I belong this Facebook group called Frugal Family Food. I just posted the update that I'm copying and pasting here because I realized this morning that I've had a routine for saving money on groceries for a few years now that helps me save not by menu planning (though I do that diligently), and not by shopping deals (which I also do diligently), but by just wasting less. I've built a refrigerator cleaning routine and menu planning routine that builds in the need to use things up. Just wanted to share it!
Here's what I posted:
Sunday is always my clean out the fridge and menu plan day. I realized just today that my whole method for meal planning and fridge cleaning is built around frugality.
I only meal plan Monday through Friday (basing it around deals, the pantry, and freezer of course) and take note of any special things for the weekend that might need a plan. Then on the weekends we eat leftovers or I reinvent stuff. Doing this every weekend has made me be more consistent about using stuff up.
An example: this weekend we had a leftover buffet for lunch Saturday because we had enough leftover things to choose from. I had to use up some blueberries so I made blueberry muffins for breakfast and put the rest in the freezer for smoothies. Today for breakfast I roasted the leftover half of a red bell pepper and half a container of mushrooms. Then I pan fried a chopped up leftover baked potato and scrambled eggs with the potatoes red bell and mushrooms (so good!). With remaining stuff in the fridge I'm making an appetizer night for dinner that will have a crudites with tail ends of veggies, deviled eggs made with a few hard boiled eggs, mini pizzas on leftover hamburger buns, and mini fried rice bowls made with leftover brown rice and half a package of frozen mixed veggies. I might put those on romaine spears I have instead of in small bowls.
I don't know if it helps anyone to read that very long post, but I really always just recommend the stocking up on sale items thing when talking about frugal cooking and cooking with cheaper ingredients like potatoes. It wasn't til today that I remembered my whole routine building a few years ago in an effort to just waste less.
What other things do you do to save money on groceries or waste less food?