With the price of groceries increasing so much in the last few months, along with the price of gasoline and other things, I am diligently working on a very frugal grocery shopping method. Another important factor in my plan is that we have shut off our gas refrigerator with the hope of saving enough money by not running it to purchase solar refrigeration. So I have to sacrifice.
When you are not using refrigeration or a freezer, you have to preserve even the foods you bring home from the grocery store as well as your garden produce. So instead of buying a few different packages of meats, you buy the number of pounds of meat that will fill your canner twice. For me that is going to be 14 quarts. Many people choose to do pints of meat, but my husband is a hard worker and a big eater. So I have to do quarts.
I look at my local stores' flyers, and my local Price Chopper sends me their's in my email as soon as it is available. I buy my meat there so that is where I start. I know that the day I buy the meat, I have to come directly home and start canning. I have everything ready to go. Go early in the day and get started and you will have it done before you know it.
I have been studying my grocery receipts and check book to see exactly where my money has been going. What I found was that we have been spending way too much on food out. We don't go out to eat often, but we do pick up pizzas, subs, wings and very rarely, Chinese foods (my favorite). So I am going to nip that in the bud right now, before it becomes a habit.
I listed most of the meals I make and the ingredients needed for them. Now I will try to stock up on those ingredients and not sway from my lists for anything extra. So for now my plans are to can ground beef, ground turkey, chicken and turkey. Plus canning chili and beef stew. That doesn't sound too expensive nor too hard to do. Jackie Clay, my favorite writer (Backwoods Home Magazine) says you should can about 3 varieties of chili so you don't get tired of it. So I will do that, one being a vegetarian type, as sometimes I serve it with a sandwich and do not want the extra meat.
For now, my plan is to have the food on hand for 20 different types of meals. That way you do not eat the same meal too many times in any month, unless you want to. The most important part of my plan is to purchase the food, especially the meat, when it is on sale. I am looking forward to trying this and will let you know how it goes and how much money I have saved.
Have a great homesteading day!