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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Super Saver Saturday Mark Down Foods

My husband and I live very differently from your standard American family. We have five kids-we had a girl followed by a boy and people thought we were done. We kept going and had another girl followed by two boys.

Our choice to have five children led to some other non-standard choices: we live in a double wide mobile home, we moved to a semi-rural area on 3/4 acres of property, we shop at thrift stores, yard sales, and we buy clearance and markdown food items.

Many people would shy from purchasing food items that bear a large red sticker but we are actually excited to buy these products because of the HUGE impact they have on reducing our food costs. Meal planning is very interesting when the components are acquired in this random fashion.

Yogurt can be quite expensive purchased at regular price but on a markdown I can often obtain it at 75% off. Many people do not know that yogurt and many other dairy products are perfectly fine up to a week after the sell by date on the package. I actively search for mark down items in the dairy case because the savings are so great.

Meat is another item where one can realize great savings. As long as the meat is cooked soon after purchasing or frozen right away, it is perfectly fine and a huge boon to the budget. I have a lot of fun calculating the cost of a meal at times when I have created it from all mark down items.

One very successful meal I make using mark down items is Southwest Chicken. I got the three canned items at 50 cents each. I used only part of the bag of chicken tenders and the rice I cooked was from a bag that had been marked down as well. I fed 5 people for about $6.00 and we ate very generous servings.

Ingredients for Southwest Chicken

Making Southwest Chicken is very easy, too! I just brown the chicken in oil with garlic, throw in a drained can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, a can of corn kernels, drained, and a can of drained black beans. Add some powdered cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve over rice.

Southwest chicken ready to eat!
I think that buying markdown foods offers an opportunity for creativity while freeing up money for other expenditures. Try it-you and your budget will like it!

What do you do to live within your budget?

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