Looking for ways to cut costs has been on all of our minds this year. Rising gas prices, rising food prices, and a supply chain that feels unstable as led many of us to ask, “what else could we be doing?” In today’s episode, I’m sharing some FUN life updates for the Balmet family as well as sharing 5 things I’m actively doing this year to cut costs, but not quality in my home (especially when it comes to food)!
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You can find all the links and notes for this episode below!
1. Focusing on building my bulk pantry
Examples: Real salt prices, bulk beans, and bulk spices.
- 10oz shaker of salt is: $6.35
- 26oz refill pouch I usually pay: $8 ($0.31 an ounce)
- 25lb bag for $99.99 (I got on sale for $85 + free shipping). $0.21 per ounce ($0.10 per ounce savings!)
- 25lbs = 400 ounces. Which comes out to a $40 savings!!
PLUS, now I have bulk salt on hand and don’t need to worry about any kind of supply chain issues, prices going up for a while, etc. If I can, I’d like to order a second bag early when this bag gets to be about half full. Then when that first bag runs out entirely, I’ll order another bag. This way I’ve always got a full extra bag on hand. But I’m not sure how fast we will work through this bag or what my other bulk needs will be, so we’ll see how it goes this year.
Another example is bulk spices: Another area I’ll slowly be working on adding to again is bulk spices. When you cook entirely from scratch, and you want flavorful food, you end up going through a LOT of spices. Since RV living, I’ve pretty much just been buying single use containers of spices which get so expensive at $3-9 a bottle. I’ll be adding a few different spices at a time to my monthly Azure order while I slowly build this up. For example, I can get an Italian seasoning mix from Azure for $8.89 for a pound! A pound of dried herbs is a lot. Now I can just refill my seasonings as needed. The trick to this, is really keeping track of what bulk spices you have on hand, because you can easily forget and lost track.
2. Building my at home Emergency and first aid kits
Example: Slings, butterfly bandages, bleed stop, and over the counter things to help so we don’t have to go to urgent care. I want to brush up on my skills so I have the knowledge to help in a situation.
3. Growing a garden
I’m starting with SEEDS this year, instead of going the easier route of plant starts. And I’m not getting fancy. I’ll be focusing on the produce my family actually uses: tomatoes, potatoes, onions, squash, watermelons, all manner of herbs, etc. When I look at the seed catalogs, there are so many fun and fancy things I could grow. But I’m trying this summer to just focus on the needs that will really help my family! I just need to get on the planning part of it all now! 😉
4. Cutting out the grocery store
Example: We will be purchasing a whole cow sometime this year to put in the freezer, I’d like to do a couple of pigs as well. We don’t have the ability right now to do chickens or eggs, so we will do what we can!
Another example: We finally are able to find raw milk from a local farm again. We just picked up our first 3 gallons today! With the ability to get raw milk, I can make so many things from home that I either can’t buy in stores, or that is ridiculously expensive. I love making cultured butter, maple syrup sweetened whip cream, a gallon whole yogurt, kefir, and so much more. This eliminates the need to buy hardly any diary products from the store and they are way healthier and higher quality than I could get elsewhere. Also cuts out the need from buying expensive and processed nut milks or alternatives.
Here’s what my ideal pantry will look like over the coming year: Bulk grains + dried goods from Azure each month (while building up a pantry so I’m not buying 3-5lbs a month of each thing but rather 25-50lbs of a couple things each month to constantly restocking), dairy from the local farm, meat stocked in the freezer from local farms, and more and more produce from our very own garden. When you learn how to cook from scratch, these simple real foods can yield the most incredible tasting food.
But again, this is the priority for our family and I get SO many questions about it which is why I go so in depth. Your family might have other priorities. Crystal Paine for example, shares that with the prediction of the rising cost of flour, she’s been buying one extra 5lb bag of white flour each time she goes grocery shopping. It doesn’t make a huge impact each week or month, but she’s slowly stocking it away for the future.
5. Focus on ways we can cut the budget so I can build up more of a pantry
Example: Canceling all streaming services, limiting trips to the grocery store and trips around town to save on gas, using your tax refund for bulk buying, etc.
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