How to Meal Plan & Eating on a Budget (With Tiffany from Don’t Waste the Crumbs)

Hey you guys and welcome to this week's Episode of The Pantry chat Food For Thought this week we have a really fun Guest to talk about something that I Know is near and dear to all of our Hearts probably every January we all Start thinking about like how do we cut Down on the budget side a little bit how Do we squeeze a little bit more out of It Um but especially this January with Inflation High the grocery prices are Just Phenomenally High I am so uh Blown Away By that but then all the other things That are going on in the world that make Us all kind of realize we need to get a Little bit better we need to buckle down We need to start making a little better Use of every bit of resource that we Have Um and in case right I'm not going to Say in case what because who knows and There's no big predictions but I think a Lot of us are feeling that so today We're talking with Tiffany from don't Waste the crumbs to talk about how to Get the most out of our grocery budget How to you know really squeeze those Dollars okay and I'm excited about this Because this is a topic that for me is Really near and dear to my heart with so Many kids in the house such a big Household we've had moments where we

Have had an income of zero you know and Like in between jobs or in between moves And we've had to just make the most out Of every thing so this is going to be a Fun chat so thank you guys for joining Us today Tiffany welcome thank you so Much for coming this is uh this is going To be a good discussion I'm excited About this it is thanks for having me Yeah so just uh introduce yourself Really quickly for everybody tell us a Little bit about your story and where You started to Um get to a place where you're talking About this so regularly uh you know and Teaching a lot of teaching on how to do Exactly this Um how did you where did you start how Did you get here yeah so the whole thing Started um I would say about 13 years Ago Um baby number two was born and my Husband and I had Mounds and pounds and mounds of debts And we had this really audacious goal to Pay it all off and once they pay cash For a house Um so we sat down looked at our budget And there's a lot of things in your Budget that aren't um You can't really change like you can't Really change your mortgage you can't Change car insurance I mean aside from Shopping around but once you do that

It's not really flexible and then we Realize that the grocery budget was Immensely flexible you could spend a lot Or you could spend a little and so we Resolved ourselves to refining our Grocery budget so that we could save More every month well Of course when you're in this Money-saving mode you come up with these Really random ideas and ways to save and I was sharing these ideas with my Friends and with my family and they're Like you should start a blog fast Forward I did after much hesitation I Started a Blog just documented Everything that we were doing and it Just kind of took off from there so We're looking at I started my blog in 2012 so we're coming up on the 11 year Anniversary and Um I think what I've learned most is That there's never really an ending Point you just keep going and you keep Trying and you keep refining and you Keep honing your skills and as you Mentioned like the what if you never Know you know you've got new babies There's job losses there's Financial Hits there's moving you know and as we Get older we're taking care of other Family members perhaps we're moving back In so The grocery budget is just a really Great way to save a lot of money while

Feeding your family well And that's something that I really like About what you do is a lot of times when We start talking about cutting back the Grocery budget we start talking about You know Extreme Couponing or uh you Know following the sales flyers which Can work but a lot of times when I have Looked at those options I go everything On the sales flyer is like boxed cake Mix or sodas or Donuts or things that I'm just not gonna buy I don't care how Cheap they are they don't qualify as Food in my house Um but you really have a whole food Journey wrapped up in that also where You are you're one you're doing this but With real food yeah well when we first Started I'll admit it wasn't real food We we didn't we didn't know real food Like there was a thing about that I Thought I grew up eating canned soup and Frozen waffles that's just what I what I Knew my husband grew up on five acres And his dad had a big Garden so one day He was like Hey do you think we can eat More real food and I'm like Well I'm touching it it's real and and He's like no no I mean like Actual carrots like the food that comes From the ground and I was like oh okay You know in the midst of baby number two And diapers and paying off debt and I'm Like okay well I'll see what I can do

Which is this which is the wife code for Like that's probably not gonna happen Right okay because I look at the numbers Um and so it took a lot of effort but Yeah I realized that you can Slowly because this is not by any means An overnight transition Um or transformation I should say you Can go from these standard American diet Of boxed and processed and just add Water to A Whole Foods based diet and You can do it on the on a budget you Just need a system And and you've got to know how to plan Yeah and I I have this great experience With Josh just I don't know a couple Weeks ago we ended up at a restaurant For an event where they were feeding US Foods from around Italy but some of the Foods were very peasant based that's What they called them peasant a peasant Dish And it kind of blew my mind in some ways Because I feel like I've struggled to Make these two things intersect in a lot Of places like real food healthy Nutrient dense food that's a really Building healthy bodies and Um you know keeping the budget within Control and not spending huge amounts of Money Uh and yet here they served this meal That was this whole grain very homemade Type bread and it was soaked in a 16

