Talk Wealth to Me

#017: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half and Still Eat Well with Steve and Annette Economides

August 28, 2019 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback, Steve & Annette Economides Season 1 Episode 17
Talk Wealth to Me
#017: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half and Still Eat Well with Steve and Annette Economides
Show Notes Transcript

Saving money on groceries is one of the fastest ways to cut spending from your budget.

Given that the average family of four is spending about $800 per month on groceries ($200 per person), cutting costs at the grocery store and eating out less is one of the fastest ways to save money.

In Episode 17 of Talk Wealth To Me, Chase, Felipe, and Katie, sit down with Steve and Annette Economides who are the experts when it comes to frugal grocery shopping. When Steve and Annette had five kids living at home, the couple spent just $350 per month on groceries - $50 per person per month.

How did they do it?

1. Taking inventory of the food they already at home
2. Shopping at the grocery store just once per month
3. Utilizing a very large freezer
4. And more!

Listen to the full episode to hear Steve and Annette share the ins and outs of frugal grocery shopping as well as tips to get you started on grocery savings.


To learn more about Steve & Annette's grocery strategies visit their:

Website: https://moneysmartfamily.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MavinOfSavin

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/annettesteve/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmericasCheapestFamily/

 

Free Downloads:

Shopping List and Price Tracker: https://moneysmartfamily.com/groceries/

Freezer Inventory: https://moneysmartfamily.com/grocery-tips-landing-page/ (bottom of the page)

 

Books: 


Comments, questions or suggestions for the show? Email us at [email protected]

To learn more about DebtWave Credit Counseling, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.



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Intro:

Welcome to Talk Wealth to Me, a safe space podcast where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance.

Felipe Arevalo:

The information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting, legal, tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Hello and welcome to another edition of Talk Wealth to Me today we are getting very down and dirty. We are talking shopping. The number one issue for people's budgets being busted are food. And we talk about it all the time. When Felipe and I were working with, well I should say when Felipe is working with a family or group and we tell them to ask them to estimate what their budget is on groceries, you can always guarantee that you might as well double what they think it is because always, always, always people underestimate what they spend on food, especially at the grocery store. Of course we know about going out and eating at restaurants, but today we're talking with Steve and Annette Economides. They are America's money smart family at moneysmartfamily .com and they have this down to a science Felipe and Katie and I sit down with them today and really go over how to structure this and save about half of what we're spending at the grocery store.

Katie Utterback:

So we're gonna talk about groceries today and I was reading, you know, in prep prep preparation for today's show and I was finding that the second biggest expense that a lot of households face second to the mortgage is your grocery budget.

Annette:

Yup.

Katie Utterback:

And you two have really gone after that line item and found a way to still eat well, but spend a lot less on your grocery budget. So maybe just to start off our conversation, how did you get the idea like let's turn to our groceries and let's figure out a way to really cut down that expense.

Annette:

Okay. Well really Katie it started out of a necessity because when we were first married we had nothing to live on and didn't realize, we didn't realize that we qualified for government assistance.

Steve:

I was, look, look, this was 1982 I was earning $13,800 a year. I mean, that was a lot of money. But by contrast, a guy who graduated from the same college I graduated from with an engineering degree was earning $30,000 a year. So.

Annette:

right.

Steve:

now we were living on poverty wages.

Annette:

So basically when we first got married, I was like, I I'm going to learn how to cook because my mom is a great cook. Steve's parents both cook. And I think if I can learn how to cook, I'll save us some money. So I started my journey on learning how to cook and then we just made saving money on groceries a game. It became so easy to play. And there, you're right Kate , when you say, my goodness, you know, you can really save money with groceries. We tell people you could cut your grocery bill in half if you just spend two hours a week working on that.

