Learning to Be a Thrifty Cook
by Brenda Hyde of http://www.seedsofknowledge.com

Learning to be a frugal cook will benefit you and your family all year round. It will allow you to spend money in other areas of your life where you may need it. Your family will also be much healthier! A thrifty cook doesn't waste money on processed TV Dinners and prepared foods. Sure, there are some things that are too good to pass up, but for the most part meals are easy and taste better when you do it yourself.

I would like to talk about the warehouse stores, like Sam's Club. You can save money IF you are very selective about what you buy. I have found the following are always good buys:

*All types of Cheese *Pepperoni *Sausage *Butter or Margarine *Noodles and Pasta *Canned Vegetables *Tuna *Milk and eggs *Unbranded Salad Dressings *Spices

There are other good buys, but you have to be cautious. We have a family of four, and some things are just too large for us to use before they spoil. You have to look at what your family uses the most and buy based on that, not on "the deal" of the big package.

The cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and butter can all be frozen. I use quart freezer bags for this purpose and I only have a refrigerator freezer. If you pack tightly you can store what you will need.

You cannot do all of your grocery shopping at the warehouse stores. I find I can get most things, except the above items, cheaper by shopping the sales at the local stores.

Being prepared is one thing a thrifty cook should always be. Those last minute trips to the store are killers to your budget. Plan out your spending and know which stores have the best deals for your family, then stick with it. Here are some resources I have found to be helpful.

Resources ~~~~~~~~~~~ My Meal Plan http://www.mymealplan.com/ 

I had read so much about this site, that I visited and signed up. It is nice, but be careful about the more expensive recipes if you are on a tight budget. It is definitely a place to spend some time, and the set up is very user friendly, and fun!

Land O' Lakes http://www.landolakes.com/ 

I have been a member at this site for a year now. I receive a polite email once in a awhile; no spam. It's very well done and a very nice site. You can order free brochures, and sign up for the meal planner. Your information is stored online. It really is great, and I like the fact that even though it is commercial they didn't bombard me with emails or advertisements. This site will also help you with organization!

Written by: Brenda Hyde, Grand Rapids, MI USA

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