Wednesday, March 1, 2017

5 Days of Frugal Eating Series

Welcome to 5 Days of Frugal Eating. 

When you think of frugal eating, what do you envision?  The books I've picked up often assume you can afford a lot more than I could at my lowest budget point. I needed something cheaper than thrifty cooking. 

I thought about calling this 5 days of Survival Cooking, but visions of bunkers of stored food or roughing it in the woods came to mind.  That's not what I mean by survival cooking. 

To me, as a mom with four (now three) children at home, survival cooking is filling tummies for the least possible amount of money.  It's not always the best nutritionally.  In fact, it's carbohydrate heavy.  Why?  Carbs are cheap.  Pasta, rice, potatoes—you get the picture.  This is not meant to be a long-term way of eating.  This is getting by when things are their worst until things get better.

My view of frugal eating came as a result of circumstances. Because of corporate downsizing, we found ourselves in a position of lifestyle downsizing, and downsizing, and finally downsizing to a point where we were just trying to survive. During that time period, I learned to cook many things, nearly all from scratch, that kept my family from going hungry in the leanest of times.

In these 5 days of Frugal Eating posts, I'll share some of the things I've done to make a small grocery budget work for our family of six.  Today, I just want to give you some things to think about.

5 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED

1.  If your family doesn't like it or won't eat it, don't buy it.  No matter how cheap it is, it's too expensive to throw out food.

2.  Start a binder or list of all the foods you can make even if they're not frugal.  Then highlight the frugal ones.

3.  Bake.  I found that if I didn't think ahead and bake bread, biscuits, etc., mealtime became super stressed as I tried to find something, anything to make the meager portions stretch.

4.  Someone once told me, "Always have your hand in the next meal."  She meant always be preparing ahead of time.  So remember to soak the beans tonight for tomorrow's meal.  Cook the rice ahead of time.  That kind of thing.

5.  Pray.  Pray when you check what you have on hand.  Pray when you make your lists.  Pray while you're shopping.  Invite Father God to be your shopping partner.

Trust God, dear ladies. You can do this.
You can do this through Christ who strengthens you.

God bless you!
Laura 
Happy at Home

You can read the rest of the series below.

This article is featured in issue #132 of
The Christian Home Magazine.



See my Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #94!





Wednesday 
Savvy Southern Style - Homestead Blog Hop - Christian Blogger Link Up - Raising Homemakers - A Wise Woman Builds Her Home -  Wow Us Wednesday - Wonderful Wednesdays -  Making a Home Homemaking Party
Thursday 
 Home and Garden Thursday -  Share Your Cup Thursday  
 Imparting Grace - Sitting Among Friends No Rules Weekend Blog Party 
Friday 
Home Matters
Monday
Mommy Moments  Amaze Me Monday - Living Proverbs 31 - Mommy Monday
The Art of Homemaking    Modest Mondays

43 comments:

  1. Great advice to start the week! Looking forward to the rest of your posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find them linked at the end of this post Kym.
      Blessings,
      Laura

      Delete
  2. I also have four kids and know how much it takes to feed them. Thanks for the advice and for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the advice! It's hard to find a balance between frugal and nutritious.



    (here via flour me with love)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can definitely relate to your suggestions and I appreciate you linking up!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very good advice! I try to do all those things on a regular basis as well. Thank you for sharing at TTF and have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this. We are frugal too, with one income. I would love to see you at Thursday Food Fest at http://www.theeaseoffreeze.com. Have a blessed day. Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  7. Boy, do I need this! Thanks for linking up at The Prudent Pantry!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your "survival" meal plans sound very similar to my own. I especially like the line "Always have your hand in the next meal", which is a very important statement. Tired cooks with hungry family and no plan is almost always going to result in an unpleasant experience. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! (visiting from The Backyard Farming Connection Hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas
    www.taylormaderanch.com/blog

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great tips! And baking does stretch the budget and no-one ever complains about a homemade baked anything! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Jes, sometimes they complain about the low carb, sugar free things I've been trying! Throw in lots of butter and sugar, and everything tastes great!

      Delete
  10. I am excited and this came at a perfect time for me. You have NO idea. It is a God thing. I am looking forward to any tips shared. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'm so glad Mrs. Chrissy! You can click through the links on the bottom of the post to go to the other posts in the series. This is one that I've updated to share again.

      Delete
  11. Hello Mrs. Laura,

    Great tips. In our early years, we followed the same advise.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

    ReplyDelete
  12. P.S. Mrs. Laura,

    I have to tell you your bird song on your blog sounds so realistic that when I first heard it I thought, "Oh my! How wonderful ... the birds are returning home early. Is this a sign that spring is almost here?" Although many across the U.S. may be enter spring, up here on the Montana prairie we won't see spring until late April.
    The bird songs are such a welcome for this winter weary girl. Thanks for sharing them through your blog.

    Blessings, again,
    Mrs.B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoy it Mrs. B. We never had winter here...quite peculiar and disappointing.

      I hope you have an early thaw.
      Blessings,
      Laura

      Delete
  13. I love that -have you hands in the next meal. All good ideas! I fell into the trap while I was heavy couponing of buying things I didn't need or like. I could have spent the extra dollars on something we would like. I stopped that real quick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why I don't coupon much anymore.

