Friday, September 19, 2014

save on groceries | make your own tortillas

Well, our school year has gotten off to a great start. Reed loves school. It took a couple weeks to adjust with him being gone all day, but Luc and I have a good routine for ourselves during the day. Now it's time to get some things in order around here.
Our grocery bill was out of control! I shamefully admit when we first moved we didn't even pay that close attention to what we were spending and then when I did, I tried to keep it at our budgeted amount, but it was still coming up way higher every month. When you don't pay cash and  just look at the credit card statement at the end of the month, it's funny {not funny as in " ha ha"} how you forget how much it really does add up. The endless frustration in overspending finally made me do something I've never really cash. I realize paying cash isn't a radical concept for some, but it's never been how we roll.  But wow, so much changes when you use cash besides just staying on budget. A lot of good is happening in this head of mine. So now I go to the bank every other Friday {payday} take out my budgeted amount for groceries for two weeks and that's it, no going back to the bank before payday. It's been going really good and after a few weeks I even had money leftover. It was $10, but leftover from someone who was spending sometimes near double the "budget" amount is a huge victory I think.

Here are the top three changes I made to get my grocery bill under control:
Cook one meat dish a week {I make 3-4 meals a week and then we eat leftovers}
Make more staples from scratch
Pay cash

I will also mention another big factor was planning meals around what's available from our garden. Now that the big growing season is coming to an end, this won't have as much of an impact, but I am dipping my toe into a four season garden so hopefully we will still have some fresh seasonal produce to enjoy. 

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you may realize I really am a get back to simple, good, basics kind of gal at heart. We don't eat processed food and have home cooked meals nearly every night. I have been drawn to making more and more staples myself for awhile now. Since recently I was successful at making bread, I challenged myself to make all of our rolls, tortillas, etc. There is such a wealth of recipes out there. I have pinned many ideas on my "make your own".   And I will tell you, besides the fact that homemade food just tastes way better than anything store bought, it is a huge savings off your grocery bill. Not to mention the pride that you have when you make something yourself and are feeding your family good, wholesome food. 
So I've made these tortillas twice now. Both with regular all-purpose the recipe calls for and substituting whole wheat {which is the type of tortilla I would buy at the store}. Both times they turned out great. The second time it came so much easier and I have a better feel for how thin the dough should be before you cook them {thinner than you think}. I use a combination of the rolling pin and my hands to stretch and thin the dough out. Similar to stretching pizza dough. 
Here is the recipe I use: homemade tortillas.  You can divide the dough into as many pieces you need based on what you are using them for. I've made it into just four for burritos or eight for fajitas. I also pour about a 1 tsp or so of vegetable oil into the skillet and roll it around before I put the tortilla in the pan so it doesn't stick. I tell you, so so good. But gosh, it's homemade I would be surprised if it wasn't. 

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