Payday is a week a way. Payday… then you can buy food. One of the worst feelings in the world is wondering how you are going to make what you currently have stretch until then. How do you make it work? How do you even go about doing it?
How do I know that these work? I’ve been there. As a single mother with a toddler, I had to find unique ways to make our food stretch. Life is not simple. We need to find ways to make it work for us.
Clean Out Pantry/Cupboards
The pantry/cupboard are the first things to dive into. Remember those canned yams that you bought last year? Check to see if they are still good. What about those beans? There are a lot of items that may make your meals stretch.
Going through your pantry/cupboard can also help you stay tidy and get rid of any bad food that may just be sitting there for a long time. Have an onion soup mix package? Check to see if there is a recipe. You can find recipes on a lot of the items that you have in your pantry/cupboard right now.
Lastly, cleaning out the pantry/cupboard also means that you can see if there is any other non-perishable items that you may need on hand when you do your grocery shopping around payday time.
Check out flyers at your local grocery store to see what they have on sale. Sometimes these sales are truckload buys where you can save a lot of money. These flyers usually change on Sunday. Always try to see if you can find sales on meats and buy in bulk. In the end, the money that you save is astronomical compared to what you spend on it now.
Veggies and potatoes are sometimes on sale and can help with adding side items to your menu.
Find ways to complete meals that you may already have at home. Is there one or two items missing? Buy them. Then you can just use what you have already at home. It may not be the ideal meal, but it will work until next payday.
Make Homemade Foods
Bread is often overlooked as it’s easy to get from the store, but think about making your own bread. Your own bread that is tasty yet satisfying.
Once your bread is hard, you can make croutons.
Make potato chips by thinly slicing potatoes and add seasoning. Better than buying the ones from the stores. There are many, many endless ideas.
Yes, yes, yes… you’re going to say that shopping by yourself is not fun. I get it, but shopping with others becomes a distraction we do not want distractions. Distractions can lead to you forgetting something that was important when you left home and forgot to write down.
Have a grocery list with you and get those items on there. The purpose of the grocery list is to make sure that you do not add anything frivolous and that you added the essentials.
Shop at the cheapest grocery store is pivotal to making your meals stretch. Over in our neck of the woods, Aldi is a prime example. We can get a grocery cart of items there for about $50 versus another place that is half of that. We want to get the biggest bang for our buck so Aldi is our choice. Think about where you would go today if you needed to make your meals stretch? Do they have coupons? Is there a rewards program?
Drink More Water
Water! Water is probably the best item on this list, because it is basically free (well, kind of) and you can certainly drink plenty of it. Eight glasses of eight ounces (2 liters) is recommended per day. You could get a diet journal to make sure that you are drinking more water than sugary sodas or other drinks.
Beverages are usually the biggest issue that I have with my grocery list. The kids want this, the kids want that. You know what? Water is by far better than anything. If you need to, measure your glasses so you know how much water they can hold and make sure that you write it down!
The better you get at buying items on your grocery list and making your money stretch, the more frugal you will become and then you can teach others the way to frugality. Yes! We all need to learn as we go. The hardest part that I have with this list is coupons. I always feel like they are not worth it yet I feel like they can be worth it. I am always on the fence about them.
Buy in Bulk – When you can, buy the items that you can in bulk. Buying in bulk will save you money in the long run.
Buy Meat ON SALE – This is one that I can not reiterate enough. Buying your meat when it is on sale can save you a LOT of money.
Make Meals in Advance – This one is one of my favorite go-to items. If you make meals in advance, you are not only saving future you, but you are also thinking ahead of the game. By thinking ahead, you are saving yourself time and money!
With everything that has been going on with money lately, I wanted to create a post that would help those who needs to think outside the box to make things stretch just another day, week, or month. Life is harder than what we all know. If you are constantly thinking about this then try to readjust your budget. Get a planner and make it work. The best way to do anything in life is with a planner. Get organized and stay organized.