Friday, January 3, 2014

Austerity measures in the kitchen

Half my problem: Shopping hungry and without a list.
"Do you have any idea how much we spent on groceries last month?! Go on, hazard a guess. Guess big!"

I tried to weigh whether the question resulted from Mr. T's typical post-Christmas we're-out-of-money blues or if perhaps I really did spend a king's ransom on food. So, I replied with an extreme, "Three thousand dollars" (joking, I hoped).

While I didn't drop anywhere near that, I did buy triple our normal food budget last month. Yikes. 

So I quickly retorted: "Well, we threw a baby shower, the White Elephant party, Christmas morning brunch, plus we brought dishes to three holiday meals and two more small soirees besides. AND we didn't go out to dinner once last month. AND I buy a lot of organic stuff..."

All of those excuses and mouths fed didn't change the fact that I shopped like a mom of six teenage boys.


Given the Back 40 revamp in progress and my own chagrin, I've agreed to some austerity measures for the month of January, at least. To that end, I'm cutting our food budget in half, which, when I factor in that we try to eat organic meat, dairy and fresh produce, may be a difficult gambit.

Luckily, I've got a freezer and pantry full of staples, and I'll be spending the weekend researching ways to save on food, maximize menu planning and minimize food waste. All while still eating well. Without extreme couponing. Any hot tips or suggestions? Let me know!



  1. Once in a while we do a "go with the food you have" week or even more. I see how long I can go without shopping and try to use up all the weird mix of half filled pasta boxes and strange things in the freezer. It is a challenge, but emptying the cupboards is so satisfying.

    1. I need to schedule one of those every few months, for sure!