After wasting time because I didn’t plan the shopping so well, I obtained all of the food necessary to begin preparing my meals. For 11 meals I came in under $100, a new low in cost. I also have lots of leftovers that I’ll be making even more meals.
I would love to provide you with a magic formula as to how I managed this, but honestly I just hit the sales at the right time. Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons bring about the lowest prices in groceries here in Iowa. The combination of Fareway, Hy Vee, and Aldi are how I keep my costs low. I also plan ahead and pick up items when they go on sale. The only thing I can’t buy ahead of time is the fresh produce, but if you time it right around the holidays most of the produce you will need goes on sale. I always buy meat on sale and then freeze it until I need it.
August is another great time to take advantage of great produce sales. Our local farmer’s markets have terrific prices. I can get three times the amount of kale that they sell in the store for the same price and it supports our local growers. I usually plan my summer freezer session to include lots of fresh produce. Sadly my winter session doesn’t have as much fresh produce as it isn’t as available, but I still fill up my meals with veggies. I try to stay away from canned vegetables unless I need tons of tomatoes. It’s easier just to buy those in cans so I don’t have to cut all of them 🙂
I love to cook so I also always have spices on hand. Aldi and Fareway have the best prices on spices with Wal Mart coming in at a close third depending on the spice. Remember when shopping to not only check price, but the quantity. Aldi’s spices run 20 cents higher, but there’s almost double the amount in the container.