Happy Monday, my dear Bloggity friends! I’m excited to pop in here on my blog today to share a couple neat things with you. As some of you know, I’m an avid book reader. I’ve always got a book or two or five going all the time, seriously! So, when my new friend, Kate Megill asked if any of us would like to read her book and then offer it as a giveaway, I was interested. Once I found out what the book was about – I was all in. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to know how to cut their food budget these days? Especially how they seem to keep creeping up and up, right?
When I saw the title of her book: Cut It Out! How I Feed My Family of 10 for $500 a Month Without Coupons, well – I was really curious! I may not have a family of 10 (although, true story…I did want nine children!), but I have always tried to be a frugal shopper. Yet, I began to wonder – what could Kate teach me since we are now a household of two! I’m not a huge fan of coupon cutting, so this was definitely up my alley.
After reading the book, I was excited that I still could learn a few tricks! I was able to ask her a few more questions that the book brought to my mind, and I have included the interview with Kate below. Plus, I did speak of a giveaway – so read to the end!
Tickled Pink: What was your biggest challenge getting into this plan?
Kate: Actually, the biggest challenge was coming up with the 2 week menus. I really don’t like coming up with menus. I started keeping copies of the menus that I made each week until I had a stock of about 7 2-week menus. Then one day I sat down with my children and BEGGED them to help me create another 3 menus.
Then I had to go through the menus and mix up cheaper meals with more expensive ones so that I could afford those 2 weeks of meals.
TP: You said you only use toilet paper as the only paper – what about kleenex?
K: Good question! We generally use TP for our facial tissue needs. My family almost never gets sick. On the off-winter that we do get bad colds, I’ll bite the bullet and buy whatever facial tissue is on sale, generally spending less than $7 for 4 boxes.
TP: Did you invest in a freezer to be able to keep a “frozen pantry” or do you just use your refrigerator one?
K: When I first started, I used the freezer compartment of our fridge. I’d put everything into ziploc bags (that I washed and reused), freeze them flat and stack in labeled boxes is the little freezer.
After awhile, when a friend and I spent a year making Once A Month Cooking meals, another gal from our church gave us her chest freezer. It has been a real help but not something that I necessarily would have sprung for on my own.
TP: Do you ever find that your list gets outdated really quickly because of the food costs constantly changing?
K: Generally no. My Price Book really needs major updating once a year. There really is a regular ebb and flow to the sales at the stores, and I follow the sales.
A couple of years ago when the gas prices (and because of it, the food prices) started to skyrocket, I had to update my Price Book weekly. It meant I had to do a little more creative meal shifting. And I had to scour the sale flyers more carefully. But the gas prices evened out and the grocery prices began to drop and better sales came up. Also, Aldis added a whole new stock of foods that they carried and that helped significantly.
TP: Do you make all things from scratch (pancake/waffle batter, maple syrup, bread, etc.)
K: When I had a working wheat grinder, I made all my own bread. I could get grain from local farmers for very inexpensive and it was very cost effective. Now, I make bread infrequently because the whole wheat in the store is more expensive and slightly rancid, having been ground months before.
I make my own waffle batter, it is a very inexpensive recipe that I use. I do a combination of my own pancake batter and sometimes using Krusteze – which is quite inexpensive to use.
I often make my own pancake syrup but if I can find a great sale, I’ll buy it instead.
TP: Do you find that this has become so second nature, that you can’t imagine ever NOT shopping this way?!
K: Absolutely! I pretty much carry my Price Book in my head and my menus are on my computer and I simply open them in order (the shopping list is already on my menu and I go through my pantry/fridge/freezer and cross of what I have) and double check the estimated cost of groceries to see if I have to swap out any meals. It takes me about 20 minutes a week to pull my menu together and finalize the shopping list.
TP: What do you want the readers to know about you most?
K: That I am NOT a Super Mom. I am NOT an organized person (by nature) and that I tend to be on the lazy side. I look for the fastest, easiest and least difficult way to do something and to keep it going. If I can do this, anyone can do it!
Now, about that giveaway!!
Kate has graciously offered five of her eBooks for FREE for my readers! For FREE! So – here goes ladies, leave a comment below of why you could use this book to help you cut your grocery expenses by midnight on 7/29! I will draw 5 names on July 30th.
If you miss the drawing, she will be having a special “Launch Party” where she will be giving you the opportunity to snag her eBook on sale! From 7/30 to 8/3, her eBook will be $1.99 (the normal price is $3.99). You can purchase the book through her her website!
Kate Megill has been feeding her family of 10 on a shoe-string for 27 years. Her children range from 10 to 25 years, and 6 of them are still at home. She and her college-professor husband have homeschooled all of them, and are enjoying watching the older ones leave the nest.
Kate is a follower of Jesus Christ. She has been mentoring women for over 30 years, both in person and on the CHFWeb
(Christian Homeschooling Fellowship) online community.
Kate’s go-to meal is pasta with any of a variety of sauces she keeps on hand. Her favorite grocery store stock-up deals are 25-cent canned beans and veggies, and fresh sweet corn in the summertime.
Check it out, friends! I hope you take her up on her giveaway drawing!
…and that’s all I have to say about that!