We love to eat just like all families and with 4 children ages 14-20, a lot of food comes into and goes out of our kitchen. But my work on managing our food budget really began over 20 years ago when I first became a stay at home mother when Bethany was born in 1990. When we worked out our budget without my income the food budget was $20/week. That was pretty doable, especially at the beginning because Tim ate most of his weekly meals at work and I was breastfeeding, so no baby formula.
But $20 a week??? Since Tim is in the food industry I asked him how to save money. His answer was:
Make everything from scratch. Do not use prepared foods or mixes.
So I began evaluating all my food purchases. I had grown up with my mother using Bisquick, so I had used it too. But what is Bisquick? Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. And I was paying to have it mixed and put in a cute yellow box.
This is just one example of prepared foods that I have excluded from our pantry. Other common prepared foods include:
flavored rice or pasta mixes
dried mashed potatoes
The list is quite endless. And all these items are very easy to use but come with the added cost of peparation.
So, I got out my “Betty Crocker Cookbook” and learned that making all these items are pretty easy and have a very simple ingrediant list. I spent several weeks gathering the pantry items to be able to make all the things that I had formerly used mixes for.
Though cooking from scratch I found that many of the items really taste much better than the boxed equivants. And when I serve these yummy foods to others they are so surpirsed how good they were. Some adults had never had a cake made from scratch.
Next time: Saving money by planning menus.