Eating at Home

One of the first things people recommend to folks that are struggling financially is to eat at home. Sometimes that is easier said than done. According to the book 168 hours: you have more time than you think, the average dual-income married couple with kids spends a total of 9.24 hours a week grocery shopping, prepping and cleaning up the kitchen. Today I documented 4.5 hours of those chores. (The book recommends that you document where your time goes for 1 week.) It’s hard to tease out exactly how many hours I spent because I was also starting laundry, making beds, and interacting with my children.

$40 worth of meet for $16

I suspect Mr. Miser and I spend way more than 9.24 hours a week in the kitchen because we buy a lot of food that needs to be prepped and sliced.

In an effort to save precious time, I have learned the skill of preparing for the week. For instance, today I cooked chicken, prepped veggies for kids’ lunches, roasted vegetables for the week and corralled all of the nonperishable items needed into one area of my pantry, so Mr. Miser can find it when I’m working late. Prepping also discorages us from giving up and getting wings when we are too tired to cook.

Meal Prep Day

I started ordering my food online for a quick pick up but I’ve found that I miss out on a lot of deals while at the store. My typical method is to scroll through ibotta for coupons, then I scroll through my grocery store app, then I make my grocery list. I save a lot of money this way and once I’m in the store I keep my eye’s open for manager’s specials. Our grocery budget with 2 kids is around $800 per month. This number includes everything we buy at Costco and the grocery store. It includes toilet paper, laundry detergent, the occasional stand-up desk, last fall’s tulips, etc. I refuse to go line by line to make sure I’m staying under budget. As long as we are eating healthy and keeping our eyes open for sales, I’m happy.

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