Friday, January 25, 2013

Balancing My Nutrition Budget #LoveCDNBeef @CanadianBeef


I don't know about you, but for us, January is often pretty tight when it comes to finances. It's right after the Holidays and though we have a budget for our Christmas spending, January is a time when our family tends to buckle down on spending. I'm married to a frugal farmer, so we don't tend to spend much in the first place, but even more so in January. January for us is cutting back on spending and on other things as well!

How many of you have had to wear your comfy pants for Christmas dinner? All the festivities and celebrating with food seem common for most during the Holidays. Winter makes me want to hibernate because with -20 something temperature plus windchill, the cold is too harsh to enjoy our favourite outdoor Winter activities.
Yet, we still need to keep busy and active.

Some of the things I do to save time and money in our house:

  • Make food stretch - I know this sounds extremely frugal of me, but I often use one piece of meat (enough for 1 person) to feed my family of three. Instead of everyone getting their own steak, I use a single portion and do a stiry-fry with loads of veggies.
  • Cook in big batches and freeze - Kind of like Canadian Beef's "big batch beef" recipe. I find if I make batches of chili, lasagna or cabbage rolls and freeze some for future meals, it cuts down on time and prep...and saves a busy mom's sanity.
  • Keep our freezer full - As a farming family, our freezers are always full. I freeze the produce from our gardens for Winter use. We have a freezer for beef and other meats, a freezer for vegetables and fruits/berries, and a freezer for other things like bread, baked goods, etc.
  • Make a list & avoid impulse shopping - Having a list and knowing what you need at the grocery store really does save time and money. Go in, get what you need, pay, and leave! Easy in and out shopping helps avoid the risk of impulse shopping. We're usually pretty good at this, except when Little One decides she'd like to buy something like ready-made sushi or something! Don't go shopping when you're hungry! :)  
Canadian Beef has some great tips on saving as well!

Canadian Beef's Registered Dietician, Karine Gale shares some fabulous tips on Balancing My Budget here.

Some other fabulous tips for saving include: Top 5 Beef Tips to help you save money and time,  and Top 10 grocery shopping tips to stretch your food dollar. I love these tips! I'm happy to say that I do most of these. Some are new to me, but I'll definitely be putting into practice (like 1. Do Some Legwork &
Plan out a week’s worth of meals in advance and 10. Store your Groceries Properly to Avoid Waste).

Check out the Canadian Beef site for more helpful info. You can also connect with them on Twitter and Facebook!

What are some of the things  you do in your home to save time and money?


Disclosure: I am a Canadian Beef Ambassador and have been compensated for this post. However, all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way by my association with the program.

11 comments:

Country Mouse, City Mouse said...

We only shop grocery sales and are very careful about checking the flyers as they come out at the end of the week. We always stock up when things are on sale.

Mommy_Jennof3 said...

I need to invest in those ideas! I'm a last minute cook. I never plan ahead and usually get frustrated when I don't have everything I need (which means daily stops at the grocery store!). Not economical at all!

Multi-Testing Mommy said...

Our freezer is so full right now, I actually told my hubby we can't buy any more food until we eat some! Great tips!
mmmmm....beef!

Cheryl L said...

That's a pretty packed freezer you have there!

As for money saving tips - we do bulk cooking a lot with whatever is on sale at the grocery store. We make triple of each recipe and just freeze for later. I love this type of cooking method because Winter months are the hardest to run out and pick something up from the grocery store with all the snow and ice on the roads.

We also buy produce that is in season to save money. Anything that is imported is usually $$$ and by the time it gets here it loses a lot of flavour anyways.

Great tips! Every penny counts! :)

Christine McN said...

CMCM:
Yes! Flyers! We also do coupons. I'm not an exteme couponing mom, but I do use coupons if I have some. They do add up!

Christine McN said...

MommyJennof3:
I'm like you. I actually need to plan meals more. I always have what I need. It's a matter of organizing. LOL!

Christine McN said...

MTM:
Ha! My husband and I just said "don't buy anything until we empty what we've got"!

Christine McN said...

Cheryl:
Yes!That's just ONE of our freezers! We have 1/2 a beef in one of our others! It also has chicken, pork and fish in it (the meat freezer).

Great tip about buying produce in seasom! Total $ saver!

Jodi Shaw said...

I think the biggest one you hit the nail on the head with is impulse buying. It's good to avoid it and helps makes saving money easier.

Christine McN said...

Jodi:
That is SO true!! :)

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'm guilty, because I like to go to the grocery store EVERY DAY. Probably because I work from home and my daughter is almost 17, so I have more flexibility than someone who works in an office or the mom of a young child, plus I live in California, so no worries about ice and snow. I like to feel like I'm getting my food fresh, and like I can cook whatever I'm in the mood for that day.

Back when I worked in an office and Maya was younger, I used to make a menu every week, and do all of my shopping on weekends. It worked well for me, and likely was cheaper than the way I do it now. The only thing I hated was trying to figure out a week's worth of meals.

Also? I dislike freezing meat. I know, I'm weird. I have a feeling that it dries out the meat and it won't be as juicy. Of course, with a side of beef, you have no choice. And to be completely honest, I've tested it...eaten fresh and frozen side by side, and I could not taste the difference. So I don't know where my weirdness comes from. :) Just too much time on my hands, I suppose.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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