Hour cooked bone broth and it was it Made the soup Um as it sucked it all up but it was More like a casserole and it was Phenomenally good and I thought this is Kind of the heart of like real food in a Peasant style that's like it's cheap A lot of money most of that was from you Know the waste products of something Else a little bit of flour you know the Bones that are left over and so it is Very doable but I think we have to dig a Lot deeper than the information that is Kind of on the surface level when you Get into the budgeting side Exactly and I found that if I'm creative I think I can actually do better with Real foods budget wise now that I'm a Long way into the journey and kind of Figured out some of these tricks than I Can with the grocery store junk cheap Foods oh yeah my budget do you agree With that what 100 I would almost say That Um real food are ingredients and Ingredients is what becomes meals and You use ingredients for recipes when you Buy let's say like a box of cake mix now I know you can go on the internet and Google and Pinterest and be like you Know add a can of seven up and it Becomes like whatever I don't even know It becomes a science experiment pretty Much

But but like your options are so much More limited rather if you started with A flower that works with your like your Goals especially if you have allergies Like that's going to be limiting throw That into the budget that's a whole That's a whole other you know Story Another day but um you just only need Some flour and some leavening and some Sweetener and like that is your box of Cake mix but the same time if you have Those ingredients you can do breads you Can do biscuits you can do pasta like You can make all the things so yeah Absolutely real food if to me Essentially is the ingredients for Everything else yeah absolutely Now you Kind of referred to this and I think You're so right on on this is that that The transition from kind of the store Bought and I don't want to say Store-bought because you can buy Store-bought you can buy real food at The store so I don't want to draw this Line but I guess it's more this Conventional way of eating cheap foods Like I don't know if there's a term for That Um a standard American diet maybe is What we would call that around here yeah Or process pre-packaged there you go That that's the better way to go Um but that transition from that Processed food and that pre-packaged

Food over to this real food It takes a plan and Living on real food takes a plan because Real food kind of by definition is often Slow food Fast food it doesn't think of the same Thing it doesn't mean it has to take you All day in the kitchen it doesn't mean You're stuck as a slave in the kitchen All day but it what it does take is a Lot of pre-planning and like okay Tomorrow I'm gonna have this so I have To make sure that I've done these steps Today so that I'm ready for that and That that's something that this Processed food Um you know that we're so used to has Really Untrained us from doing yes and so how Do you approach that like what's your Number one tool for and maybe I'm trying To lead on here to meal planning so Instead of putting you know Um I know for me it's meal planning Yeah meal planning is huge like if we Didn't meal plan [Music] Without with you know with risking Sounding a little bit dramatic like Everything would fall apart because no One I wouldn't know what's for dinner so When I got little ones asking me and the Husband what's for dinner what's for Dinner and I'm like yeah I don't know

And then I'm gonna be stressed the Budget's gonna be through the roof Because I'm just buying on a whim and I'm not really going to be here being Productive I'm going to be out filling My grocery cart with things because I Didn't have a plan it's very Whimsical And I think a lot of people struggle With meal planning because of that they Feel like they're put into a box oh I Don't want to be told what I have to eat On a certain day and Um and that's where I just think meal Planning has a bad rep where if if People understood how you can make meal Planning work with you instead of like You fitting into the meal planning box It's making meal planning work with your Life you really can reap the benefits Like 100 fold Yeah absolutely and I I had this Experience this week Josh is traveling And you know sometimes when Josh is Traveling the whole schedule around the House gets a little off and a little Lacks maybe compared to yeah It's like ah let's take it easy he's Gone you know Um and so usually I wake up Monday Morning and my routine is after I've Done all my regular morning Personal Care stuff that I go and I take my Little household notebook and I go to my Pantry and I go to where the root cellar

