Finance Friday – Cleaning Out the Freezer

Good morning, and most importantly – happy Friday!!!  It’s been a while since I had a Finance Friday post.  This one is a little more light hearted, but it’s completely legit.

freezer and wallet

Over the past several months, while consolidating our lives and attempting to save for big purchases like a house and a wedding we have become fairly thrifty with certain things.  One of the biggest expenses that we were battling was our food bill.  Food is just plain expensive, especially healthy food. So that’s when we had the idea to start using our freezer for more than emergency food (you know, those days when you don’t feel like cooking so you decide to take a look in the freezer?).  It does require some planning, but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it!  So here are my tips:

1. Buy the family size portions of meats and produce

Lots of times there will be sales on bulk items and I used to think “I’ll never finish that before it goes bad”.  Now I think, “yes! freezer potential!”  (OK, maybe I’m not that excited, but you get the picture).  Side note – it’s much easier to split things into one meal portions BEFORE you freeze them.

2. Plan your meals for each week

At the beginning of every week, I take the items out of the freezer that we are planning to use and put them in the fridge.  It will take a day or two for them to thaw completely.

3. Shop the daily deals

OK, this may seem like a no brainer.  But I’m specifically talking about the meats that are on sale.  You know those ones that you usually walk right past because they might be a few days older than the rest?  They are perfect! If you’re taking it home to put it directly in the freezer, then it doesn’t matter if it’s been on the shelf for a few days. (Just make sure once you thaw it that you use it timely.)

We have been slowly implementing this in our house for a few months, and while there are other factors that come into play (how many times we eat at a restaurant, etc.), I charted out the amount I was spending at grocery stores over the past 3 months and this was the result:

food bill graph

In August (at the beginning), our food bill was almost $600 for two people.  Now granted October is only half way over, we’re under $200 and going strong!  Even if we continue at this rate we will have cut our bill by nearly half.  Plus, it makes you feel really accomplished when you’re not wasting food.  We all know that food guilt. *Insert picture of your grandmother telling you there are starving children in the world so you should eat your broccoli*

So in the words of our newest YouTube obsession, Matt Bellasai – that’s it, that’s all, that’s everything.  I hope your Friday goes fast and your weekend is long!

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