- Stay out of the grocery store. Here lately it seems that this is truly the best way for me to save my family money in any category - just don't go shopping.
- When we run out of bread or milk, make a list and send my husband. He is very good about only getting what is on the list. He doesn't look down any aisles for good buys or sale items. He grabs what is on the list and gets it done.
- Remember to thaw out the meat for the next day's meal. I don't know why I let this slide. I know that each night at supper we are going to need to eat again the next night. Like Nike, just do it.
- Keep the dishes clean. Do you know that lots of families tend to go out because the sink is full of dishes? Ours does. Who wants to cook a meal when you haven't cleaned up from the previous one? Use your dishwasher as the sink. Clean it out and then put all dirty dishes in it as they become dirty. Another tip that my grandmother always lived by (and they never ate out) was to wash the pots and pans all along during the preparation. When the meal is done, there are very few items left to wash and clean up is a snap.
- If we have a craving (or as we call it - a hankering) for something, put it on the list to have next week. Don't run out to the store to buy just one item, and especially don't go to the grocery store just for tonight's meal. I tend to buy too much if it's right after work. Of course, we have to add snacks for my 5 year old and all of us are thirsty.
So now I have a plan albeit a small one. I'm going to print this out and tape to my refrigerator door as a reminder of my plan for the week.