Five Resolutions for a Smaller Grocery Budget – Part 1

As the end of the year is coming, are you thinking about the resolutions you will make for the upcoming year. If you are like most people, you may be resolving to eat healthier and to save money. Achieve both of these goals by following these five grocery resolutions.

1. I resolve to make my own freezer convenient food. TV Dinners, such as Lean Cuisines and Marie Calendar meals, make lunch and the occasional dinner a breeze. However, these meals are usually packed with sodium and the amount of food received for the price is high. Even if you get a frozen meal for $1-$1.50 each, you could easily make the same amount of food for much less.

It is easy to make your own freezer convenience food. You can prepare a large meal, such as chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, and green beans, then split them into lunch size portions. For meals like this, it is best to freeze them in Tupperware. The containers with dividers will make it even easier to store food. I recommend these Bento containers which are also BPA-free.

Other easy meals that can be prepared for the freezer are French bread pizzas and burritos. For the pizzas, simply take French bread loaves from the store and split them horizontally and then in half to make four pieces. Then simply spread your favorite pizza/spaghetti sauce, sprinkle a little cheese on, and add any other desired toppings. Freeze on a cookie sheet or plate, and then transfer to freezer bags or aluminum foil for easy storage.

Burritos are just as easy! Cook together beans, rice, cheese, and meat (exclude the meat for even more savings). Place your mixture in a large tortilla, fold like a burrito, and wrap in aluminum foil.

Not only are these meals cheaper in the long run, but they are also healthier for you since they do not contain any hidden sodium and foreign ingredients. You can also freeze peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if you get really desperate for a quick meal on the go.

2. I resolve to go meat free twice a week. Many people choose to omit meat from one dinner once a week, but it really is easy to go two whole days without meat every week. This can save you up to $100 a month, depending on how big your family is and how much meat you consume.

Don’t think you have to be a fancy vegetarian chef to make meat-free meals taste good. You can easily prepare and enjoy these meals: pasta, quiche, veggie pizza, bean, rice and cheese burritos, baked potatoes, salads, quesadillas, minestrone or potato soup, vegetarian chili, and veggie stir fry. Just try making your favorite dish without the meat. You may be surprised how easy it is to give up the meat for a few meals.

While meat is a great source of protein, you may find yourself looking a little slimmer after a few weeks of meat reducing.

Read three more resolutions on how to save money on your groceries in part 2.