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Since my family has been making some new food choices in hopes of living a longer/healthier life we have adopted a few “food rules.” Make no mistake, we ENJOY eating, we eat meat, AND we live on a budget – but we are not deprived. This may or may not be similar to your life style… and that is okay. But, here I will share a rule that we have adopted. You can adopt this rule too, or not. Either way, it will be okay with me. =)

Use Up What You’ve Got

The most important thing you can do to save money when trying to purchase wholesome and organic food is to make sure to use up what you buy!  This may seem obvious to some but most people throw away more than they realize.  The more obvious things are like eating up fresh produce early in the week and save frozen vegetables for the days later in the week when fresh produce would otherwise go bad.  Also, don’t buy more fresh produce than you can eat before it goes bad, unless…

If you find a great buy and it is something you can freeze, but a lot and do just that!  Or, if you accidentally purchase more than your family can eat, prep it and freeze it too.  Things like celery and onions can be chopped and frozen to saute for soups or other dishes.  Slice green peppers and freeze for fajitas.  Bananas can be frozen with the skins still on, so if you have a few on your counter that are past their prime but not bad, throw them in the freezer and use them in banana bread or banana pancakes.  Or, peel them and slice them and flash freeze them.

If you are unfamiliar with flash freezing, all that means is you chop them up and spread them out where they are not touching on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.  Put the whole baking sheet in the freezer and leave for a few hours, until they are firm and frozen solid.  Then, peel them up and toss them in a ziploc bag.  These are great for smoothies!Just try to think about how you will use the fruit or veggies later and go ahead and prepare them so they will be easy to use, that way you’ll be more likely to actually use them.

If you have leftovers in your fridge and everyone is sick of them, freeze them in containers for lunch later.  One day you’ll be glad to have it again, especially when there is nothing in the fridge to grab and take when you’re in a hurry!  Or, if you’ve got one serving of vegetables left – like corn, green beans, etc.  freeze it in a ziploc and then you can dump it in a pot of vegetable soup.

If you have meat left over like chicken or roast these things are great to “remake” into new meals like quesadillas, burritos, sandwiches, or – use you’re imagination!  Not only is this using what you’ve got, it is often a time saver too; when your meat is already cooked it is easy to throw together a casserole in a snap!

I’ve also talked about using up the leftover “parts” of the chicken to make your own organic chicken stock.  You can use raw chicken or the leftover carcass of a store bought roteisserie chicken.  Read my how to HERE.

There are lots of things in your fridge or on your counter that are easy to forget and later toss into the garbage without a second thought.  With a little dilegence, you can save your hard earned dollars and stretch your grocery budget.

If you are a new reader you might want to read some of my older “My Whole Food Journey” posts HERE.

Have you got questions? Are you on your own quest to eat wholesome and/or organic? If you’ve been shopping a little differently as well and the labels have got your brain in a fog… email me or drop me a comment here and I’ll be happy to help you find the answers your looking for! Sometimes shopping in a whole foods store can be overwhelming and leave you with more questions than when you came in!