      Delete
  14. Fantastic tips.. I think at one time or another, we have all had to face the "lean days".. Love your tips and encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ​It takes skills, but they can be learned.
      Be blessed!
      Laura​

      Delete
  15. What great tips Laura! I always try to make things stretch anyways. I hate wasting food. I bake and cook meals from scratch 98% of the time...I have 2 kids that have sensitivities to MSG, one that can't eat peanuts or have dyes. So, to stretch the grocery bill and to keep some healthy options for my boys is a must! When food goes on sale, I stock up for those hard times.
    God is our provider of everything including our food budget!

    Enjoy your day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a wise woman Miss Amy! Wish we lived closer. I'd invite you over for a piece of chocolate meringue pie!

      Delete
  16. Great post. I love the one about always having your hand in the next meal. So true when you live frugally! I found out real quick not to buy things we don't use even if you can buy them for hardly nothing. You could have spent those pennies on something they all like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to work more at keeping the hand in the next meal. Funny how, even with making 3 meals a day for years, suddenly it can be suppertime, and it surprises me!

      Delete
  17. Good morning Laura,
    When I was feeding my children on a super tight budget, meals were most always rounded out with a homemade bread like biscuits or cornbread. There was usually a homemade dessert too.
    Prices are different now. Bake then, the dessert ingredients were so cheap, it truly cost just pennies to make scratch cakes or brownies.
    Most breads are still pretty low in cost to make but dessert ingredients seem a lot more expensive now.

    ReplyDelete
  18. So glad you did this! I've certainly been in survival mode, still find myself there some of the time! Who doesn't?
    In '83 when I married, I had a baby shortly after, and also custody of my 3 bonus children. It was never easy, never was there enough money, so we survived on a lot of gumbo's, a lot of chili, a lot of pasta dishes with no meat. We survived!
    There are so many women (and men!) who are dealing with feeding families on a very short, very breakable, very limited budget!
    Keep these coming my friend, we all need them!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laurie. The rest of the series is linked in the related posts section. I was rewriting an old series. I may do an expansion of this since it seems to be a real need.
      Be blessed!
      Laura

      Delete
  19. I’m so glad I found this series. I’m struggling with meal times at my house! It’s bookmarked so I can read the other posts! Thank you for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think carbs have kept many a family alive and kicking in lean times! After I moved to KS, I met a couple of ladies that told me about growing up in large families and lean times. They said potatoes and pancakes were a regular meal. And one of them said it was a HUGE deal when they had meat. And the kids would all be excited even when *the meat* turned out to be one single hot dog sliced very thinly and mixed into their potatoes.

    I grew up in an Hispanic family so we ate beans. Lots of beans! My grandma would put a little bit of cubed pork in them for flavor and they were delicious. She made flour tortillas every morning. I had no idea that anybody ate any different or that we were poor. The house was immaculately taken care of and I was well fed! I think if my Grandpa had sat down at the table and said, "What? Beans again?", it might've been different, but he always smiled big at my Grandma and said, "Mmmmmm..." and he'd raise his eyebrows up and down at me and smack his lips! I adored my Grandpa and if he said it was wonderful, I knew it was!

    Beans were our version of potatoes!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Debbie! What a gift to your family from your grandpa. That's wonderful. Thank you for sharing that memory with me. We like beans, too. I could eat them nearly every day, but they don't like my husband. ~wink~
      Be blessed!
      Laura

      Delete
  21. Great ideas! Btw, your bird sounds totally took me off guard. I thought, "Oh my goodness! There are some crazy birds out this morning!" LOL :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cindy,
      I've given up on snow. I'm enjoying the budding trees and spring breezes. Thanks for talking back to me. ~smile~
      Laura

      Delete
  22. So encouraging---thanks! Yes, I've noticed that many of the "thrifty" articles I come across are not as thrifty as I need them to be! Ha! When someone suggests ground beef as a cheap ingredient, I usually move along. Ground beef is about $5 a pound at my Walmart and we need at least 3 lbs. a meal to do much of anything with!

    About a week and a half ago, I was shopping for a day's meal the day before payday. I literally had just a few dollars and was trying to come up with stuff for all three meals. We were out of everything! As I went through the store, I kept saying in my head, "what do I have in my hands?" I remembered you and all your great frugal advice and was able to combine what I still had in the cupboards with random things from Walmart...and look! I'm still alive to write about it! Ha!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! Ground beef used to be a cheap meat. No more.
      When I'm really short on money, I've actually walked through the store praying aloud a conversation with God about showing me what to buy.

      Delete
  23. Wise words. Thanks for sharing these tips. I am transitioning into once a month shopping (except for fresh and sale items) and I am glad to read this today.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great tips Laura! I have been there and done some of these. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great ideas Laura! We actually had sour dough pancakes and eggs for dinner tonight. I needed to use my starter and didn't have time to bake bread today. Tasted good for a change. We don't always need a big fancy dinner! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Simple is sometimes best. For lunch, I stretched a little chicken and dumplings leftover from last night by adding extra milk and some cornstarch. No one complained. It was yummy.

      Delete

Hello! I love it when y'all talk back!

I read all the comments I receive. I'm taking a short spring break, so I will have a lot of messages when I get back online. If you would like a reply to your comment, please be sure to leave your email address and ask me for a response. I moderate all comments, so it your comments won't show on the blog until I get back in the swing of things.

Thanks so much for your patience!

It will be good for me to unplug for a bit. Know what I mean?
Be blessed!
Laura