For many people, making the decision to switch from two incomes to one can be a scary experience. They know they’re spending too much, but don’t know where to begin to cut back.
Most people don’t think they can live the frugal life and still be comfortable. I feed my family of 4 on $250 per month. In the last 5 years my husband earned an average of $22,000 per year. In those 5 years we paid off $20,000 debt.
There are countless ways you can cut, but if you are a frugal beginner, try these simple suggestions from my cookbook, Living On A Dime, for saving on your food bill first.
- Before you shop, take a tour through your pantry and your refrigerator. Be organized!
- Don’t buy what’s already hiding in your kitchen.
- If you are a fan of coupons, remember this: It’s not what you save, it’s what you spend. If you save 30 cents on something you wouldn’t ordinarily buy anyway, you haven’t really saved anything.
- A typical fruit item is significantly larger than one serving. Most people would be just as happy eating a small apple as eating a large one — so buy smaller fruits!
- This month, try two meatless meals a week (or one, if you’re a diehard meat fan). Use meat as an ingredient instead of a main dish. A good recipe for this is Green Chile. It uses only 1/2-1 pound of pork.
- Cut back on the juice and milk. Use the money you’ve saved from eating less meat and drinking less juice and buy something that’s on sale. Those sale items will help you cut back even further next month.
1/2-1 lb. pork roast, or chops cubed into small pieces
10 1/2 oz. chicken broth
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 can (7 oz.) green chiles, diced
1/4 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. flour, dissolved in water
cheddar cheese, grated
Simmer pork in broth on low for 10 minutes. Add all other ingredients except flour and simmer 45 minutes. Thicken with flour so it is like a thick soup. Spoon about 1/4 cup into the center of a flour tortilla. Roll up tortilla and top with more green chile. Sprinkle with cheese, lettuce and tomato. Top with sour cream if desired. This green chile freezes really well.
In staying at home, remember that it’s the little things that add up.
photo by: ncindc