Take a look: There are items in your pantry you can make a meal out of without having to go grocery shopping this week. *MCT photo
Take a look: There are items in your pantry you can make a meal out of without having to go grocery shopping this week. *MCT photo

I read an article recently on Wisebread.com,10 Crazy frugality schemes that just might work and I thought it a good idea to share, especially tip number one — stop buying groceries. This first tip had me laughing right away before I even read it entirely. Grocery shopping is one of my favourite leisurely pursuits.

The suggestion here is to stop buying additional groceries until you have used everything you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. Okay, this actually makes sense, especially if your freezer looks like mine. I did an inventory of my freezer and determined that we could easily eat out of it for the next two months. 

However, the fridge and pantry at my house is another story. We tend to only keep the basics — milk, eggs, cheese, butter, lemons, a few apples, onions, potatoes, condiments and veggies pasta, canned chicken broth, stewed tomatoes and some evaporated milk — that we intend to eat right away.

I tested this theory immediately and made a veggie lasagne based on the two parsnips, one carrot, three asparaguses, some cauliflower, six mushrooms and one leek I had in the fridge. I already had enough lasagne, milk and cheese to make a small lasagne and it turned out to be a great mid-week meal with the scant veggies we had on hand.

The next night we had veggie and chicken orzo that I had cooked a few weeks back, and we had so much leftover that I froze enough for another meal. Tonight we will have soup out of the freezer and on the weekend I will thaw out a chicken and bake it. I have some rolls in the freezer and some onions and celery in the fridge to make homemade stuffing. And thanks to my mother the gardener we have broccoli and greens in the garden. No trip to the grocery store this week for us except to pick up some milk and eggs.

I would suggest that everyone take an inventory of what they already have at home and plan your meals around it, before buying more groceries. This is an easy way to save money.

One of the other tips this article suggests is using smaller plates for dinner. I like this one and confess that we eat regularly out of small plates. My everyday plates are small and I find that when we have guests they tend to eat less. If they are still hungry, they can always go for seconds. It is a good way to avoid overfilling a large plate and wasting food that ends up in the garbage. 

Out of the ten tips in this article, three of them are indeed ‘crazy’ but the others are worth the read, especially if you are looking to save money any way you can. Take a look, www.wisebread.com, there is an abundance of useful articles on budgeting and frugality that we can all benefit from. n

Honey Adams is the education officer for Consumer Affairs.