Stuff is and I go to the freezers Um because you know we're not we're not Shopping at the grocery store we're Shopping all the things that we've Brought in all season here at our place And I look at okay what needs to get Used and then I sit down and I meal plan For the whole week so this week on Monday because we're a little Loosey-goosey with the schedule I um I Didn't do that let me tell you it is So much chaos and how stressful that is When you're used to that schedule Everybody can look at my sheet that I Have everybody knows exactly what every Meal is so if somebody's like oh you Know the the dinner person and is hey I Just got invited to this thing can I go The next person can look at the sheet And be like oh yeah I've got this I can Make this meal And It's not dependent on my creativity at 5 Pm on an over busy day already when I Like what can I make fast And now that's where I am and I'm like This is so not worth taking the you know Like if everything else goes away I have To still meal plan because it just keeps The house running well and I mean you Can make a meal plan for the week or I can in about 15 minutes it doesn't Take that long but when you don't have That and now every breakfast every lunch

Every dinner especially when you spend a Lot of time at home when you're Homeschooling so you're at home a lot Yeah it's you go into that panic mode It's been referred to often as like that Four o'clock panic mode what's for Dinner but that happens every meal every Day and so you spend a good chunk of Your day panicking and worrying and then This like kind of freaking out where you Just made your meal plan it eliminates All of that and then like you said you Put your meal plan in a place where Everybody can see it and as your kids Get older and your spouse when they're Home can they can like pitch in like Hey We're having this for dinner can I get Something started for you I have some Free time or even you hey so and so come In here real quick just watch this don't Don't let it burn I'll be right back and It becomes a team effort rather than It's solely falling on your shoulders And you're while you're panicking like You said after a long day of stress Trying to now make all these decisions Yeah yeah and I I feel like that allows For a little bit more creativity Actually even for me because I'm Definitely one of those people don't box Me in too tight like if I start getting A schedule that's based on the clock I I Get a little like claustrophobic feeling Like nobody can breathe really clear you

Know take deep breaths it's okay we can Handle the clock Um but I found that the meal plan Actually gives me a lot of freedom and a Lot of creativity and I do use it as a Tool not as my boss right so I use it There are days where we throw out the Meal plan because I get a wild hair and I'm like you know what let's just make This thing that I love we have the extra Time let's do it you know absolutely but Most of the time It's this like comforting thing to know Okay hey I know what's for dinner how Can I upgrade that like how can I not Just make basic spaghetti but how can I Really go to the garden and get the most Out of my garden and put all these Amazing flavors in and let's do extra on The salad and oh wouldn't that be great To have a fresh loaf of bread that goes Along with it so you know a lot of times I'm looking at on the day of Where my energy level is where my Creativity level is what I have left at The end of the day to put into a meal or What a lot of times the girls are Cooking now I've got quite a few older Girls even the guys are coming into the Kitchen and doing a bit of cooking And um you know where we're at as a Family do we have a lot of time to put Into dinner tonight or do is it just one Of those like we just got to get it done

Sit down and eat and that just allows This flexibility to come in I really Like without the scramble without the Stuff well you've eliminated the Decisions decision fatigue is an actual Thing and when you don't have a meal Plan you're not having to make a million Decisions in a short amount of time and Like you said even when you have a meal Plan it doesn't you don't have to be Boxed in buy it but you also don't have To decide on what's for dinner you get To pull that out like you mentioned how Can I do this what else can I add it Becomes more of a fun thing you start to Look forward to and an act of service Towards your family of cooking them a Good Well-balanced you know nutritional meal Rather than Um like a chore of oh I've got to do This and get in bed yeah absolutely uh You know one of the things that I found For budgeting in our household that has Really helped me is not keeping too much Food in the refrigerator I don't know if It's true for anybody else but it feels Like sometimes I get so much food in the refrigerator That I can't actually see what's in There and so I start losing pieces and That's when you know the cilantro goes Bad in the fridge drawer or the this Kind of got lost and we forgot about it

Um and this is one of those places that I feel like is answered by meal planning Is Um I can make sure I just have what I Need for that meal now I've got a lot of Food all over the place but it's in a Lot more stable condition like you know On a Pantry Shelf or in the freezer or Freeze-dried or something like that Um so it's in a lot more stable Condition than the food that's in the Refrigerator that's kind of like you Know working its way towards bad if I Don't use it Um and this is one place that just the Meal planning just has really shined for Me on the budget Uh do you have any tips like that where You're like this is The thing that has really helped us save Money that meal planning helps I'm Putting you on the spot again no it's All good well first we don't keep much I don't know if I agree but then you Went on to say because things are Getting lost and I was like actually yes So keeping food waste to an absolute Like honestly it needs to be zero food Waste should be zero to help your budget That would be the one key I would pass On to your listeners that's Um and by doing that you can keep your Fridge at a minimum to a low so when When I go shopping I'm looking obviously

