Are you interested in starting a tradition that involves:
Wholesome home-cooked meals
Getting your kitchen organized
AND saving money?
If so, you might be interested in this!
A Little Background
A couple years ago I had the opportunity to attend and present at a women’s conference in my home town. Several sessions were offered, with topics ranging from health, to cooking, to gardening, to photography. It was a great opportunity to spend time with a fun group of women, learn from each other, and recharge.
While attending a session on meal planning, I talked with a friend who explained her "Frugal February" tradition, which her family does each year. During the month of February they focus on using up what they already have on hand, which allows them to save significant money on groceries throughout the month. It also allows makes room for food that she will later grow, freeze, and even can (so impressive).
A Brilliant Idea!
I thought this was an awesome idea. I should mention that I'm nowhere near my friend’s level when it comes to gardening, freezing, and canning. (To be honest, I've never canned anything in my life… and my gardening skills are less than stellar.)
But I do love my freezer. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to make cooking worth my while, by preparing large quantities of food, frequently freezing leftovers for easy home-cooked meals down the road. I also store quite a bit of produce in my freezer, which I use for various meals and smoothies.
The problem, I’ll admit, is that I sometimes forget about the foods I put in there. They get buried and forgotten. Months, sometimes years go by, without me using them. By the time I realize it, it's sometimes too late.
It’s sad when this happens. You were such a good homemade soup… Can this label be right? I made you in 2016?! (Oops.)
The same is true of my cabinets and pantry. I’ll find various items sitting at the back of a high shelf, only to realize they expired a couple years ago. :(
I realize that this says something about my organization skills...
Anyhow, in 2017 I decided to take my friend’s advice and start my own “Frugal February” tradition. I encourage you to do the same!
It’s easy to do. You simply plan meals with the intent of using up food that you already have on hand.
I find “Frugal February” to be a fun challenge. It makes me feel:
Smart - as we save money
Creative - as I try interesting new combinations of on-hand ingredients
Relieved - as we enjoy several meals that I’ve prepared previously (less cooking for me!)
In control - as my freezer and cabinets become decluttered and better-organized.
How about you? How might this tradition benefit your household?
And speaking of saving money… you might also enjoy this post, where I explain how I paid off $90,000 of debt in one year. (Talk about a sense of well-being! This is one of the most health-promoting changes I’ve ever made in my life!)
This post was originally published on February 24, 2017 and was updated on January 25, 2019.