Steve:

So here's what's at stake. Uh, there's all kinds of surveys out there and there's no one that is exactly right for every family, but the average seems to be that people are spending about $200-250 per person per month for groceries. So if you've got a family of four, you're spending between 800 and a thousand dollars a month. So you're right, Katie, it is probably the second biggest line item in a family budget,

Katie Utterback:

$800 to $1,000 for a family of four?!

Steve:

Right. So here's what's at stake. If we can cut that grocery bill in half, let's say we can cut $400 off. Okay, that's $4,800 a year. That's a huge amount of money that can be put towards reducing debt, paying off a house, building IRA's, a retirement savings. It gives, a lot of stuff can be done with $4,800 of , yeah . So it's, it's, it's a reality and it can happen and it doesn't have to take much time to recoup those savings because once you learn a few tricks, it just becomes habit.

Annette:

And another thing we say is it's like anything in life. Yeah , saving money is great, but we're all about saving time too. And when you don't really plan, you're running into that grocery store two and three times a week and you're actually spending twice the amount of time that you need to spend at the grocery store. Um, so we can actually cut your time in half as well.

Chase Peckham:

And buying things that you technically don't really need, that you're , you're really buying more out of want and, and , uh , reaction than you are planning what you really want to eat that day or that week.

Steve:

You're right. It basically , uh , we quote in our book , uh , cut your grocery bill in half, a survey. It's called where the rubber meets the road with the largest consumer based survey of grocery shopping habits ever created. And I think there are over 500,000 items that they tracked people buying. And one of the conclusions there were many, but one of them just stuck with us. And that is that 60% of the items that people put in their carts were put in there on impulse, unplanned purchases,

Katie Utterback:

60%?!

Steve:

60 percent. so if you went to the store for 10 items, you came out with 16.

Chase Peckham:

that's a fact .

Felipe Arevalo:

sounds right.

Annette:

It is a fact, yeah .

Steve:

So one of the things we tell people is if you want to test it, take and put one those little hand carts in the seat basket of the grocery store cart and put the items that you have on your list in the big part of the cart and put the impulse items in the basket. And it's just a great visual to see what's going on. And really here's a , here's another one. Dave Ramsey once said that money flows to those who have the better plan money flows to those who have the better plan. So would you go into the grocery store without a plan? A list? You know, the Grocer's plan is the better plan and their plan is to put highly priced items near the front of the store. They put the staples at the back of the store, they put things at the checkout that will entice you to buy on impulse. Their whole goal is to get you to buy the things that they make the highest profit margin.

Annette:

Where are the milk in the eggs, in the grocery stores. They're in the way back corner because they want you to walk through the grocery store because those are the most popular things people buy and pick up a few impulse items on your way back there to get those things. So once again, we're just saying, look with a few of our tips and tricks. Um, if you can stay out of that grocery store and hit the grocery store only once a week, just impulse items alone, you're going to be saving yourself tons of money.

Felipe Arevalo:

That's true. And I love that example because when we do budgeting presentations for youth here, that's my favorite one. Where do they keep the staples? In the back Because you're gonna think I'm going to go in there and get milk. You're pushing your cart thinking milk, milk, milk, Ooh , the cookies are on sale. You throw those in your cart and now you've bought stuff you don't really need

Steve:

Check this one out. There's a thing called slotting allowances, so grocery stores know that eye level is the area on the shelf that sells the most product. So you know if Kellogg's comes out with a new cereal. They are going to pay a bonus to be put at eye level. With that cereal. You aren't going to see the generic or the store brand at eye level that's going to be down low or up higher, you have to also, they've studied this

Annette:

so many tricks, so, so yeah,

Steve:

in depth, you know, it's really a science about how a grocery store is set up and you know the science, you'll know that if you look down low or you look up high, you're more likely to save money.

Chase Peckham:

That's a good little tip.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah, I guess that's an easy one too .

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, I mean, I think about couponing and I think about just having your list and knowing those kinds of things. But the idea of knowing how, if you have an idea of how a grocery store is structured and put together, that's going to help you just right off the top, even if you are a little bit impulse buying.