There's good deals I don't have a very Big Garden like we just moved to a rural Area I've grown up in the suburbs so our Lifestyles are a little bit different so For us I'm getting a lot of my food from The grocery store still Um and there's nothing wrong with that But because I don't have a garden to Choose from because I don't have a big Pantry of dried or dehydrated items when I make my shopping list I'm very Particular about shopping everything at Home first which would definitely Include the refrigerator and so the First things that go on the meal plan Are the things that have to get used up And I am I am probably in the refrigerator more Often than I'm in my own closet I am in There all the time because you're moving Things around what's hiding back there What's what what is that Um just I I've just found over the years That the more control or I should say More organized I can keep that fridge And and yes kind of keep it under Control and not explode Um the more money we save and that does Roll into things like taking advantage Of good deals and even harvesting you Want to find that that balance of like Yeah this is a good deal but how much Are you actually going to eat and if You're not going to eat it what's your

Plan B and I do teach all of those Things so I'm not I'm not trying to Change it here but it's um like it all Just kind of goes hand in hand I feel Like meal planning isn't linear it's not Like it's this this this this and then Start over it's more like it's all of This and it's and everything you do is Is can connected and everything can have A really huge impact Yeah I I totally agree with you I think It has to be like can we create a term That's informed meal planning sure go Gather the information first about what You need to use and that may be going to The refrigerator and taking a critical Look at it Um it may be going like for me I'm often Going to The Root Cellar area of the Basement and looking at like oh those Potatoes or those beets are starting to Get a little wilty what are we going to Do with those Um but it's not just this idea that We're going to sit down and say Hey you Know tomorrow night this is what I want And the next night that's what I want we Want to do it with a little bit more of An informed fashion and that may even be Looking at that sales flyer or taking Advantage that may be the information That we're Gathering is like what is it That needs to be used right now from the Grocery store you know instead of from

The seller yeah I think at least the Word strategic which is being Intentional like yeah like you just said You Sure you can go to Pinterest and you can Pick out whatever meal you want but if You have hazardly assign it to a day I Can almost guarantee your meal plan is Going to fail and you also don't reap The benefits of meal planning because Meal planning does save you time it does Save you money but if you don't do it in That strategic intentional way you end Up with this burden of a seven course Meal on a day where you're trying to Shuffle kids from Cheer to basketball And you have like you have this teeny Tiny little window and then you're like Well that's not going to happen so drive Through and that just doesn't that Doesn't meet any of our food goals and It doesn't meet our budget goals either Yeah absolutely so when your meal Planning do you plan just for dinner or How do you like do you do do you get as Granular as snacks or what's your method For that yeah so when my kids were Little my kids are 13 and 14. when they Were little I did plan for snacks and Snacks were often times Um I guess many meals so to speak it would Be like if we're having carrots for Lunch then the carrots would be a snack

As well or uh you know back in the day Where toddlers take one bite of a banana And then they walk away so well now that Other half of the banana becomes a snack So it was very Loosely outlined Um and it could kind of tailor it to Whatever I happen to have in the pantry And in the fridge Nowadays my favorite system is I really Like to plan for dinners And I believe that if you have a solid Plan for dinner breakfast and lunches And snacks and dessert if you want to Can be an outflow of that because Going back to the food waste leftovers Is a big is a big deal if you don't eat Your leftovers and you're cooking every Night you're going to end up with a Fridge full of containers That will get thrown away because you're Not eating them so Um by planning dinners and including a Leftover night or even being intentional With your leftovers and saying this is Going to become a lunch like that gets Part of the meal plan you don't have to Um And that just escaped me you don't have To be super granular and write down Exactly what meal you want for breakfast And what meal you want for lunch Um you can be flexible in it where you Mentioned your meal plan is a tool for You you're not a slave to your meal plan

But I like to have my dinners planned Out and then I like to have ideas for Breakfast and ideas for lunch and I Usually pick three a week and I get the Kids input there too as well as my Husband so if they're um if my kids are Like you know hey can we have you know Waffles this week well then on Saturday Morning before the week begins I'll make A ton of waffles Save some for the week and then put the Rest in the freezer So then on a future week and the request For waffles comes back I'm not at the Beck and call of making waffles again And that becomes just part of rotation And the same thing for lunch leftovers Is always top of the list but if there Is no leftovers I can pull bread from The freezer I can we can make some pasta Dish or whatever we can make a rice dish We can come up with something Yeah I I like that that's kind of I mean That's Loosely how we approach it also I Uh lunch for us is always leftovers Um if we don't have leftovers which Happens sometimes sometimes everybody All of a sudden is eating more whether It's you know the season changes and the Activity level changes or people have a Growth spurt or whatever it is and uh so Occasionally we'll hit these moments Where it's like there are no leftovers In the house

