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I've always cooked. However, now I'm cooking even more. Food has gotten expensive, so I continuously look for ways to save, cutback, and find better alternative ways to do things. There are three in my family. We spend around $300 a month on groceries, not including supplies. Not a little bit of money, but not a lot either.  At this stage in my life I do not eat out much. Restaurant kitchens aren't always clean, neither are people's hands, and the luxury of dining out can add up. We probably eat out three times a month, spending around $30-40; using coupons at www.restaurant.com or www.diningperks.com.  

Below is how we save money on groceries and cooking.

1. Have a set amount each week budgeted for groceries, and stay within the amount.
2. Shop for food one day a week. Go through cabinets and refrigerator for inventory. Create a weekly menu, and purchase according to what is on the menu.
3. My husband goes to Wal-Mart for most items and then to Kroger for fruits and vegetable one day a week, like clock work.
4. Once a month I order groceries from www.angelfoodministries.com. For $52 I get enough meat, vegetables, fruits, starches, eggs, and dessert to last a couple of weeks. For us, there is enough meat to last over a month or so. We aren't big meat eaters.
5. I cook on Sundays and Wednesday, only. I usually cook 2-3 vegetables on both days. Also, I mix up pasta, casserole, roast with potatoes and vegetables using lots of garlic and onions, on the other days.

The benefits of cooking at home:

a) Our gas bill is only $21 a month, because I cook only two days a week. Our stove is gas the rest is electric.
b) We have good food in a clean kitchen made with clean hands.
c) We save a fortune by eating at home.
d) We eat healthier because I'm cooking using fresh ingredients from scratch, and not boxed or processed foods.
e) We are able to enjoy a meal together as a family at the table and talk.

Are you cooking more and how has it benefited you?

Sharman Lawson is a financial coach, speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever!   Visit her website at sharmanlawson.com.



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