Steve:

Well, you know, the thing is we, we do impulse buy, we impulse buy a lot.

Chase Peckham:

Well, you're human,

Steve:

but, but our impulse buys are based on price. And so when we see a price like okay, we really were in a store once and they had an overstock of chicken legs. Now normally chicken costs know like 69 to 99 cents a pound. Well they had overstock of these chicken legs and they were selling them for 19 cents a pound. One nine 19 cents. So , so on impulse, because we knew it was below our buy price. And because we have a large freezer to store things in, we bought 60 pounds of chicken legs.

Felipe Arevalo:

I love it.

Steve:

Now, those chicken legs will be depleted. None of it went to waste. And we ate that discounted meat for several months. So we basically impulse bought with a purpose and then we planted into our menu. And that's something we'll talk about later,- but we can , let's get into like how do you , what are the steps to grocery shopping? What are the things you should do so that you can have a better plan and beat the grocer in his game?

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah, let's do it. If I was going to get started today, I have two little ones and my wife , um, what should I do first?

Annette:

Okay, here you go.

Steve:

This is going to be counterintuitive, Okay?

Felipe Arevalo:

Okay. I'm going to take notes.

Annette:

Okay. The first thing you need to do is take stock of what you have in the house. This is not sexy. It's not fancy. You need to go through your,

Steve:

it's not high tech and there's not an app for it.

Annette:

Yeah. You can go into your refrigerator or your freezer. You need to go through your pantry and you need to get organized.

Steve:

Now, we do have, we have a list made.

Annette:

a freezer inventory list.

Steve:

a freezer inventory list . And basically it says, how much beef do you have? How much chicken do you have? How much do you have? How many frozen veggies do you have? And we, we printed out the sheet for us so we can quickly go through and it was already prefilled with the categories and we just put down the amount

Annette:

and if you want we'll send you a link to that so you can put it in the show notes and people can get that for free. That's on our money saving tips, grocery landing page. So.

Katie Utterback:

yeah, that would be great.

Steve:

So the whole point is you take stock of what you have so you don't overbuy.

Annette:

right.

Steve:

What's the point of, of of - you're not going to save any money if you think, gosh, I need, I need a more and more uh , cereal and you buy it at full price rather than using the stuff you have that you bought at a discount price.

Annette:

Well another example is this. One Gal wrote in and said, Oh my God , I can't believe that I've neglected to do this for so many years. She said, I went through my pantry and found pasta everywhere. I found you know, a plastic bin type thing. I put all my pasta in one place and I literally don't need to buy pasta for at least six months. So people have more than they think they have in their houses. And that's a great place to start planning your menu is to see what you've already got in your house. A lot of food is just wasted. It goes to waste in your refrigerator. It gets freezer burn. It's just so old. You're worried about whether you can use it or not. So, and we don't, we're not anal about this. I mean we , we do inventory of our freezer about every six weeks, four to six weeks. So it's not like it has to be done every week. No one's got time for that. And , um, so that's the first place is taking inventory. The second place is , um, looking at your sale flyers, your weekly sale flyers. Now, depending on where you live around the country, it's different for each area of the country here in Arizona. At least sale flyers in our mail, books mailbox on Wednesday. And um , I know we've talked in the Midwest and they get them on Thursday. So don't just take that and pitch it in your recycle Bin, look at it. Because the truth is if you look at all of those things on sale and eventually you learn what is a great sale price, like Steve said, that'll be your buy price. That'll be your stock up price and you'll be buying food at the lowest price there is an out there if you can get on the right cycle for that.

