How to shop your cupboard to Reduce your grocery bill!

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Have a huge pantry full of food?  A full freezer full of food?  Stuff behind other stuff that you don’t know what to do with?  I bet you have enough stuff in your cupboard to make dinners! Remember some of these steps might not all apply to you and that is okay!  We all do things differently and that is okay!  It is out here for you to learn our process of grocery shopping to help you in your journey to cut your costs on your grocery bill. My mom even proved to me that she could do it – she has minimal food in her home! I know you can do it too with these steps!

1. Step into your pantry or open your cupboard

Come on over to your pantry or your cupboard and physically look into what you have.  This is your good luck charm.  If you try to do it while you are at the store, it will not work.  Trust me! You must take 5 minutes and physically do this. 

We use everything from our pantry, cupboard, freezer, and fridge each week most of the time.  You can do this too! 

Sometimes we even make a meal off of just our condiments like our BBQ sauce or Salsa. BBQ chicken sliders and Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos!

2. Look to see what you have

Let your mind go.  It does not matter what you have. It does not matter how messy it is.  It does not matter how unorganized.  You just need to dig through it maybe.  Clean it later.

This is allowing you to brain dump recipes that are easy to make for you. Your money is going to thank you! Your money is going to appreciate these steps you are doing! You might not what you find!  Maybe, some peaches from two years ago.  Maybe some pasta?  Blueberry jam that is still unopen. We have figured out dinner recipes from these odd ingredients. Keep reading to find out what we did! 

3. Write down all you have

Digging deeper and physically write down all you have. It can be on a scrap piece of paper or we created a beautiful ebook for you – Meal Planning Ebook. 

You do not need to take a bunch of time doing this.  If you have a lot in your pantry, start small by focusing on the things you know you can use right away.  This is the better idea instead of making yourself overwhelmed.  Take a deep breathe allow this to be such a budget saver instead of a budget buster.

4. Google or Pinterest recipes you can cook with that ingredient

Remember that blueberry jam I had?  I want to show you that we made it possible to use it up to free up space.  This is really how we learned how to do this money saving hack because we live tiny and do not have very much space.  Where are we taking you?  To discover the best money saving grocery tip to help you too!

Do you have peaches from 2 years ago? How about a peach chicken salad? Or pork and peach tacos, ginger peach chicken? Peaches and pork chops? There are endless dinner ideas. Plus you can use them even for breakfast with oatmeal or jazz up some plain yogurt.  You have nothing but millions of options!  

Last one I am going to do for you and then I want you to do the same brain storming.  Noodles.  Odd noodles? Ideas are spaghetti, stuffed tacos, goulash, turkey and spinach stuffed shells, tomato and garlic butter pasta, or even one pot cheesy cheese pasta!

Be sure to look at all the ingredients so you know that you only have to buy a couple of items.  If you have to buy a bunch of new items to make the dinner, can you substitute or just skip it and go to the next option. If you want to make this dinner in the future, save it to your pins and start looking for the ingredients when you find them in your budget or on sale. 

5. Write down the dinners you are going to do

Now, here’s where it gets good! Give yourself everything you have ever wanted! A dang good savings on your budget!  Write down the dinners you are going to make for the week!

Planning on eating at home 5 times this week perfect!  Write 5 dinners down. 

6. Put on the grocery list what items you need for that recipe

Once you’ve got your list of the items you have, the dinners you want to make off the items you have, now is the time to write down the other ingredients you need for the recipes.  I am so proud of you so far!  You are going to see such good things happen in your grocery shopping. 

Key trick: Only choose recipes that need 2 -4 items to purchase

When you choose recipes.  You want to choose real recipes that will help you not destroy your budget.  Do not take away from your savings.  You can remember that you can do this.  I know this is a lot of information all at once, but take it step by step! 

Recipes that you only have to buy 2 to 4 items. 

Blueberry chicken recipe – 

Need: Chicken

Substituted: Raspberry vinegar for balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard for regular mustard

Had on hand already: S&P, butter, blueberry jam, basil 

Guess what it turned out so good! It did not become a regular meal for us, but it did use up an ingredient out of our home. 

Key trick: zero waste + Using what you have

We love not throwing away any food, and this definitely helps us do this by shopping out of our pantry.  It comes even easier in our tiny fridge.  It usually looks like this when we go shopping (left)

After our shopping trip and spending less than $100 a week.  It looks like this (right). Yes — please do not judge me we like to drink beer — we call it good beer Fridays!

7. Distract yourself and stick to your list for the meals you are preparing

It is going to be the best thing for you, and you don’t even know it.  

I understand and know how hard it is to stick to a list because in all seriousness my husband always tells me before I go to the store…”STICK TO THE LIST!” even I can confess that this is a hard step!

These 7 steps I know will help you shop your cupboard to bring your grocery bill under $100!  We live tiny and still are able to do this with purchasing meat every single week!  Most people think meal prepping and storing a bunch of food is the only way to do this, but I promise you it is not!  We start over almost every week! You can do it too! 

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