Today I have a guest post from my friend Jessica. Jessica and I started our blogs at about the same time. I instantly loved her site, and have been reading it ever since. She amazes me with all she does in caring for six kids, homeschooling, freezer cooking, blogging, and more. When we were able to meet in person a few months ago, we realized that we have so much in common, including a love of food and cooking. When Jessica realized that I have had a very busy couple of weeks, she offered to guest post for me. Thank you Jessica!
My mom always called me her gourmet” since I was willing to try new foods and I loved to eat. When I went to college, my love of good food exploded as I discovered all sorts of new ingredients like Parmesan cheese that didn’t come from a green can and garlic that wasn’t in powder form. Who knew the world was full of such great things? I was ready to explore!
What I also learned at that time was that to explore the culinary world the way I wanted and to have a well-stocked pantry, I was going to need a well-stocked wallet. For years I dreamt of having an unlimited grocery budget.
Hmm…. yeah. Well, that hasn’t happened. I’ve got six children to feed and one income to do it on.
But I have learned how to keep on hand a wide range of ingredients, even specialty items, at lower than average costs.
Here’s how you, too, can create a well-stocked pantry without the well-stocked wallet:
- Keep track of prices. Whether it’s spices or a bag of flour, keep track of prices so that you’ll know a good deal when you see one. When you find something at a rock bottom price, buy as many of that item as the budget will allow and that you’ll use within a reasonable amount of time.
- Find the best sources of the products you use most often or which are regularly the most expensive. In my area, spices are a great deal at Costco or the health food store, while I get my best prices on meats at the standard grocery store. Consider alternate sources such as Amazon and online stores which also offer good prices and sales from time to time.
- Stock up wisely. If it’s a product you know you will use, buy a lot of it. Just be sure to check expiration dates. Don’t buy something that will go stale before you’ve had a chance to use it up. If you see a good deal on something you may or may not like, avoid buying a truckload until you’ve had a chance to test it. It’s not a deal if you won’t use it.
While stocking a pantry on a limited budget is a challenge, it is definitely doable, even without an unlimited grocery budget.
– Jessica Fisher, also known as FishMama, is a happy wife and the mother of six young children. She regularly shares parenting tips and tricks at Life as MOM and delicious ways to act your wage at Good Cheap Eats.