Steve:

Now , let me give you a contrast. What happens with most families , uh , because husband and wife are both working, the kids are in daycare and it's just running ragged. And I understand that that is really a hard place to live. Um, so you buy with for convenience, so it'll be, look , uh, you're , you're , uh, you're coming home at four o'clock today, so can you pick up , uh , stuff to make dinner? You know, it's last minute planning and honestly, and don't take this the wrong way. Um, we spoke at a conference , uh, where it was people who were social workers giving services to uh, the poor and underserved. And one of the things they said about a poverty mindset is that a poverty mindset lives for today. They don't plan for tomorrow because they don't know what tomorrow is going to be bring . They don't plan for a week, a month, a year ahead because all they have is what they have in their pocket today. So in many ways, this lifestyle of I gotta go to the store everyday to make dinner is somewhat of a poverty mindset. And so what we're, we're encouraging people to do is to try to plan enough so that you go to the store once a week and you buy what you need for that entire week. And you're not going to do it perfect.

Annette:

Right! And people have said, oh, spontaneity, you know, that's, that's really the best way to live. Just be spontaneous. And we're like, what are you what?! well what if I don't feel like any of that ? Well that's why we're saying, man, that's our next step is look at what's on sale. A plan your menus around that. And then of course plan them menu. And if you've never done this before, just do your dinners because that's when people are tired and they're apt to spend the most amount of money eating out.

Steve:

So I think Annette ought to tell you what her response was when I suggested she plan them

Annette:

when we were first married and I didn't even know how to cook when we got married, I could boil water and scramble eggs. Okay, now I have over a hundred meals that I can prepare easily.

Steve:

So I , I just, I used to listen to a lot of how to radio broadcasts back in the day. And I came home with this one because I heard this woman talking about once a month cooking and planning a menu and everything. So I suggested it to Annette. I'm really good about that.

Annette:

Yeah , I was like right. He comes on with the suggestions and I have to, I have to carry 'em out.

Steve:

So she said, no way. No how, I'm not doing it. My mother doesn't do it. My friends don't do it. There's no way I'm doing that.

Annette:

After I looked into it a little bit more, I went, he's got something here. This can really be a very good thing. So when all the kids lived at home, we're empty nesters now, but when all the kids lived at home, we did do that once a month cooking thing where I put up about 15 dinners in one day into the freezer and all the kids helped. As a matter of fact, they would fight over the different jobs. So like grinding beef back in the day, we browned our own beef, but we don't do that anymore. And everyone would fight over who got to grind, grind the beef that day with the attachment to our kitchen aid mixer. And so I literally had that one I had to assign and do an equal and fair rotation so that all that, because they just loved that job so much.

Steve:

But that's pretty advanced. So the whole thing is planning. Look at what's on sale, see how many meals you can plan with the loss leader, low priced meat or main dish items that they have on sale. So if for instance, if one week chicken is on sale, could you plan chicken into your rotation of meals for three days that week? And if you could, then what you've done is you've cost cut the price , the price of that meal probably by 50 or 60%

Annette:

right. So I'm going to throw out, if it's okay with you all, I'm going to throw out some very simple meals and we , what we encourage people to do, don't be completely overwhelmed if meal planning and meal prep is not something you really, that comes second nature. What we tell people is come up with 10 meals. That's it. 10 because what that means is you've got two weeks worth of meals. You're going to have five, five meals for each week, one day for leftovers, maybe two days for leftovers. And if you're used to eating out, you can't be cold, you can't go cold Turkey. So we're going to say, okay, eat out once a week, but plan five meals, you've got two weeks rotation. You can easily live on that for the rest of your life if you wanted to.

Steve:

So, so tell them about that one lady who heard our seminar and then cook one.

Annette:

No no, it was before our seminar. Yeah, we did a grocery seminar here in the Phoenix area and it was actually the husband I think that came up to me and said, I'm so grateful for this. He said, my wife will come cook, or just like a huge pot of stew and we'll eat it every night for three weeks. Oh my God . Not what good living is all about.

Chase Peckham:

Just the word stew just makes me, reminds me of my grandma.

Felipe Arevalo:

It's probably a hundred degrees too.

