I have said in multiple posts that I will eventually make a post which explains how I grocery shop and guess what– today’s the day!
I do not like to spend money. I LIKE to save money. I LOVE to eat and I only want the healthiest, best quality foods going into the bodies of myself, my unborn child and my husband. After all, food is meant to nourish you. Eating crap is SO cheap and SO easy but it ruins your body. There IS a reason that this country is the fattest in the world.
When Ameer and I first met, we ate out. Every.Single.Night. Not only was it extremely expensive but both him and I gained weight. If we hadn’t been in that beginning of relationship bliss, we probably also would have felt like crap. You can NOT eat out as often as we were and be living both economically and health consciously. It’s impossible.
Things got better once we moved in together because we had a communal stove at which we could cook however when Ameer gets out of work, he’s tired. I mean bone tired. And when I get out work, I’m lazy. I mean bone lazy (it’s a thing, okay!). So his tiredness and my laziness was not conducive to eating healthy, inexpensive, home-cooked meals every night. We would either (1) Do it because we felt forced but be tired and grumpy with each other because we both wanted to be relaxing or (2) give in and eat out. There goes sticking to a budget!!
But THENNNNNNN I found something great on Pinterest. It was a post about freezing meals. I read it. I thought about it. I decided I needed to do it. Immediately. And then I turned it into much more than this blogger (read her post about freezing dinners here) had made it. I make a months worth of dinners in one day, a months worth of snacks in another and a months worth of breakfast on the third. And Ameer and I have never been happier/healthier. He has breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a wealth of choices for snacks every single day (without fail) and I don’t have to stress about having to cook dinner or the fact that we’re not being as healthy/cost-effective as we could be. It’s a win-win. I love it!!
So here is MY explanation of how you cook for a month in three days.
First of all, don’t do all three days consecutively. You will go mad. I do my months worth of dinners at the beginning of the month, my months worth of breakfasts the week after that and the month’s worth of snacks in either the third or last week of the month depending on my schedule.
Second, always be planning. A great tool to use is, of course, Pinterest. Go on there in your free time to find new recipes to work with. I use an app on my cell phone called Food Planner. Read more on Food Planner here. Once I find a recipe I want to try, I head over to Food Planner and store it. This makes planning for the entire week SUPER easy.
And that’s it! You have all of your recipes stored in your app. When you’re ready, head to the app and plan each day. This will add the ingredients for each recipe to your grocery list. Go through and take out what you need to (spices you already have etc.). Add in any extra things you may need for the month (beverages, freezer bags, crock-pot liners etc.), get your coupons ready and go to the grocery store!
Once you’re done grocery shopping for whichever category you’re doing that day, you bring it all home and start the prepping. It will all be things that belong in the freezer and this will be a LONG AND TIRING DAY! If it’s possible, get the little ones/your significant other out of the house and get plenty of rest. I always get really tired when I have to cook for five hours straight however it’s SO worth it when you don’t have to cook at ALL during the month and you save SO much money.
To give you an example of how much money we save by doing all of our cooking at once: We used to spend roughly $120.00 per week on groceries. That’s $480.00 per month. Pretty crazy, I know. The very first time I tried freezer cooking, I bought things for 22 nights worth of dinner (that included some spices I didn’t have which can be VERY pricy, new sponges because ours was getting gross, and new freezer bags, snacks, juices, and cereal because at the time, I wasn’t freezing breakfasts or snacks yet) and I spent $168.00. I made 22 nights worth of dinner because that’s what we had room for in our freezer. I saved well over $200 and I didn’t have to cook nightly. Buying in bulk really does pay off. And we don’t even shop at one of those discount bulk stores (i.e. Sam’s Club or BJ’s), we shop only at Wegmans.
Eventually, I will make a post for each category itself (dinner, snacks, and breakfast). Dinner and snacks will be the soonest as those are the two we’re running low on. Keep your eyes peeled!