enjoys or eats on a regular basis.