I have a love/hate relationship with the grocery store. I love that I can refill my pantry shelves and my fridge in order to feed my family, and it is fun to see some new products, and sometimes the displays look a little too appetizing. But, with the economy being less than stellar in the last several years, our family and a lot like ours have had to cut back and the place, in our family, where we seem to have cut back more is on our grocery bill.
We have done things like buying a lot more "store" or "off" brand products instead of the name-brand items, though sometimes with coupons the name brand ends up being cheaper. We use our store loyalty card and it is like we have won something when they state how much we saved. But, mostly, we go without. My husband has a lot more bologna meat sandwiches for lunch than he cares to, and instead of buying the name brand cereals with the cool pictures on them, we now buy bagged store brand cereals. Which I am not saying there is a problem with that, but it is just our reality now.
I make bread from scratch now, instead of buying it, which with so many recipes on the internet to try, that has not been a problem. We purchase our eggs from a dear friend from church. Which is actually a lot better than the store bought, as they are farm fresh, and so much healthier too.
But, our big money saver is that I do not buy red meat at the grocery store, ever! And the answer is, "Yes!" We do eat red meat, a lot more than before. We just raise it here at our house through the Spring, Summer and Fall, then come December 1st, or thereabouts, "Dinner", as I like to refer to him, goes away, and returns by Christmas in little white packages.
Now, I know that not everyone has room or other means to keep a large animal, but if you want to look into something like this, on a smaller scale, you can contact a butcher that you trust, and inquire about buying a whole beef, a half of one or even 1/4th of a beef, and you will still get a variety of meats for a reasonable price. For us this works well because we know what our animal is being fed, we know what he goes through each day, and we know how he is treated. We do supplement our diet with other meats, and once or twice a week we do a meatless meal, so we do not eat red meat for every meal. That isn't all that good for you anyway, but we use what we have, which also lessens the grocery bill each month.
On tap for the next few days.
Tonights Dinner: Rib Eye Steaks with Potato Salad and Corn
Tomorrow's Dinner: Pulled Beef Sandwiches and left over Potato Salad
(I will be starting the beef in the crock pot today, and let it cook for 18-24 hours. )