Um we have two backup meals that we go To and one is rice and beans which I am Very grateful my children love they get Excited when it's announced I think I Think I just hit the lottery Um but so it's either rice and beans and Then we'll throw in whatever goodies That we have whether it's a fresh salsa Sitting around or a little bit of cheese Or some veggies whatever it is we'll Just top it with that uh the other is What we like to call a peasant Meal Which is pretty much just a board third Of Fermented pickled maybe a little salami And cheese and so we'll keep a little Bit of meat set aside in the fridge just To be able to have that type of a meal On a moment's notice Um but those are kind of the two backups For if uh the leftover idea doesn't work Out for me I had to realize at some Point I had this aha moment which said Breakfast was a nightmare Always waiting for breakfast it was Always behind it was always frustrating And Um the whole day would get home If the morning didn't start off right And so Um so I just had to decide instead of Putting this weight of myself like I Really need to get up earlier and do Breakfast I'm not a morning person I'm

Not a breakfast person so I think this Was that this problem that I was having And as soon as I realized that and said Okay instead of uh just getting upset With myself and trying to do better Let's work Yeah so we started making all make ahead Breakfast casseroles Every single week I I'm sorry for those Of you guys who this is just sounds like A nightmare for but every single week For the last maybe five years we have Had the exact same breakfast as funny On the table we can change the toppings We can change you know whatever but We'll either have a baked oatmeal a French Toast Casserole sometimes regular Oatmeal uh sometimes a pump of getting Custard like we've got all these meals That we have kind of developed out and It's somebody's job the day before to Make them it's a it's a chore on the Official chore list And that has changed our morning so now We kind of have this I guess this would Be like the static meal plan it just Stays the same it is what it is weekend Mornings we mix it up and a lot of times The kids are like hey can I make such And such or can I do this and the answer Is always yes Because I don't want to make breakfast I Know that but Um but yeah so there is a lot of

Flexibility there within the idea of the Meal planning even with that like they Don't all have to be freshly planned and They don't have to depend on your Creativity at you know 7 A.M in the Morning when you haven't even had your First cup of coffee and the baby maybe Didn't sleep the night before yeah oh Absolutely like so I'll ask the kids for Requests but why I mentioned I bake a Lot of them that goes across the board For muffins for quick breads we have Something similar it's like maybe five To six things that we eat on a rotation And it's not a planned rotation it's Just it's a combination between what are You in the mood for and what do we have Right and a lot of times it's I'm in the Mood for waffles I'm like well we don't Have waffles we have banana bread so Banana bread it is but I'll bake a lot And I'll put it up for later and it kind Of gets me out of breakfast Duty in the Long run but like you so if it's banana If it's let's say it's a quick bread In the winter it could be pumpkin it Could be a squash it could be peanut Butter chocolate chip in the spring in The summer you'll be strawberries and Blueberries so it's very seasonal and The recipes don't change and it's to the Point where my kids as well I'm like hey Get those bananas make up some bread and We're just going to stick it in the

Freezer for later and it becomes a Surprise when we take it out of the Freezer oh what what kind of bread is That you know I know what it is because I've labeled it but Um you know sometimes we'll mix in chips Or we'll mix in like a swirl of Something and you don't know until you Slice it and it's just it's just Something fun and it's it's like Building in variety while still doing The same thing right yeah that that I Think is really important for you know There's just there's so many decisions All day long and yeah I got the decision Fatigue but it's a really true thing There are so many decisions all day long And anywhere where you can lighten that Load on your oh yeah Is a place is where you have some room To be creative somewhere else and I Think something else so I think that is Wonderful so when we're thinking about Budgeting walk us through how you would Approach meal planning I mean are you Gonna do a month of meal planning are You going to do a week how what's your Process for like sitting down and Getting it done Sure so regardless of how long you plan The system is the same you always start With a family calendar you have to Figure out what's going on in the family Before you can decide what you're going

