When my husband and I made the decision that I would stay at home with my daughter once she was born, we realized there would have to be some huge changes to our budget.
A few months before my daughter was born I started researching, studying and investing time into learning how to use coupons to my advantage, stockpile successfully and stretch every last penny out of our very meager budget.
I learned the "drugstore game" quickly and filled up our linen closets with personal care products for pennies. I branched out and started using coupons everywhere (and yes, when I say everywhere...I mean it! I once used lightbulb coupons at a hardware store and got energy efficient lightbulbs for 25 cents a piece.) Anyways, the one area we still were having a hard time seeing significant savings was at the grocery store. We eat fresh produce, buy only fresh boneless/skinless chicken, and eat whole grain products.
Coupons for these items don't come along frequently, but when they do (or when there is a great sale) we stock up! We have continued to cut costs in this area, but with groceries still costing us over $200 a month on average--we decided to try out some freezer cooking this month. Only time will tell how we'll benefit, but having a variety of dinners, breakfast items, and meal components in the freezer is definitely exciting! I'm pretty confident that some of the items (making and freezing our own hashbrowns and fries) is bound to save us a little bit here or there---but again, we'll have to see this month just how much it pays off!
(Mr. B shredding potatoes to flash freeze for hashbrowns)
I lost a total count, but with a great deal of effort on my husband's part (I was busy working for my part-time job a lot of last weekend) we managed to stuff these items into our freezer:
2 pans of enchiladas
2 pans of lasagna
6 chicken/bacon/cheese subs ready to be pressed for grilled sandwiches!
homeade breakfast pastries
homeade breakfast sandwiches
plain hamburger meat
16 chicken/bean/cheese burritos
All in all...we didn't accomplish everything on our list, but this gave us a nice start! Plus, cooking in bulk will save us time in preparation, clean-up, and the cost of ingredients!
(Lucy trying out the breakfast pastry--she loved it, but was also sick last weekend and looks so sad in this photo!)