Budget Cutters: Saving EVEN MORE on Food

Photo Credit: Clare Bloomfield

Photo Credit: Clare Bloomfield

If you’ve read my Single Mom’s grocery list you know that I don’t spend much on food – at all. Over the past few months my food bill has lowered even more due to the fact that I am now brown bagging it.

In fact, I only ate out once last month and have vowed to only eat out for my birthday this month. That’s it! This is down from an at least 5 times a week eat out fest just six months ago.

While my grocery budget is low I am still looking to cut out $50 from my overall budget this month. My original $50 budget cut won’t be doable until next month, so here I am with the easiest category: food.

Cutting Out $50 in Grocery Money

You’re probably thinking by now that I am going to dive into the world of extreme couponing. Well, I’ve considered it but don’t have the time right now. So, extreme couponing isn’t the answer.

Instead I am hopping on board with fellow blogger Holly to eat up all the food I currently have in the house that just seems to sit there every month.

I loved Holly’s post Operation Frugality: Save Money by Eating Old Food.

So without further ado here are my misfit and excess foods.


My Excess and Old Food

My Excess and Old Food


Here’s a breakdown of the picture:

  • 6 Boxes of Mac n Cheese I got for $0.39/box
  • 9 Cans of Tuna
  • 2 Boxes of Instant Oatmeal
  • One Container of Oatmeal
  • Two Jars of Pasta Sauce (not the normal kind I use)
  • 12 Packs of Ramen Noodles
  • 3 Jars of Peanut Butter (1 Regular Creamy, 1 Organic, 1 Natural)

All of this stuff has just been sitting in my cabinet unused for quite some time. In addition I have four boxes of cereal that need used up.

Other Goodies:

  • I have *tons* of fresh veggies thanks to my dad’s big garden along with my small one. I even made my own homemade salsa this year!
  • A family member recently got a cow butchered. She had to clean out her freezer to make room which landed us a *ton* of beef in every size, shape, and cut you can think of. Plus a big bag of Schwan’s chicken, a couple Corky’s BBQ ribs, and a bag of shrimp.

Also I have all the baking supplies I need to whip up cakes, cookies, and cobblers. So, other than milk, juice, and Diet Mt. Dew I should be more than set for the month!!

I think I could really save the majority of my grocery budget this month and a good bit of it over the next few months, thanks to all the free meat I got. I’ve even considered making a menu plan so that we actually have good dinners instead of PB&J three times a week. We shall see!

Big thanks to Holly for the inspiration to actually eat the food I buy! Did anyone else decide to use up all their excess and old food?


  1. says

    I have very less cupboard space to stack up my groceries and hence I buy in limited version. I just make a weekly menu list and go accordingly with my left over items in my freezer. This way I make sure I use my old food to cut down on my grocery bill

  2. says

    Great strategy. I’ve been bringing my own lunch for years now and the savings definitely add up. But Holly brought up a great point about simply using the things you already have. We all have items that have been left unused for too long. That’s just a waste.

    • Alexa says

      It is. Im still not sure why we even buy these items when we go grocery shopping. I guess if I bought it I should probably eat it.

    • says

      Ramen burgers! Is that like the latest food craze…I saw a couple of people post pics of it on FB and read an article about it. I love Ramen and I love burgers so that must make a great combination. I’ll have to try it. We were able to clear out some misfit foods as we didn’t have too much time to go food shopping with the baby.

      • Alexa says

        Lol….I sent Holly a link to a Ramen Burger Post on Twitter. I don’t think she thought it was such a good idea. It doesn’t sound the most appealing to me but I do wanna try it just to see what those Ramen hamburger buns are like. You never know they may be good.

  3. says

    The only saving grace I have is that I hardly ever eat out, but other than that I’m a terrible cook with very limited cupboard space, so I just try to buy small amounts of stuff and use it in “real time.” I know I don’t get the best deals like everyone who can really stock up, but I feel better at least knowing Im not wasting food anymore. And I’m picky so my tastes change from day to day. I’ve never been good at meal planning. :( Good luck with your challenge!

    • Alexa says

      I suck at meal planning and cooking too. It’s not that I’m a terrible cooks it’s just usually the last thing I want to do after coming home from work.

  4. christie says

    You got a great assortment of food with the beef and veggies plus your pantry. I think you can make PB cookies and oatmeal cookies ! ~ Christie

  5. says

    Yay for eliminating food waste! We have cans that we always buy for food storage, but it’s getting crazy. I’m going to have to go through some of them to give to the food bank, because we’re obviously not using them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. says

    Yes I think that’s an awesome idea. What a score on the meat. I wish somebody would give me a portion of a cow. :-)

    I few weeks ago I challenged myself to do a meal plan from the pantry and freezer. I ended up spending only $20 at the grocery store that week (linked above). When hubs and I did our budget, we saved over $120 on food last month. I was scratching my head trying to figure out why, then I remembered what I had done. It’s going to be a regular challenge for me now.

  7. says

    Thanks for a fun post Alexa!

    As a single male, I eat out a lot…although I have begun to curb this habit in recent months. Now I’m down to about three days a week rather than the full 7!!

    Having unused food however is not an issue since I usually do grocery shopping every other day so nothing gets a chance to pile up in the fridge or cupboards, except for maybe some pasta and rice.

    On a side note, I’m now curious about those Ramen burgers :)

    Take care and all the best.


  8. says

    Depending on how much you like to cook from scratch, you might be able to save even more in the future. Here in my country we like to make our own compote and jam, tomato sauce etc. We freeze grilled eggplants and peppers (in the summer they’re cheap, their price is huge during winter) for various salads and meals etc.

    If you have access to a garden, you can make plum, apricot, peach, apple etc. jams (they’ll be healthy and not expensive, compared to what you’re buying from the store), various sauces etc.


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