Recently I have been really trying hard to bring our grocery budget down. It gives us more money in other areas of our budget that need it more. I'm shopping sales, coupons (occassionally often they are not any better for me) and Aldis. Because I am cooking from scratch and refusing to buy packaged as much as possible, it is really working. We generally do between $350 and $400 a month for the family, including diapers & formula.
What I cannot do is sit down and make a menu at the beginning of the week and shop for it. I may go hog wild shopping one week, and then not shop again for a couple of weeks - letting dh pick up the necessary milk on his way home. I buy staples - canned goods, rice, pasta, frozen veggies and meat.
I plan menus based on what needs to be used up. But, because my pantry is stocked I can be flexible and it doesn't cause a crisis run to the grocery store.
Point-in-fact, this weekend we were given another gallon size bag of ham slices. This is on top of the existing 10 qt-size bags of ham & 2 ham bones already in the freezer. We had just had ham two weeks ago, for several days. But, needed to use this, plus it was Free!
Need some new use-up ham recipes. So, I head to the internet.... So many recipes, so little time. And, because my pantry was stocked there were very little recipes I could not go ahead and make. I ended up printing off 6 to try.
Tonight - Ham Jambalaya
Tomorrow - Ham & Broccoli Macaroni Casserole
Breakfast one morning - Ham & Hash Browns casserole
The other three I will try out during April.
It's nice having a pantry - and cheap!