Saving Money Costs More

November 13, 2008 at 12:57 pm (Being Frugal) (, , )

One of the biggest ways I’m trying to trim the budget is by cooking more at home and eating out less. I have to say it’s been working, at least in the 1 month that I’ve starting budgeting. I think I’ve eaten out once a week, and usually for lunch on the weekend, which is usually pretty cheap. It generally costs $10-15 each time. I initially had budgeted $100 for restaurants and $400 for groceries per month and I think I’ve been more than meeting that (at least for the restaurant part).

So to cook more at home you have to buy more foodstuffs. This means lots of bulk foods, and cooking from recipes. I’m finding there are certain kitchen goods I’ve been doing without that I’m starting to really need! Measuring cups, a good 9″ square bake pan, and a good seasoned cast-iron skillet. Glassware to store extras in, freeze, and/or take to work.  I did without previously but now that we’re cooking and baking at least every other night, it’s become a necessity. J even started canning, and he had to buy a bunch of mason jars and racks for boiling. I had to buy a bunch of mason jars for bulk goods. I bought the jars at the thrift store, but still have to go buy the new lids.

These are short-term purchases, so I’ll need to be spending some money in the home goods budget category – I think I’ll portion one of these per month until I’ve gotten them all.



  1. thepennypincher said,

    You can save a bit of money by buying a pan that is not seasoned and doing it yourself (my cast iron frying pan cost me roughly $15 instead of $45 for a seasoned pan.

    Also, I find that it is easy to find recipes online that match the ingredients that I already have. I agree that it does cost some money to buy the basic spices, but once you have bought them, they will last quite a while.

  2. debtmaven said,

    Welcome! Oooh, first comment on my blog!

    J, my boyfriend, is an ex-chef. He wants a pre-seasoned one because they work oh, so much better. I’ve been perusing used stores for one, but haven’t found one. Next time I go to an antique store I may strike gold. I’m not in an absolute rush to get one, luckily.

    Yesterday I was chatting with a co-worker and he mentioned that Wall-Mart has them (though I absolutely refuse to shop there), and Fred Meyers. I may check that out. I think they are about that price range, $15-20. Apparently there’s a new process that will chemically “pre-season’ the pan.

    Luckily I have been stocking up on all the major pantry items, and spices – I agree, you can’t beat fresh spices.

  3. thepennypincher said,

    Here is a good site with instructions on how to clean and season cast iron: I bought my pan at a locally owned hardware store. Just as cheap as Wal-Mart and the profit stays in the community.

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