Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Saving Money On Food

We are now living on about $20,000 a year for the four of us (two humans and two finicky felines) so stretching our food dollar is very important to us.

We are getting much better at it.   Since Jamey lost his job on February 2, 2019 (which cut our monthly income by almost 60%), we have only thrown out human food twice.   (Cat food is another matter but that is why we started this blog - to find ways to keep our pampered felines living the lifestyle to which they prefer to remain accustomed.)

One of the first things we did after our 2000 Chevrolet Impala died on March 2, 2019 was dip into savings to make two purchases (both of which we got on sale) as we knew that even getting to the store to buy groceries was going to become difficult for us without a car.

We purchased a  7.1 cu foot Thompson Chest freezer online from Sam's Club on March 12, 2019

7.1 cu foot Thompson Chest Freezer
Our new freezer allows us to batch cook and store plenty of food now.
We store our dry goods (such as rice and beans) in pails.

and an Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker and Warmer from Amazon. 

7-in1 Multi-Use Instant Pot
Our new Instant Pot makes it so much easier to batch cook large amounts
of rice and dried beans so that we can make 6 - 8 freezer meals at a time.

Having the two of those has allowed us to start doing bulk purchases of things like rice and beans online and batch cook them and freeze them.  That is saving us a lot of money over what we had been doing before - buying a lot of frozen dinners.    Since Jamey eats meat and I am vegetarian and prefer not to touch meat, Jamey has started to learn to cook.   I do things like prepare batches of rice and beans or potatoes and beans and keep a portion aside for myself.  Then Jamey adds his meat and seasonings to the rest of it and makes stews for himself.

Jamey adding spices to his meat stew
Our kitchen is very wheelchair accessible. 
There is nothing under the sink so our wheelchairs can easily fit under it and we can maneuver around
in it as needed to cook.  Here Jamey is adding his spices to the Instant Pot to make his meat stew.

I label them all so that we know both when they were frozen and when they were taken out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator to thaw.  We are very careful to monitor what is in the refrigerator at all times so that other than one banana that went bad on me and one container of his rice, beans and chicken that ended up out of sight in the back of the refrigerator, we have not wasted any human food at all since Jamey lost his job.   (We were wasting very little before that but with an almost 60% income cut, we are being even more careful now.)

Some of our freezer meals
Each batch cooked meal is labelled with the date when it is frozen. 
When it is removed from the freezer (see the center one in front) a second date is added so that we know when it was put in the refrigerator.  Monitoring this date, allows us to make sure that food is eaten before it goes bad. 
Not wasting food is a crucial part of our frugal lifestyle.

Yes, we follow much of Dave Ramsey's advice including "living on rice and beans and beans and rice" while getting out of debt. (Although we also batch cook things and freeze things like spaghetti too and I eat a lot of oatmeal, also purchased in bulk.) In future posts, we will also be updating our journey to get 100% out of debt while living on a limited income. 

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  1. This is Robin

  2. I find lentils and mung beans are the easiest to digest.
    also, an interesting site detailing benefits of Kitchari.


  3. Diana, this is my fourth try at trying to respond to your comment. For some reason, the reply function was not working so I had to set up comments a different way. Hopefully this time it will go through.

    We have had our Instant Pot for only about a month so far the only dried lentils we have experimented with have been pinto beans. We have others on hand though and will be trying them over the next few weeks. I was not aware of Kitchari. Thank you for the information on it.

  4. I am trying another solution for being able to reply to comments on here. I did manage to get a reply to you posted below (not as a reply, just as a regular comment), so this is just yet another test to see if I can find a way to get Blogger to allow me to post a reply to a comment.

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    1. Thank you. I know I am overdo on our weekly online income round up blog post but I just can not do it right now as Jamey and I are both sick. I hope to get it posted soon. Thank you for your kind words and your interest in our site.


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