Annette:

Beef stew is awesome in the winter time , but I wouldn't want to eat it when it's 112 outside.

Steve:

That beef stew recipe is one of our most popular videos on our youtube channel. We put it up like six weeks ago. It's got 65,000 views. It's good.

Annette:

It is good they're like, this is so good. I'm doing it again. Okay . So simple meals, barbecue chicken pieces of, if you're squeamish about cleaning out a whole chicken, then just get pieces, get leg quarters, get breasts, get whatever your family enjoys, throw those in a Crockpot , dump a jar of barbecue sauce on it. Put it on low for six hours while I, okay , so, so easy. Um , Tacos, very healthy. You've got , um , lettuce and tomatoes and olives and beans.

Steve:

usually use a leaner beef.

Annette:

Yeah. So tacos are so easy and the whole family can be involved shopping to get that ready. Spaghetti and meatballs. You don't have to, I do everything from scratch, but you don't have , we don't make the pasta from scratch, although we have no, I make the meatballs from scratch. I make the sauce from scratch and all those recipes are on our youtube channel. But you can easily buy, you know, bag meatballs and jarred sauce and, and, and cook up some spaghetti and , um, have a nice bag salad with that. Okay . Salad supper was another great thing that we, we did periodically with the kids. We'd , we'd make the basics of um, you know, the lettuce and the purple cabbage and then throw all kinds of toppings and bowls and they could choose what they wanted. Soup was very easy to make, mac and cheese, cheese crisps, and then grilling steak and we have some wonderful marinades on our website as well. So all of those are fairly easy meals to throw together. I think people are just tired at the end of the day and without a meal plan, they just run out of energy and so they're like , uh , what are we going to do?

Steve:

One of the biggest salvations for us as a family was the once a month cooking thing, but that's , that's pretty overwhelming. But what if you could on a weekend put together four or five meals and stick them in the freezer. And that way at the end of the day when you come home, all you have to do is defrost it. Maybe make a side dish and throw some veggies out and you've got dinner.

Annette:

Yeah, we did. We did have one couple that wrote to us and said, we were doing once a week cooking and I cannot believe how much money we are saving. And we also have food for lunches.

Steve:

So the husband would go out and he would cook a chicken on the grill, c ook t he steak and he would cook l ess h ostile boss or something like that. A nd the wife h as b een i nside and she's preparing other meals a nd t hey, s o t hey g ot a plan. They came together, they both worked in different areas, they had a pretty small house. And by the end of the day, or probably three or four hours, they had all their meals and lunches for the week.

Chase Peckham:

And they eat pretty healthy. And I think in this day and age when people are concentrating or trying to concentrate so much on eating real food because PR pro produced food, processed food can be, you know, it's really at the crux of our obesity in this country. Um, people trying to eat quickly, where if you're planning things out, not only are you saving money, but you're going to eat legitimately whole foods, real foods, and you're going to be much healthier family , uh, and a lot less picky kids. That's for sure. Uh, through that process, wouldn't you say?

Annette:

Yes, yes. And you know, we, we've told folks, look, when you do the menu planning and you're looking at your grocery ads, there's, there's no reason you can't buy lots of fresh produce, Eh , especially if you have a bent towards what is in season. So like right now you've got all your melons, watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew , you've got all the berries are on sale right now. All we are just love them . We just scooped up tons of blueberries from sprouts and um, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries are coming and, and then hold on, there's stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and I'm sure there's stuff that grows over by you guys. Um,

Steve:

I know there's strawberry , you can go strawberry picking, but that's more expensive.

Annette:

Yeah, it is. Then finding ourselves towards, so there's, and, oh gosh,

Chase Peckham:

We're lucky about that here.

Annette:

Yeah. Our book talks about how there's a way, there's an order to eat your produce throughout the month so that you're eating your most perishable stuff. And then like a week or two or three from now you're eating the end of the month, you're eating your apples and your oranges and your carrots and

Steve:

because those will last a month.

