While most people are resolving to spend their Januarys getting out and being more active, I have resolved to stay in as much as possible. I like to start my year by having a No-Buy January, including groceries. The last time I went shopping was December 30. To be fair, I did do a fair amount of shopping at the end of December. I spent $70 from Dec. 29-30 but most of that stuff was used for a party I threw. To be fairer, it’s only mid-January so I’ve only gone two weeks without going to the grocery store. This is my third week.
The philosophy that saves me the most in my grocery budget is to shop less. It saves money, but more importantly, it saves time.
If you buy processed, pre-made products, once you’ve finished them, you’re out of food. If you buy raw ingredients like flour, yeast, sugar, butter and salt, you can continue to make meals for weeks. For instance, if you want a nice loaf of bread, that can cost you $4 at the store. Once you’re done with that loaf, you have no more food. But if you buy $4 in flour and $4 in yeast, you can make 6 loaves of bread (and if you store the yeast in the freezer, you will never run out). In addition to the obvious cost savings, rather than making six grocery store runs, you only need to make one.
I’ve only picked items that are really easy and cheap to make. They require few ingredients, very little time, and no advanced techniques. The only equipment required is a blender, a slow cooker or a mixer. It’s easier to use a stand mixer for some of them – but they can all be made without one.
It’s funny how New Year’s falls during one of the coldest and darkest parts of the year. How can you start exercising when it’s so cold and dark all you really want to do is curl up under your blankets in bed? But one resolution that does make more sense to start when it’s cold and dark is to cook at home more often because it means you get to stay at home when it’s cold! For instance, last week, the cold was so bone-chilling that I wanted to cancel my dinner plans at this hip new restaurant so I could go straight home and eat hot soup under a blanket.
But cooking at home seems like a lot of work, right? Not so. Use these tips to make cooking at home as easy or easier than ordering out .