Originally Posted by Shmead
One more thing: don't hoard food. Eat whatever is in your pantry, and once you have it empty, keep it empty, buying just what you need for the week. Food hoarding is an expensive habit because it keeps accumulating--without realizing it, you keep buying things you don't intend to use any time soon, and sometimes you keep buying the same thing over and over because you don't realize what you have.
Part of not hoarding is committing to going to the grocery store as often as needed. When it was the "rule" that I only went once a week, I tended to overbuy "just in case". Now, I buy exactly what I think I need and when tempted to buy more, I remind myself 'I can come back'.
I REALLY have to disagree with you there... Perhaps you live near a grocery store, and you probably have a fairly reliable income, but for me, that would just not work. My fiance works construction. When he is working, we do not want for groceries, and because I "hoard" food, we also do not want for groceries when he's not working. (In construction, if it's raining, snowing, windy, hot, etc, there is a chance the check that week will be smaller. Also, when a job ends, it may take a week or two before a new one starts.) This week for example, is a week where he is not working because one job ended, and the other hasn't started yet. This week we are eating from our "hoard". It's nice to have a stash of good healthy food to fall back on. Also we save a TON of money this way. For instance, Last week, I found stovetop stuffing on sale for $.04 a box. I bought enough for thanksgiving, AND Christmas (I'd've bought more, but thats not really a healthy staple... lol). Canned veggies were also on sale for half off... more stock up. Why on earth would I want to pay twice as much next week when I can buy extra now. Or next month for that matter? If I have a little grocery money left over, why not buy 10 cans of corn at $.50 a can?
When our pantry is empty, it's time to spend some MAJOR grocery dough, or I'll end up ordering pizza, or swinging through a drive through... ick.
I also buy extra veggies and fruit at farmers markets and dry them, or freeze them, etc. Anything to keep that freezer and pantry FULL. (Bake sweet potato slices and beet slices into chips... yummy, dehydrated berries are great in oatmeal, I once found them for $.99 a quart, I bought 5 and dehydrated 4.
I am glad you found a system that works for you, but in the long run I'd rather save the money...