Save Money on Food: Use What You Already Have

Save money on groceries by using what you have

When I go to the grocery store, I usually end up buying more than I intended to. I almost always succumb to some impulse buy, be it a ready-made salad from the deli, some variation of coconut water or a bar of chocolate.

These unnecessary purchases add up. In an effort to minimize what I spend on groceries, I have two solid tricks up my sleeve:

  • Stick to a shopping list: Spend some time planning your grocery list. When you go to the store, stick to your list. If you often fall victim to impulse buys, vow to put one item from your cart back on the shelf.
  • Avoid going to the grocery store if possible: Get creative and make a meal out of ingredients that you already have. This may be a challenge, depending on how well stocked your kitchen is. If you’re stuck, allrecipes.com has an ingredient search feature. I was once able to make a mean bananas foster, after entering in bananas and butter. Yum!

Some of my go-to meals that call for pantry staples are:

13 Responses to “Save Money on Food: Use What You Already Have”

  1. 1

    Amy @ Spin The Meal — July 18, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

    I’m in! What a great idea! I love coming up with recipes using just what we have on hand, particularly when we are up at our cabin in northern Minnesota and a half hour away from the nearest grocery store. I’m looking forward to participating in your challenge!!!

    • Haley replied: — July 19th, 2013 @ 3:11 am

      Great news Amy! Can’t wait to see what you come up with 🙂

  2. 2

    BLT Fettuccini | — July 20, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

    […] cooking! One of my favorite local recipe bloggers, Haley from Cheap Recipe Blog, recently posted a “Use What You Already Have” challenge, which inspired me to log back into my blog and see if I still remembered the password. Luckily, I […]

  3. 3

    Amy @ Spin The Meal — July 20, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

    Here’s what I made: http://spinthemeal.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/blt-fettuccini/
    Super easy and made from what I happened to have on hand which really helped get dinner on the table in a flash after a busy day at my son’s baseball game!

    • Haley replied: — July 22nd, 2013 @ 2:51 am

      Awesome! Thanks so much Amy. That looks delicious. Be sure to check back, as I’ll be putting everyone’s ideas together in a post later next week!

  4. 4

    Leslie MaKenzie — July 25, 2013 @ 1:39 am

    My husband loved tonight’s dinner, which was leftovers mixed with things from the garden, so I’m in!

    • Haley replied: — July 26th, 2013 @ 4:36 am

      So excited! Thanks for participating 🙂

  5. 5

    Quantina Beck-Jones — July 27, 2013 @ 1:01 am

    Hi Haley, I’m up for participating. I wish I would have seen the post for this sooner so i could have taken a picture of this evening meal. However it consisted of: baked chicken thighs, couscous (don’t judge me, but it had been in a jar in the cabinet for 5 months at least), and a quick backyard garden medley [kale, Swiss chard, onion] with avocado and raspberry vinegar.

    • Haley replied: — July 27th, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

      Wow – that sounds amazing! Hopefully making something else won’t be a huge pain 🙂

  6. 6

    Shawna — July 27, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    I’m in with what I might try to make for breakfast today!

    • Haley replied: — July 27th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

      My curiosity is piqued! Can’t wait to see what creative breakfast dish you’ll come up with 🙂

  7. 7

    Greta — July 27, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

    Ooh, I’m in Haley! If it counts to use stuff from my garden too :c) I’ll email you photos this weekend- What a wonderful idea!

    • Haley replied: — July 27th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

      Yay! I’m happy you’re participating and excited to see what you’ll come up with 🙂

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