Preparing Meals, Big and Small
Food is a wonderful source of joy in our lives, but it can also be a major stressor. If you’re still rattled thinking about all you need to do before Thanksgiving, or if you routinely struggle with your grocery trips, we hope these tips can save you time, energy, and money and help you relax a bit more.
The Golden Rules of Grocery Shopping
Regardless of scale or occasion, whenever you are buying and/or preparing food, always remember to:
- Shop with a list, a firm budget, and a full stomach.
- Use coupons to save on what you plan to buy, not to add sale items to your list.
Preparing for a Feast
A Thanksgiving budget includes more than just the all-important food – it also includes drinks and decorations. Alcohol can drain a budget real quick – buy in bulk when you can or use a B.Y.O.B. policy. Use items you already have for decorations and avoid buying items you will only use once.
- Splurge selectively. Pick one item you want to indulge in and budget the rest of your purchases to accommodate it.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. If hosting, ask guests to bring a dish or dessert, dishware, or decorations. Split some host duties with guests, especially with set-up and cleanup tasks. If you are a guest, offer to help in these ways.
Preparing for Everyday Meals
Here are some more ideas to try out when grocery shopping for everyday needs.
- “Cook once, eat twice.” Prepare enough to have leftovers that can be good for lunch or dinner the next day. Another option is to have a cooking day when you meal prep for the whole week.
- Overlap ingredients. Buy items you can use for at least two recipes, especially herbs. Choose recipes based on cost, either per serving or based on total cost of all ingredients.
One More Resource!
Here’s one of many resources available in Minnesota to get good, discounted food year-round. Fare for All buys food in bulk and sells food packages, ranging from $10 to $25, in thirty locations throughout the greater Twin Cities metro area once a month. Fare For All is open to everyone and they accept cash, credit, debit, and EBT cards. Click here to find the location closest to you!
Money Management E-Newsletter: November 2017