I bet you were eager to find out what my tip for the day is, since I pretty much left you hanging yesterday….
Convenience foods are a HUGE waste of money, which is why I almost always …
Cook from scratch! The more you can prepare meals from scratch, the more money you will save. Home cooked meals are also higher in nutrition and you know exactly what you are eating, unlike many pre-made meals. From scratch doesn’t have to mean a lot of time and clean up. A simple meal like baked or grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and rice can be prepared in under 30 minutes with minimal clean up.
Freeze Things. I always try to prepare a double or triple batch any time I cook anything. It saves me time and effort for future meals and on days that things get really hectic I don’t have to worry about “What’s for dinner?”. You can also freeze bread ends to make bread crumbs (which can then be stored in the freezer), leftovers to use for future lunches, bruised and brown bananas for breads and muffins and anything else that might otherwise get thrown out and wasted.
Forget the junk food. My theory is if you don’t buy it then you can’t eat it. We RARELY buy junk food. Occasionally the kids will get a treat of sodas or chips, but they are almost always the BAKED chips! And I try to make home-made cookies rather than buying the kinds at the store, along with brownies, cakes, etc. A special treat of icecream, because it’s the one treat my kids just love, is allowed if it’s on sale. (And I only buy Edy’s because that way if it’s not on sale, I don’t have to buy it!) I give my kids healthier snacks most of the time and I encourage them to drink a lot of water. I do make them Kool Aid (the watered down, less sugared kind), lemonade and sometimes buy juice (but usually water that down a bit too).