Being aware is a priority, but we also look for ways to stretch our money when we can.
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• I'm not a stranger to buying clearance-marked meats, but I just started buying bakery rolls and bread. I freeze them immediately and thaw what I need on those nights when we really want garlic bread, but as usual, forgot to put it on the grocery list.
• The quietest day to grocery shop is Sunday.
• The best-stocked day to grocery shop is Wednesday--at least in the states.
• Shop an hour before the store closes. That's usually past my bedtime, but the few times I've been out, the store was giving away bakery goods and rotisserie chickens. It's happened to me several times, so this is standard practice for some stores.
• Is your milk nearing its expiration date? Freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can move them to freezer bags. You can do this with juice too.
• Cilantro always goes bad on me before I can use it a second time. A friend showed me to clip the stems of the remaining cilantro and stick it in a jar with water. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
• Weigh pre-bagged fruits and vegetables. You'd be surprised how much a five-pound bag of potatoes can vary.
How's your budget so far this year? Have you had any surprise expenses come up? We've had a few, most notably Maggie's large vet bill, but we managed to absorb it. As long as no one else gets sick for a couple more months, we'll be sitting pretty. :)