One of the good money saving things I do to keep my grocery expenditures in check has been tracking my monthly food shopping hauls. This past month was an eye opener. In my everlasting attempt to try and lower my food bill, I noticed I was spending an awful lot of money on snacks. Granted yes, I was buying my snacks at a heavily discounted Job Lot outfit…..nonetheless, I was spending almost seventy dollars ($70) a month on snacks!

Here’s a screen shot of my June grocery bill. I do one large haul per month (highlighted in red) with little trips in between when I run out of produce, bread and/or dairy. I calculate the month on my credit card billing cycle which usually ends around the 20th of every month. I find that I can track my spending much better this way by using both the spread sheet and credit card method. I set a monthly goal limit of $500 and if I see myself nearing that amount sooner than later, I cease all spending in that category. I just make sure to pay my bill, in full, each and every month.

I noticed I spent $67.29 on snacks purchased on a deep discount from Job Lot. The snacks included things like honey roasted almonds, biscotti bits, crackers, veggie chips and other un-necessary things like that. There truly is no reason to buy them especially now since I am on a diet. I snack on fruit and veggies instead. By eliminating this wasteful spend, I can get my monthly food bill down to a more reasonable $450 level. I did use a $15 gift card to offset my grocery bill. I think I will start to use more of them in the future as a means of keeping my monthly food bill lower. I also got a visit from my kids and grandkids this past month. Family visits cost money. Plus, we went camping and I started my WW (Weight Watchers) diet. Ka-ching!

My doggie treat expenses weren’t that much better. Have you seen the cost of dog treats lately? I usually buy one packet per month for my pooch. The prices ($20) are through the roof! But I found an alternative.

Thankfully, as far as my doggie is concerned, I can make these treats as home for like pennies. I found a recipe online for making sweet potato dog treats by cutting up a raw sweet potato (that maybe costs fifty cents?) into bite sized pieces geared to the size of your dog (in my case, my doggie is a 12 pound puppy, so the size is super small) and placing them in an air fryer set at 375F degrees for around 10 minutes until crispy. Dogs seem to love sweet potato treats and my little doggie is no exception. She adores them. This was a big hit at home and will save me a lot of money over time. Just remember to store the sweet potato treats in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

Lastly, I’m discovering that an air fryer this summer is going to save me a lot of money, heat and wasteful clean up time vs using my oven. I’ve been making chicken wings and (diet) southern fried chicken in my new air fryer which has been perfect for this summer season. I loaned out a few air fryer cookbooks from my library so I should be posting some of my new-found dishes shortly.

I’m starting off with The Good Housekeeping Air Fryer cookbook which is teaching me the basics. The book contains 70 recipes and good food is guaranteed. Stay tuned!

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