One of the ways I like to routinely save money is by using portion control with our groceries. It’s such a simple thing to do and my family doesn’t notice a difference at all.
Portion Controls No One Will Notice
I take a 5-pound package of hamburger, cook it all in one batch, then split it up in 10 zipper bags, cool it off, and freeze. Whereas, I used to get 5 servings out of that 5-lb pack, now I’m getting 10, and no one misses the difference. This literally doubles my portion size.
So, if hamburger is $3.99/lb and I buy 5 pounds, that’s $20 to contribute to 5 meals. But, if I split it, that’s $20 for 10 meals! I just saved myself $20 and my hamburger is ready to go when I am. I just defrost, super simple, and it saves me so much time. I’m very picky about freezing my food, and I cannot personally tell a difference in taste that it’s been frozen.
Have you ever noticed that when you go to a Mexican Restaurant, they give you free chips and salsa while you’re waiting? Or how Italian restaurants give you free garlic bread and salad? TGIF gives you free chips and salsa as well if you have their rewards card and show it to your server when you’re ordering.
Have you stopped to consider why?
It’s not because they have all the money in the world and just want to shower it on you, no. It’s because they want you to order and leave feeling full. If you’re hungry and you order TWO entrees just to fill your tummy, you’re going to know not to go back to THAT restaurant. Not when your check total is double the amount. But, if they give you a free item that is super inexpensive, you feel like your being taken care of, and you feel full when you leave. When someone gives you something for free, you’re much more likely to return, and they want your business.
The same is true in your home.
If a pot of Beef Stew costs you $10 to make, and that’s all everyone is having that evening for dinner, it adds up. But, if you give each person a bowl of soup, a salad (super inexpensive), and a couple of pieces of an apple (super inexpensive), not only are you hitting more of the basic food groups, but your total per person has gone drastically down. Likewise, you can save your leftovers for the next night. You can freeze them (which I like to do with enchiladas) or make the food the day before a potluck and contribute to it, etc. It’s all in the portion control.
I’m not saying to starve your family, but WHAT I AM SAYING is that you can get creative about what you’re feeding them, make it more of a balanced meal, and save money at the same time. When you begin doing this, you can start having the more expensive meals like: make your own pizza night, steak, or seafood. As long as you’re keeping the meals well-rounded, you’re good to go.