“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” -Warren Buffett

In the Kitchen: Chili and Muffins, two of our fav ways to save!

One of the biggest variable areas of our budget (that quickly gets out of control) is food spending.  We want to purchase and eat food that nourishes our bodies, improves our health and tastes delicious. 

I shop almost exclusively with PC Express (use my PC Insiders code for a discount for signing up: AE1629). This is the easiest way for me to compare unit pricing as I shop, take time to consider what I actually need and virtually remove impulse buys.  It also allows me to easily stick to a budget because I can see in front of my eyes a running total and adjust my meal planning/grocery list if I find we are going over my planned spending.  It also allows us to add to the grocery order throughout the week as we remember items we need, and checkout at a time I'm already out for something else.  It fits in beautifully around our life, and saves me over an hour a week that I used to spend walking the aisles of the grocery store. 

Chili ready to go in the slow cooker
Back to the topic at hand... Meals on a budget.  I don't generally cook separate food for our kids, but I do occasionally modify a portion of the meal for them - i.e. stuffed peppers become ramekins of the filling with cheese on top cause they don't love peppers.   What I'm sharing today are tips that work for our family, keeping that in mind.

Black bean, pumpkin and cranberry muffins!
One of our favorite budget meals is chili!  My kids love "chili and cheese and chip" night when we have chili, shredded cheese, plain yogurt (or sour cream) and tortilla chips for dipping!  They've also discovered the joy of eating less meat and happily eat vegetarian chili.  One of the ways we've made this super affordable is by purchasing and re-hydrating beans (in the slow cooker it is super easy).  Our favourite beans in chili are black beans and chick peas, but I use whatever I have on hand.  I always add corn and often whatever veggies are in my fridge (carrots, sweet peppers, etc).

Another way we save on food is by rarely purchasing pre-made cookies, muffins, and baked goods.
  It is generally a fraction of the cost to make these at home, they taste better, are better for you and I can bulk up veggies by adding carrots, zucchini, black beans, sweet potato and so on. They freeze well and are highly customize-able which is great when my kids go through various phases - I love chocolate chip muffins, I only eat blueberry muffins, I don't want anything in my muffins!

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