freeze your loaf, and other frugal mom secrets.

The other day I overheard Chris sharing about our love for refrigeration, and I got to thinking about the quirky kitchen things we do to stay frugal and keep this large family afloat. Maybe you do them, too. Maybe they’re not quirky at all. Help me add to the list!

Freeze your loaf. I buy bread two or three loaves at a time, in order to get it on sale. One loaf stays in the fridge, and the rest live in the freezer. We never worry about moldy or stale bread, and the slices make their way to room temp by the time we eat! We keep bananas in the fridge, too, since we buy so many at a time.

Break up the bouquet. Whenever we buy fresh flowers, we split them up as soon as we get home. I keep a small vase near the front door, another one on the kitchen table, and two more scattered around the house – even upstairs! It’s more work to clean up afterwards, but a little floral cheer sure goes a long way. Also, stick to wild flowers and hardier blooms. You can keep those suckers going for weeks!

Portion ahead. It’s amazing how much of a difference this makes. One specific example: My family loves chicken BBQ. Recently, I tried an experiment to see if I could stretch my chicken and I portioned sandwiches out first. In the end, I got eight extra sandwiches… enough for seconds all around!

Water it down. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Hard times come and go; I have been known to water down juice – and even milk. I buy organic whole milk, and that stuff is not cheap. I might not give my kids milk that’s been stripped down, but I’ll occasionally give them nature’s version! They’ve never complained, and I’ve had it myself. Tastes just like 2%, I promise.

I’m sure the oddities abound, but that’s all I can think of right now now. 
Your turn! Teach me your ways!

15 thoughts on “freeze your loaf, and other frugal mom secrets.”

  1. We always buy bulk loaves of bread and bagels and freeze :-)
    Also for fruit I’ve noticed its easier (and less expensive) to buy the freezer brand, just leave it out for a bit and it defrosts and actually sometimes taste better than the stuff you get from the super market and lasts allot longer. We’ve noticed that the berries we get from Wegmans have been going bad so thats why we get frozen. Also I always get store brand name. Wegmans has a great brand for canned things and that saves us money as well.

    1. I bought a huge bag of organic frozen blueberries at Costco, but they’re SUPER mushy/slimy when I serve them. I can pretty much only feed them to the kids in cereal/oatmeal/yogurt. I was hoping they’d be like fresh ones once thawed… wishful thinking, I guess! :)

  2. Another milk-saving thing is always using powdered milk in baking. You really can’t tell the difference and it’s a HUGE savings. Back in the day, my mom used to sneak it into milk for our cereals and…no thank you. But baking yes!

    And this is just an idea for a cheap/affordable meal: quinoa pancakes. You buy a pancake mix (or make your own), then add cooked quinoa to it (about a cup per cup of pancake mix, you have to add more liquid to balance it out), sprinkle in whatever fruit’s on hand. It’s SO FILLING and yummy and cheap!

    And I stretch juice with water so much that Harper now yells “WATER FIRST!” when I’m filling up her sippy with juice ;)

  3. Love this!! I blogged a few of our little things.

    the biggest thing for us – that I haven’t blogged yet – is I buy our meat a month a head when it’s on sale – I can get good quality meat for cheaper then if I’m trying to buy it the week of. Then I can menu plan a month at a time just from what protein I have int he freezer. Totally helps. We have gone from spending almost 600$ a month on groc, to under 400$. And we’re eating the same way!!

  4. I always advocate turkey meat over ground beef. its leaner and cheaper and just takes clever seasoning to make it taste great in any dish you’d otherwise you ground beef for. also, quinoa and ground turkey makes a delicious meatloaf or fabulous stuffed peppers.

  5. Know your sales. I bought avocado for .49 each, pineapple for .99 just by finding the sales. Just learned a tip about blanching then freezing herbs in ice cube trays. Gonna try that one today. We by “ripe” bananas, slice and freeze them for awesome “milk” shakes. Been eating vegan for a little while now, thought it would be much more expensive, but you just have to learn the tricks!!!
    – Marla

  6. Oh yeah… the deep freeze is our best friend! We buy 12 loaves at a time if they are on sale (amazing what only 4 kids can plow through). Same goes for meat… if there is a sale or markdown look out here I come to fill the freezer. Milk is a whole other story… we go through 24 litres a week. We need a cow on site. ;-) Happy Friday.

  7. We don’t have kids yet, but with a husband in med school – we are frugal! Not food related, but I wash and re-use both baggies and tin foil. We usually stick to glass “tupperware” for food storage, but sometimes you need a baggie, so we re-use ’em! I also keep a list of things we have in the freezer or of what’s about to go bad, so nothing is wasted. Few things bother me as much as wasted food!

    1. My husband recycles our Ziploc baggies, too! We were recently banned from sending glass to school with the kids after a shattering or two :)

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