Annette:

Right.

Steve:

So that was when we shot up on some month as our kids got bigger and they eat

Annette:

teenagers when they were all teenagers.

Steve:

We supplemented our once a month shopping night with a mid month produce run and it just kept the , the table stocked with, with good things to eat. But the whole point of the planning aspect of groceries and we could spend the whole day talking about this, but there's other stuff to talk about , um , is, have a plan, execute the plan as best as you can and you know, with a menu, if Annette was looking at the week and she said, you know, we plan to do a , um, you know, barbecue something on the grill on Wednesday night, but all of a sudden the day got crazy and couldn't do that and just flipped another meal. Because We have the plan.

Annette:

Well and we have the ingredients in the house because we shopped. So that's the thing. There is a little bit of um, that's our clock.

Chase Peckham:

Oh, I thought it was either your clock or a doorbell. I thought maybe you had a visitor.

Annette:

Well they both sound the same. Okay. So , um, okay, where was I?

Chase Peckham:

I think we were moving on from a plan to something else.

Katie Utterback:

I think . Yeah, you were talking about if you have the ingredients in the house, you can switch out. I think meals,

Annette:

Oh spontaneity. So basically it just gives you the opportunity to be a little bit spontaneous within your menu plan. So if for some reason you don't feel like Spaghetti and meatballs, but you know, you have all the ingredients for a steak dinner and time to do that, then you do the steak dinner. Yeah . And there's a wonderful recipe for, it's a boy scout recipe where you have the onion foil packs , foil packs, where you have onions and potatoes and a little bit of butter and you put them in a foil pack and you put that on the grill. Also so delicious.

Chase Peckham:

We used to call those campfire dinners.

Annette:

Yeah, there you go.

Steve:

We used to throw hamburger in there. So ground beef and then the potato and onion butter, salt and pepper. Oh , it's so good.

Chase Peckham:

Wow . That reminds me of my youth. Yeah.

Steve:

So we had seven, five kids, seven of us total. And we were spending $350 a month on groceries. Probably today it may be more like $400 but we should have been spending $1400 you know, if you go by the national seven times two . Yeah . Yeah. So we were able to save about 70% of the cost by planning better. Now the next thing is we talk about what you do when you go in the store, because there's certain things, and we kind of alluded to this, that you should do when you get in store. We talk about what you should do before the stores . So take stock, make a menu plan, make a shopping list of the things on sale. And once you get to the store, here are some things you can do.

Annette:

Okay. So you've got your actual list that you want to buy. We talked about learning your prices. Um, we do have a price tracker as well and that's on our grocery landing page. We'll send you the link to that. And what we tell people is start getting to know what the buy prices for items. So if it's something you buy regularly , um , you want to be tracking that for a few weeks. I mean, this is really, we're black belts in grocery shopping. Okay . No, Nobody can do what we do and expect to do it in a few weeks or even a month. We've been working on this now for over 30 years. Okay . So

Steve:

the idea of the price tracker , the idea of the price tracker is think like Warren Buffett . Okay . When he wants to buy a company, he looks at the competitors, he checks out what their value is. And when he sees a price drop on a particular competitor, that's when he buys. He knows, he knows the market, he's done his research and swoops in and he makes a killing.

Annette:

Right! So, so for example, I can go into a grocery store and I can look at things that are quote unquote discontinued or manager specials or close outs. And I can look at that item just like Warren Buffet can assess a businesses value. I can look at that item and know if that's a great deal or not. And I sometimes it's not and I'll just walk right past it. Other Times I'll go, wow, that's a great deal. How many should I put in my cart?

Steve:

So what's a , what's a good price for tomato sauce?

Annette:

Uh, two . Uh , okay . The little cans. Five for a dollar.

Steve:

What's a good price for walnuts?

Annette:

Uh , my buy price for walnuts is $2.99. When sprouts has that sale three time a year.