To cook because How much time you have to determines What you put on the meal plan we talked About I just mentioned the seven course Meal and like the titty-bitty time frame And and that's not going to work so it Always starts with the family calendar And then it starts with what you have on Hand and then it gets supplemented with What's at the store or the grocery Market or your local farmers and then a Couple checks like Is this seasonal like going back through Did I pick everything that was seasonal And then also did the meals I chose line Up with my financial goals if your Financial goals are we need to save a Lot of money then you're not going to Put things like nice T-bone steaks on Your meal plan that often because they Don't align like you're gonna have a Whole lot more rice and beans and very Simple and not and still delicious and Still nourishing but just simple foods With inexpensive ingredients Now when we were paying off our debt we Had uh to quote Dave Ramsey we were in This gazelle-like intense focus and we Meal plan for a month at a time that was Based on our paychecks we were paid Every other week so when we got paid I Did four weeks and then we get paid Again and I had like a little Supplemental for like uh Dairy and fresh

Produce or Um if something had changed in the Meantime since I first made the meal Plan and I had to Pivot a little bit Now we are in a one week method I'm a Mode of meal planning I've also found That because I'm a food blogger It is almost contradictory to plan long Term while trying to be creative so I Incorporate a couple days where I'm like I'm gonna experiment today I've been Really wanting to try this new one and Balance that out with like you know it's Burger night and it's pizza night and It's taco night those types of of things So I would say determine what your goal Is and work from there and if you're new To meal planning please don't jump in And do a month at a time that is that is Not a beginner skill Um and it's okay to be a beginner Everybody was a beginner at one point The True Heart of meal planning is Simply writing down what you're going to Eat most people know what they're gonna Have for lunch about an idea of what You're going to have for dinner and at Any moment of the day Um so just putting that on paper and Kind of rounding it out so let's say Like okay today we're gonna have Sandwiches for lunch okay well what kind Of sandwich I can put fruit with that you're gonna

Put you know some pretzels with that What are you what are you thinking and Then for dinner if you're like I really Want chicken okay great put chicken on The meal plan just make sure you have Time to cook it and then what else what Else are you gonna serve with your Chicken and I just I think you know When someone who hasn't been meal Planning before approaches it and they Think they've got to do all the things All the meals all the snacks for a whole Month at a time That is a recipe for overwhelm and Burnout so I would say aim for just two To three days and just write down what You're eating and then when you've done That you do it again and you do it again And again meal planning is a skill it's A lot like riding your bike the first Time you learn how to do it you're Falling off like crazy and that's Expected but once you learn how to ride A bike you don't ever unlearn like I'm In my 40s it's been a long time since I've ridden the bike but I have no doubt That I could go ride one if my kid was Like Hey Mom let's go for a bike ride I'm I haven't lost that skill and meal Planning is the same once you have done It and you've practiced it and you've Kind of got your head around it and you Can't unlearn it and then you can also Dive deeper into well what does four

Weeks look like for my family what does A rotational meal plan look like where It's almost I I've had a student who Made a meal plan for baseball season she Called it her baseball season meal plan She said between practices and games and Being on the road plus her other kids And family commitments she was like I Literally Like she did it for a season she loved It so much she just I was like this is What I'm doing every year and then I've Had students who do it based on the Seasons they have a summer meal plan They have a fall meal plan so if you're Out in the garden like if you know You're going to be out in the garden Planting or harvesting or you're gonna Be busy in the kitchen kitchen putting Up what you have harvested it's it's not The end of the world to make a meal plan For a couple weeks and then reuse that For a couple weeks but again all that is Very Advanced when you're just starting Out it's two to three days until you get The hang of it and then repeat repeat And repeat and then when you feel Comfortable you're like okay let's aim For four days Looking for five That's great so when you're talking About the Strategic side of it and you Get to a place where you're ready to Start let's say bringing in some other

Resources of knowledge of information What is it do you pull the sales flyers From the grocery store or do you coupon Or what is it that you do personally to Make that work sure so I don't I don't Want to say I coupon per se I used to Coupon I used to be I would have Classified myself as Um What's up with the word extreme extreme Couponer Um I don't do that much anymore if my Grocery store has Digital Coupons linked To my card I clip them because I would Be silly not too but I don't go out of My way looking for coupons instead Strategically speaking again family Calendar what you already have that's Huge Um my personal recommendation is 50 of What you eat should come from what you Already have Depending on where you live like if You're a homesteader or your farmer That's probably gonna be a bigger Percentage if you're more um Suburban You know you might be in that 40 Especially if it's like a small kitchen You have small storage I like to aim for 50. and then supplement with what's on Sale so you'll go to the sales circular And instead of coupons I know what the Rock Bottom price is for the things I Buy most often and if you're not sure

