How I Feed my Family for Under $2 at Aldi Series: Part 2

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How I Feed my Family for Under $2, Cheap Healthy Meals, Meal Planning, Save Money on Groceries, Cheap Grocery Shopping, Aldi Meal Plans, Cheap Recipes

How I Feed my Family for Under $2 at Aldi {Series Part: 2}

If you are new to this series, make sure you check out PART 1 HERE first!

For this part of the series, I will be talking about how cleaning your kitchen (and keeping it clean with minimal effort) can actually save you money!  I will also discuss how to effectively go “shopping” in your own pantry to save money as well!

Clean Your Kitchen to Save Money BEFORE you Shop!

You may be thinking: “How can I save money by cleaning my kitchen when my kitchen is already pretty much clean?” and that is a GREAT question! For me, cleaning my kitchen daily involves washing dishes and cleaning off the counters. Depending on how messy it gets, I will also sometimes sweep daily as well. Weekly I will sweep and mop the floors and clean out the microwave. For some reason though, I often forget about my fridge and pantry, and stuff tends to pile up. Since deciding to save my family more money on groceries, I have figured out that I need to look for ways to save money BEFORE shopping and that is when I thought about leftovers.

As you can see in this video:

The meals I compile tend to yield a lot of leftovers! I usually freeze some for later but I also leave some in the fridge to eat the rest of the week for lunches or on nights I don’t feel like cooking. Well, sometimes my husband will forget to take something to work for lunch or we don’t end up having a leftover night and more meals get put in, shoving older meals to the back. Then the meals in the back get forgotten and end up going bad, which wastes food and money!

So now I make a conscious effort to clean out my fridge once every two days. This way I can see if there are any forgotten leftovers that can be frozen before they go bad, or if there are enough leftovers hanging out in there waiting to be eaten, we will have a leftover night. Doing this every two days may seem like a lot of extra work, but it really only takes a couple of minutes.

Another reason I decided that I needed to clean my fridge more often was my cabbage fiasco. I had bought a cabbage to make cabbage soup and stuck it in the crisper drawer. I didn’t end up making the soup until the end of the week and for some reason, I thought I had never bought cabbage. Silly me just went and grabbed one at the store instead of checking, and a few weeks later I discovered a whole cabbage rotting in my fridge totally wasted. 🙁 So cleaning often, makes sure that you don’t have wasted food sitting around. If you see something that needs to be used soon, you can either freeze it to make it stretch until you’re ready to use it or come up with a creative way to incorporate it into a recipe.

The same exact thing happens in my pantry also. I try to keep my pantry as organized as possible. On the days that I go through my fridge, I also do a quick once-over in my pantry also to make sure nothing has gotten pushed to the back. There have been many times that I have ended up with a massive amount of canned tomatoes because they got pushed all the way to the back and I kept buying more, not realizing I already had a bunch!

So to break it down, here is how doing some extra cleaning can save money before going to the store:

    • Wasted leftovers = wasted money so by cleaning out your fridge every couple of days you will save the leftovers before they go bad allowing you to keep that money in your pocket and not down the drain.
    • Saved leftovers = more meals to eat. You can use them to have a leftover night where everyone gets to choose their favorite (this is super fun for the kiddos!) which saves money on buying more meals to make!
    • By checking the fridge and freezer, you can see what ingredients you already have instead of accidentally buying more!

Shop Your Own Kitchen Before Shopping at the Store!

This might sound a little silly because obviously if you had food in your kitchen already, you wouldn’t need to go grocery shopping right? Well, you might be surprised what you can actually find in your pantry, fridge or freezer that you can incorporate into new meals! Here is how you can “shop” your kitchen to incorporate what you find into your meal planning and purchase fewer ingredients at the store!

      • Take a notepad and jot down everything you can find in your kitchen that can be used for a meal. In my pantry, I always have an abundance of dry beans and pasta so I tend to make a lot of meals with those items.
      • Read through the items on your list and get your creative juices flowing to try and piece items together to make a meal. For example: Let’s say you have tortillas and a couple of cans of refried beans in your pantry. You could make tacos or burritos!
      • Just add the meals you come up with to your meal plan list (get some awesome printables HERE) and jot down the ingredients you will need to get to complete the meal.

Watch this video for a summary on how to use meal planning printables:

Read PART 3 of this series HERE

Read all of the parts to the series here:

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