We’ve all experienced a time when money is tight. However, if you’re like me you don’t want to sacrifice quality (or your specialty coffee addiction). And let’s face it, once you’ve experienced quality ingredients it’s so hard to go back, especially when it comes to feeding your family.
So I’m going to share with you how we’ve managed to keep freshness and quality at the top of our priority list (except when Daniel is craving McDonald’s… sorry) while sticking to a tight budget.
1) Do It Yourself
This is actually my only point. But it’s HUGE.
When money is tight it’s actually easier to stick to this concept because the box of frozen corndogs that calls my name from across the store is easier to resist when I only have $15 in my grocery budget.
“But Darby, we’re so delicious and you don’t have to cook.”
SHUT UP CORNDOG, YOU DON’T KNOW ME.
I have a serious junk food problem, obviously.
My favorite thing to do is just walk around the store with no plan. I know that drives some of you crazy, but it works for me. I start with produce and meat. Whatever is on sale, I grab.
Not having a specific list allows me to buy higher quality ingredients because I can choose what’s in-season and on sale.
Once I get close to the register I decide what probably won’t work based on the type of cooking I usually do. Then I ditch those ingredients and head for the checkout.
This method has made me crazy-creative in the kitchen and it’s been awesome!
Some of my favorite dinners were born out of a lack of normal ingredients in the house.
One night I only had sweet potatoes, an onion, and a couple bell peppers. I cooked them down in a skillet with some chili powder and a few other seasonings then I served it with a fried egg on top. Cheap. Easy. And probably one of the best dinners I’ve ever made. Ask Daniel if you don’t believe me. He requests this meal OFTEN.
Last week I was even able to snag a pork tenderloin for almost 50% off. Pears were also on sale and I made a killer herb-crusted tenderloin with pear chutney. I would pay a million dollars for that dinner. Dramatic? Maybe. But I love pork. And I’m so happy that we can feed our family delicious food without leaving our kitchen. Because have you ever taken babies to a restaurant? People hate you. And you have to sell their toys to pay the bill.
Now, when it comes to coffee (I know I’m not supposed to say this as a coffee shop owner, but..)
…a latte a day gets expensive FAST. Don’t get me wrong, I think treating yourself to a hand crafted beverage from your favorite coffee shop is awesome. And we love seeing your good-lookin’ face. But if money is tight, it might be time to hone your brewing skills at home. That’s where we can help! You don’t have to drink bad coffee. Please. Don’t drink it. Especially if it’s old.
Once you’ve tasted a fresh roasted, quality product it’s so easy to acknowledge the difference, and so difficult to go back to drinking stale coffee.
The good news is, even buying high quality coffee can save you money if you’re brewing it at home. Check out our home brewing post here for tips and recipes. And find a coffee to fall in love with here . We also have a cold brew recipe so you can make amazingly smooth iced coffee. Brewing at home will cost you around 60 cents per cup. Compare that to your $4 coffee shop drink of choice and you just freed up some serious grocery money. You should definitely reward yourself for saving so much money… probably with a trip to the coffee shop. Life is about balance, right?