What you find most often think about What you eat a lot of do you eat a lot Of chicken do you eat a lot of rice do You eat a lot of butter right you want To think Pantry too not just Um what we see on our plate but the Ingredients we use to create what's on Our plate And if you can Get the best price possible on the Ingredients you buy most often on the Food you consume most often that will Equate to 80 of your grocery budget it's That 80 20 rule we focus on a little bit But that little bit is what yields the Most savings so when we first switched From processed food to real food Um I really really wanted to keep Couponing I enjoyed it there was a Little bit of a thrill from it but then I started realizing that there's just Not very many coupons for the food we Were wanting to eat you know every now And then Kroger will send me a coupon For care it's not like over the moon but They only send it to me because I bought Carrots from them in the past so it's Not Couponing is not a good strategy when You're aiming to eat Whole Foods a much Better strategy is to know what things Cost Um so that when you see them on sale at A better price you buy a little bit

Extra and you're not paying full price All the time Yeah that sounds really reasonable I Think there's an element of just like We're talking about the Uh the freedom of planning right because It frees you up from making all those Decisions the the work of the couponing Is it's a job it is keeping track of all Those things [Laughter] So being able to free yourself a little Bit from that but I found the same thing You know the amount of times that just a Good solid bag of organic beans goes on Sale It's not very often compared to you know The the things that I'm just not going To buy the processed foods so it becomes Better to do exactly what you're talking About and know the base price and if you Have the time to put into the job side It might be better to know the base Price at your multiple local sources of Finding food for a while I had the time But I didn't have the money and so I Literally knew I had a little notebook And I knew what these things cost at the Different stores and it was like okay I'm here for this and I'm going here for That and Um you know at the time that made sense Uh for the lack of money Now you wouldn't make it make very much

Sense for me to drive all the way around To all the different places for a couple Of cents difference but we're at Different places in our life at Different points and they're it's good To be responsive to that I guess yeah You teach a lot of these things in a Program that you have which is the Grocery budget boot camp can you tell us A little bit about that because I'm Really intrigued by that this is Something I wish I had had many years Ago when I was trying to learn this like Please somebody hold my hand through This but what is it and what kind of Things do you teach in there yeah well That's why I created the course I wanted I was like where was this when I started So I teach this course uh Every Spring And every fall so we have another class Coming up in just a couple months headed Into spring grocery budget boot camp is Essentially the Strategic method for Eating real food on the budget and it's A system so when you are looking to Switch from process to food to real food You're going to go out there you're Going to Google you're going to go to Pinterest and you'll be like how to save Money on real food and you're probably Going to see a lot of my articles at Least I hope you do Um but you're also going to see things Like you need to meal plan you need to

Cook from scratch you need to buy in Bulk you need to like do all these Things right and so you're gonna go and Because you're trying to save money you Don't really want to buy a course you're Like I'm just going to wing it I'm just Gonna you know DIY it you're gonna do All these things and you're gonna see Some success you will see probably some Some good short-term success your meal Planning will work for a few weeks until You get tired of doing it you're cooking From scratch will work Until you're tired of doing it Um and so where my course comes in is The very first thing we do is we build a Foundation and that 80 20 rule is part Of that Foundation it's realizing Where is your money currently going and Let's make sure it's going to the things You're eating most often I like to use The example of chicken and mustard if You eat a lot of chicken you're going to Want the quality of your chicken to be Good now whether you choose conventional Or you choose organic or you choose Pastured is 100 up to you and based on Your budget because to be honest when You don't have when you have a teeny Tiny little budget there's going to be a Lot of things you just simply can't Afford and that's not Um like that's not a personal thing that Is a that is a money thing it is like a

Black and white thing you you can't buy A Lamborghini on a Prius budget it just Doesn't it doesn't work like that So we built a foundation we talk about The 80 20 rule we build a budget that Works for you we take into consideration Where you live if you're rural or if you Are not or if you are in a big city Those play a role if you have food Allergies that plays a role Um the size of your family plays a role If you have a family of two your Budget's going to be smaller than if you Have a family of 12 that's again that's Like a number thing you can't change That Um so we talk about all that we have the Foundation and we also establish this One's important your priorities What type of quality of food do you want To buy and then making sure you Understand what that quality means I Think a lot of consumers think that Certain labeling means food is better I Love using the example of eggs because Um you're a homesteader I'm sure you've Got some chickens we've got some Chickens too and they're like right out My window Floating around that is called a Free-range chicken it is out on the Range and they're free to do whatever They want to do but when you buy a Free-range chicken eggs at the grocery

