Week 23: June 13 More and more we are hearing about a possible recession. It is more important now to be saving all we can for that possibility. During a recession jobs are lost or hours reduced. Homes are lost due to lost income. Prices on some goods remain high. See the April blog post concerning recessions. Because of this threat we must all prepare now. Keep a buying journal. Record all the things you spend money on for a month. It will amaze you how much you are spending on items you can really live without. Since a huge part or every budget we will concentrate on saving money on food for the next few weeks. Many of these things I’m sure you already do but it’s good to be reminded As we all fall into bad habits and need to readjust periodically. Skip the deli case and prepackaged lunch meats and salads. It is amazing how much you can save by making your own salads and slicing your own meats. Buy a beef, turkey or ham roast and cook and slice it yourself. Compare the price of the roast per pound to the cost of the deli meat per pound and you will be amazed how much you can save. Salads, macaroni, pasta, potato, three bearing n, broccoli, are all much cheaper to make at home. We would love for you to share your favorite salad recipes. We will be sharing a few of ours.
Go meatless. Start eating more off a breakfast menu for dinner. Try some of your favorite casseroles without meat. If you just can’t do it cut the amount of meat in soups stews and casseroles in half. Do this at least twice a week and watch the savings. Instead of beef or chicken burritos how about breakfast burritos? Do you have a favorite meatless recipe?
Cut meat yourself. Purchase whole chickens and cut them up yourself. Purchase an inexpensive cut of beef and cube it yourself for stew or soups.
Buy fruits and vegetables in season. Skip the peaches in winter and the apples in summer. They will taste better and cost far less when purchased in season. I don’t buy bananas, apples, or citrus during the summer and then it seems like more of a treat during the long winter when other fruits are much too expensive.
Stock up on seasonal buys. Work omelets and quiche into your menu plan around Easter when eggs are cheap. Buy an extra turkey at Thanksgiving and an extra corned beef or two around St. Patrick’s Day. The Fourth of July sales are on their way. Stock up on mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, hamburger, hot dogs, pickles, all the items discounted for the holiday. When I was young my dad was very ill and he often said mom should write a cookbook, “101 Ways to Make Hot Dogs”. Be creative with your menus and incorporate foods that are on sale, and of course, sales are the time to add a few to your food storage.
Serve seasonal foods. Fruits salads are wonderful and fruits and vegetables are important in all meal planning. In the spring serve strawberries, grapes, bananas and pineapple. During the summer months serve melons, peaches, grapes, nectarines, apricots and cherries. In the fall serve bananas, plums, apples and pears. Winter serve orange slices. With the exception of bananas and pineapple, which are not grown here, you can often get fruit donated by families who have trees in their yards if you plan to serve fruit that is in season.
Forget the drinks. Water is free! Don't waste money on drinks at meals and during the day unless it is a special occasion, a birthday or holiday party.