My friend Rachel linked to this post on saving money on groceries, and while I already put to use a lot of the great ideas, the last paragraph of this section caught my eye. I'd like to put this into action!
8)Cook from scratch, as much as possible. It's a no-brainer, but cooking from scratch with simple, inexpensive ingredients is likely one of the greatest ways to save money on your grocery budget while also eating more healthfully.
We enjoy some processed foods as a treat, but I attempt to have the bulk of our diet made up of fresh fruits and veggies and homemade items. With some planning ahead and cooking in bulk and freezing, you can eliminate the need for many processed foods without spending a great deal of time and thought.
One of my best tips to help one be more efficient when it comes to cooking from scratch is just to look for ways you can make extra. If you're making waffles, make a double batch or triple batch and freeze the leftovers for breakfast later in the week. If you're making cookies, double the recipe, bake what you'll eat right away, and freeze the rest of the cookie dough in balls and then pull out how many you'll need and bake them later.
Another thing which has worked well for me is to try and bake for a few hours one day per week or for half a day every other week. This guarantees I almost always have a few different things on hand for quick breakfasts or snacks or bread to go along with dinner. If that's too daunting for you, then at least try to take 30 minutes a few times per week and bake up a triple batch of something and freeze most of it.