Store It is not that much of a difference than The typical grocery store conventional Egg they're still in a closed space they Have a teeny tiny little door Um but odds are they've never actually Seen daylight and so it's really Important to me that my students Understand the why behind what they're Doing because saving money is 50 doing And 50 mental and that includes the Education So we built a foundation and then we Segue into those hard skills meal Planning food waste cooking from scratch But we're also taking looking at that From the point of view of like what Actually matters if you are um allergic To wheat And Grains don't sit well in your belly Then baking bread from scratch It doesn't really make a whole lot of Sense So why would you do that right maybe you Host company and you're gonna make a Loaf of you like to have a loaf of bread On the table for them It is worth every penny to go to a store And buy that loaf of bread than it is For you to buy the ingredients and spend The time learning how to make one loaf That may or may not turn out to be Honest with you because bread making is A skill

Um and then to have those ingredients Sit and possibly go bad because you Don't consume them on a regular basis so We really talk about what you eat what Should you be making from scratch and Then keeping in mind time it takes to Make that from scratch and the money Aspect of is it actually cheaper to make It from scratch or not Um I learned the hard way that it is not Cheaper to make ketchup from scratch you Need a whole lot of tomatoes and you Need some thyme and Um and I had a local grocery store that Had bottles of organic ketchup on sale For a dollar and I was like you know What we're done we're gonna buy ketchup So it's things like that what is worth Buying what is not worth I'm sorry was Worth buying with cooking from scratch Versus what's not And then we come to the tail end of the Course we start wrapping it up but Before we do we talk about organization And I feel like this is a lost skill When it comes to eating real food on a Budget Being organized in your fridge and your Freezer in your pantry Can make the world of a difference in Your budget and I'm not talking about There's um there's a lovely company out There who has amazing beautiful labels And they're all color coded and I'm not

Saying you have to go to that extreme But I am saying you should be able to Open your pantry and not be embarrassed If your company is over you should be Able to open your deep freeze and say I Know where the ground beef is and I've Probably got three to four packages of It it doesn't have to be exact but we Need to be organized and how that plays A role is when you're at the grocery Store you are tempted All the time to to buy all the things oh I should get more peanut butter just in Case you know my family really loves Peanut butter we're probably low on Um I don't know organic flour we're Probably low on on this item and you're Gonna put it in your cart Just in case and then you're gonna come Home and be like oh my gosh I already Had 10 of these and now I have 11. so Being organized Helps us to not buy the things we really Don't need to buy as well as use up the Things we need to use up we like going Back to the fridge right things are Hiding in the back they hide in the back Of the freezer and the pantry as well You'll find a half box of random you Know crackers that are not tasting very Good because you open them up you took a Serving and now they're stale But we need we still need to find a way To use it up and then the last lesson is

Taking all this everything you've Learned and creating it into a system That you can follow week after week so It always starts with you know Step One Is this step two step three and then Back to step one step two step three and The more you do it the more you save That snowballs and The next thing you know you have this Huge slush fund that came from your Grocery budget and your your family's Telling you Mom dinner was amazing and Your husband's like I feel like I'm Eating like a king and you're like You're like yeah I'm you're you feel Like you're proud of yourself you're Done something good because that Mountain of how in the world do I eat Real food on a budget you're like I'm Doing it I'm actually doing it I just love how practical that sounds Because like I know for me I'll sit down And I'll design like okay I've got to Get organized I've got to do this I've Got to do that and yeah I spend a lot of Time on Pinterest or on Google or Somewhere like that and I come up with This plan that you know would be Pinterest worthy itself like oh it's This beautiful plan but when it comes to Actually implementing it it's not Practical yeah it hasn't actually work And so we have to get out of that like The ideal and make it what actually

Happens when you're doing real life and You have to live with this plan you need To make it successful there so that is Super exciting you guys if you are at All interested make sure you check out The program as soon as it opens up Um and we'll put a link below to Information about when that'll be Um but check it out and if you haven't Been over to don't waste the crumbs it's It don't waste the is that Correct yep you can go jump over there And Tiffany has so many amazing Resources great articles all sorts of Great things for you so make sure you go And check that out thank you so much for Coming on and for uh hanging out with us And having this discussion I think it's Going to be really helpful for a lot of People I hope so all right we will see You guys soon goodbye

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