Brett and I want to kick up our savings even more next year, and one budget area we’ve decided we’re comfortable cutting back a bit is food and toiletries. Although the budget seems tight at times now, and saving on food can be a challenge in Hawaii (to say the least), we believe that by being more strategic in our menu planning and with our shopping we can cut back our monthly spending by around another $100 (we currently budget $500/month for food and toiletries.
To that end, we’re going to begin stocking up on certain pantry and freezer items until the end of the year, things that get used or eaten (more) frequently and that we know will keep for a while. I don’t say that lightly because the humidity here can be pervasive – things like potato chips or crackers or cereal that are sealed in bags can lose their crisp in a couple of months if exposed to the humidity. We don’t have a lot of extra space for storage inside, but enough that we can put a few things away, and items in jars or plastic containers can be kept outside in the garage.
Buying extras now with our current budget will mean that we can spend less next year. It won’t be a lot, but every little bit will help make it easier to save. To that end, items on our Costco stock-up list this month include but are not limited to a case of ramen, extra peanut butter, an extra container or two of nuts, and we’ll get a second container of fabric softener, and extra shampoo from Walmart. We’ll see how things total up this month, and decide if we can maybe get more. During our November and December shops is when we’ll get the things we can keep in the freezer.
Here’s to saving more next year!
Here’s our menu for this week:
- Tuesday (this evening): Slow cooker stuffing with chicken; (I am going to have 1/4 cup of stuffing, but mostly chicken); grilled zucchini
- Wednesday: Ginger pork sandwiches; coleslaw (no bread for me)
- Thursday: Teriyaki chicken meatball skewers with peppers; steamed rice; cucumbers (no rice for me)
- Friday: Leftovers
- Saturday: Grilled beef Polish sausages; sauerkraut; pilaf (I’m skipping the pilaf)
- Sunday: Baked chili rellenos; yellow rice; cucumber salad (no rice for me)
- Monday: Panzanella with beans and cheese (bumped from last week – I’m substituting zucchini for the bread in my portion)
We’ll be getting more cucumbers from the farmers’ market, and zucchini if we can find it. Farmer’s are apparently having a hard time with zucchini right now – the flowers are rotting before the squash can set. I also hope we can get some corn, but otherwise we’ll be buying fruit.