Sometimes we need extra inspiration to lower our grocery bill…
This post was shared by Robyn. She’s amazing at keeping her grocery bill so low and spending as little time at the grocery shop as possible (be honest… who doesn’t want that!).
I’m keeping it in her words as she’s done it so well. I have permission to share this.
A window to my food life
A number of years ago, I cottoned on to the fact that being in a supermarket added to my anxiety issues. Plus seeing the total when I got to the checkout! So I decided was high time to lift some of the anxiety.
Now I shop every 4 months or so. I have managed to get the cost down to approx $800 – $860 (New Zealand dollars) for that.
Ok… So how have I done that? Lots and lots and lots of tears and sheets of note paper!!
There is myself, my mum (who has health issues, so has a specific diet) and my daughters aged 10 and 14 (both also have dietary requirements) and we have three cats.
I sat down and worked out what I already knew we were going through each week. Then worked out what we NEEDED to be going through. There was quite a substantial difference. But I spent the time working out down to the last toilet roll what I reckoned we would use over 3 – 4 months. Had a momentary heart attack over the list and just went and did it. The docket from the shop is usually about as long as my arm.
See Robyn’s tips below the photos!
Sooooo my tips about how I manage:
- I plan meals (even breakfasts and lunches) as deeply as I can. And I use recipes or some such, so I really do KNOW what I’ll need.
- I have a vege garden and I seed bank, so now I don’t need to purchase seeds at all. There are groups on Facebook that seed share.
- I have chooks for eggs and winter meat – plus sell the eggs, which pays for any feed they need.
- I get raw milk from a co-op in our nearest township and then freeze it. I do make some of our cheeses and (when I can be bothered) butter. Happy to give instructions
- 98% of our veges are either dehydrated from fresh, or frozen from fresh. Both are super dooper easy to do and don’t taste any different. Happy to give instructions.
- I don’t impulse buy. If it’s not on my list, then it doesn’t get bought. So I’m sure to double and triple check my list!
- We have a ‘date’ night once a month. We have ice cream, and chippies, and a meal that my girls choose and we watch a movie.
- Buy generic. I did a load of research around this.
- I make my own extracts and essences for flavouring – like vanilla, rose, orange, kiwifruit, mango…
- Fruit : I have fruit trees in pots but for fruit we have to buy….if it won’t last, then it can be dehydrated, “chipped” or frozen. My girls love frozen banana and apple chippies. Happy to give instructions on how to do these.
- Animals – I’m lucky that our cats are mighty hunters and tend to catch their own rabbits and rats. But I buy cat food and biscuits.
- I bake rather than buying treats.
A bit of information about the photos:
- In the freezer – Cheese is frozen in blocks. Bacon is split into set amounts – usually 4 slices then frozen. Yes, we still get treats like ice cream. But that tub will last because it’s a once a month-er thing. That’s frozen raw milk in the coke bottle. And we berry pick during the right seasons….so you can see leftover berries that didn’t get turned into jam, jelly, sauce or chutney in there too. Veges are frozen from fresh.
- In the Fridge – Wine is used in cooking. Eggs from our hens. Fresh fruit. See what looks like brown envelopes right at the back? That’s part of our seed bank. There are hundreds of seeds in there, covering a wide variety of fruit, veges, herbs and flowers, including medicinal varieties and heritage seeds
- In the Pantry – I make my own dried ingredients and herbs for what I can’t buy.
We will likely have more posts from Robyn as she shares more of her food journey too! 🙂
Join our Facebook group Frugal Kitchen if you want to know more OR if you’d like to join in conversations about about lowering your grocery bill!