2013 – Fitness, Frugality and Food

Wow, how is it April already? I feel like we have just started 2013 and here we are more than a third of the way through it. I haven’t posted in months, so I feel the need to recap what has been happening in this new year. At the beginning of last year, 2012, I began eating better and exercising more in an effort to lose weight and feel better. The good news: In 2012 I lost a total of 14 pounds! Since January 1st 2012 to date I have lost a total of 22 pounds and my husband is down over 30 lbs since August 2012. All that to say that 2013 has become the year of fitness, healthy eating and putting our budget on a diet as well.

I have been reading up on financial and frugal blogs as well as getting serious about meal planning. I would like to share a few of the things I have learned about grocery shopping in the last 4 months. I was a pretty good grocery shopper before, I used some coupons, bought plenty of produce, made some form of a menu plan etc. But since the start of 2013 I have gotten serious about it, and here’s how:
1. Make out your menus for at least 2 weeks at a time, up to a month at a time. This helps in a couple of ways, you have less repeats of meals, can easily build in a night of leftovers, lets you use up things that would be leftover from one meal to the next (chicken turned into chicken soup).
2. One week per month stock up on staples. The other three weeks see how little you can buy from the store. Use up pantry items (rice, pasta, canned veggies), forgotten freezer ingredients etc.
3. Use coupons, sales etc. but only if you were planning to buy that item or one similar anyway. It is easy to end up with a house full of over processed, cheap food that you got on sale or by using a coupon but never end up eating.
4. Try a new recipe once in a while. It’s easy to convince yourself to go out to eat when you end up eating the same 6-8 meals every week, change it up and add some variety, it will keep you interested in cooking and eating at home.

Since the new year I have made Pioneer Woman’s potato soup (it is now a new favorite!), lasagna, tacos with leftover pork, cornbread waffles (never will I ever make regular cornbread again!), just to name a few. Up next on the to try list is Quinoa, anyone have a good recipe?

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