A slightly boring week in the life of a fairly average couponer

by Melody on May 29, 2012

Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

I will even be mentioning those methods that may seem insignificant to you.  I truly feel that anything that saves time is saving money in some form or another.

Saving Breakfast

Alright, this is probably not going to save me any money.  But it did save my waffles.  When I would make a batch of waffles, I would place the cooked waffles on a plate while I was making the rest.  The heat trapped underneath made them soggy, which always bummed me out.  I realized the last time I made them that I should use a wire tray (like you would use to cool cookies or other baked goods) and they stayed perfectly crisp.

I realize this isn’t mind-blowing and I’m probably the only person in the world that hasn’t figured this out, but it’s been a big moment in our house.

Homemade salad dressing

As part of The Great Food Revolution of 2012, I have been slowly purging the pantry of processed foods and hydrogenated oils.  One of the items we decided to eat our way through before replacing was bottled salad dressing.  I was kind of dreading running out, as it seemed like just one more thing to add to my list.  Was I ever wrong.

Homemade salad dressing is not only amazingly easy (of course, depending on your recipe), but it is much better for you and tastes approximately one million times better.  I have started a Pinterest board for salad dressing recipe ideas and have already found a few favorites.  This Honey Mustard Dressing is amazing, only 4 ingredients and so delicious.  I’ve never seen my kids eat so many vegetables since I gave them this dressing to use as a dip!

I often try to finagle play dates at my friend Dani’s house because she makes me the most amazing lunches.  She passed on this ridiculously delicious salad dressing recipe:

Smoky Chipotle-Balsamic Dressing
(makes 1 1/4 cups)

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 canned chipotle chiles in Adobo sauce
1 t. sauce from chipotle chiles
1 t. dried oregano
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in the blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Taste and season with additional salt as desired.  Pour into a jar and store in fridge, shake well before serving.

New local produce delivery program

In addition to our weekly CSA produce pick-up, we picked up a box of fresh produce from Fresh Picks WA out of Basin City.  They deliver weekly to Tri-Cities and you can choose either a full fruit box of mixed fruit and vegetables.  I firmly believe having this option will save me money, as it is pre-paid and I don’t have to get my kids out of the car or risk spending more money by going into the grocery store.  Plus, we’re supporting local and it’s super fresh!  Check out my review here.

I would LOVE to hear how you saved your family money this week.  What methods do you find are the most efficient and effective?

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