While living in the RV we made due with just a few drawers and one small cupboard for groceries. Our fridge was the size of a kids play kitchen so we had to get crafty. It looked like a chore at first but we quickly realized how much money we were actually saving each month and how much food we were wasting weekly before this lifestyle change.
Now that we’re in our house, the game hasn’t changed. We love what we learned living small and we’ve carried it over here!
How we grocery shop
We plan on shopping every weekend for a good home cooked Sunday night meal and for a few extra dinners. I also grab enough stuff for the kids lunches that week. We are pretty spontaneous and love spur of the moment visits from friends, going over to other people’s houses for dinner, and last minute date nights. Shopping for just 2-3 dinners allows us to do this without wasting money on that food we would have bought and then kinda forces us to get creative with our cupboard if we do stay home.
I usually head to the store once more or grab a few miscellaneous items while shopping at target during the week. Our grocery bill went from $350 a week to $150-200 a week shopping this way. And this is during the holidays where it is usually less during “ non entertaining” seasons.
So what do we buy and what do we make?
Our favorite tool is the instant pot. This has saved us a ton of money because it makes delicious meals and we can make larger quantities and have left overs. It also allows us to make yummy meals much faster!
Chicken noodle soup instant pot recipe
– 3 tablespoons butter
– mirepoix mix from trader joe
– 2 tablespoons garlic
– 1 rotisserie chicken (remove all the meat from it and save the bones/carcass)
– 1 teaspoon thyme
– 1 teaspoon oregano
– 4 cups chicken stock
– 5 oz egg noodles
1) Put instant pot on saute mode, add butter, mirepoix mix, garlic, thyme, oregano and saute for about 3 or 4 minutes.
2) Add chicken stock, carcass, bones and chicken.
3) Close the lid and set it to soup setting for 7 minutes
4) Quick release the pressure from the instant pot
5) Remove the bones and carcass
6) Add noodles and set on soup setting for another 5 minutes
7) release pressure
I love grabbing ingredients that can be used in a bunch of different ways. Tortillas for enchilada, quesadillas, breakfast burritos. Sausage that can be used in a pasta, on top of a salad, or just BBQ that baby.. you get the picture. We make a lot of homemade soups with fresh ingredients as well. The kids lunches are made up of either a sandwich, tortilla roll up, ham and cheese, or left overs. I don’t usually buy pre made snacks or pre baggged kids snacks. They tend to cost a lot more then us just putting it in our own bags.
There are so many perks to shopping and eating this way. Everything you eat is fresh, you’re saving money, and you also give yourself the opportunity to be adventurous throughout the week!
If you want to start this with a full pantry, I would challenge yourself to go through as much of your cupboards as possible… get weird, get creative, and have fun with the family trying to make up recipes to use ingredients you have. If you don’t feel that gutsy (or maybe your stomach wouldn’t be able to handle it) take your extra cans and donate them to a local food drive.