Steve:

What's a good price for a gallon of milk? Now this is going to vary from , from market to market.

Annette:

In our market, a good price for a gallon of milk is $1.99. But I've been able to find milk going at of code which I stick in my freezer for anywhere from 49 cents to 69 cents for a half gallon.

Steve:

So the point is when you know your prices, so like when walnuts are two 99, she doesn't just buy half a pound, she'll buy five or six pounds and we'll put it in the freezer and storage and milk when it is on sale. Well we won't one , hesitate to buy five or six gallons breaking into smaller amounts in our freezer and save it and then deplete it over time. So you know, you're priced , you can start up and meet with confidence, you can save.

Annette:

And even though I do a lot of cooking, even now , um, there's times when I want fast, fast, quote-unquote fast food from the grocery store. So one time I was in one of our favorite stores that they're in the southwest of the u s called smart and final and they had these almost organic pineapple Teriyaki meatballs and it was a 24 ounce package for 99 cents. Normally $7.99. I looked at that, I went, oh my gosh, that would be a fabulous fast food I grabbed, I grabbed all they had left, which was four packages, but it was a 24 ounce package, threw them in my cart . So that's what I can do. So I can walk through a grocery store and know what a great deal is.

Steve:

And you guys will be able to do that too. It just takes time to focus on one or two items every time you go shopping, pick up the ones that you are in staples and start learning what the best prices are .

Katie Utterback:

Can you guys help me a little bit understand too. Sorry, I just, how are you guys saving this in your freezer or your refrigerator if you're, you know, how are, how are you, I guess packaging the food? Yeah. And how did you make sure that you had enough room?

Annette:

Okay. Um, well, so that's a great question. You know, when we were operating with um, five kids at home, we ended up with a gigantic coffin sized chest freezer and we actually have two refrigerators.

Steve:

Well , we have a 27 cubic foot chest freezer. We didn't threaten the kids to put them in there . We have a 24 cubic foot , uh, side-by-side freezer or refrigerator freezer. And then we have a 18 cubic foot extra for the refrigerator.

Annette:

But Katie , we didn't start out like that. We started out with a tiny little apartment refrigerator where the freezer was inside yet open the door to get the freezer. And our , one of our very first purchases within the first two years of getting married was a little nine cubic foot freezer. And what's interesting is both of our daughters, when they got married, one of the first things they wanted was a freezer.

Katie Utterback:

Oh, really?

Annette:

Yeah, yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Makes Sense.

Steve:

A freezer allows you to stock up on those things. And then you know what , when the net plans a menu, she doesn't plan the menu based on what's on sale anymore. What she plans the menu on is based on our inventory of what we already have in the house. It's a whole different mindset. We've gone from, from the poverty mindset of what do I want to eat today, to the middle-class mindset of, of what am I going to sale, what's on sale? So what we do is we buy what's on sale, stock it for the future.

Annette:

So the Super Frugal mindset is what do I have in the house? What can I create with what I have in the house? And then what's on sale to stock up on for the future. And of course there's going to be some ingredients I need for , for this week or next week's meals. But it's so minimal because I'm working off of my stock. I'm thinking further and further ahead, but I know that's an advanced strategy. And before we wrap this up, there's two things we have to talk about. We need to talk about organic food and we need to talk about special diets.

Steve:

I want to jump back to the previous question about the freezer. Okay. Because you know, my parents cleaned out their freezer. My mom died about three years ago, but she, she just threw things in there and she didn't know what she had . Oh yeah . You know there was stuff that was freezer burn on the bottom. What we've done is in our grocery book, I speak one 80 or something like that. We have a diagram of how we stock our freezer and what we use is we use canvas bags to put things in the freezer. It's page 186 in Cut your grocery bill in half and we use canvas bags to store all the beef in one bag. All the chicken, another bag, all the pork in another bag. I think

Annette:

so actually we started out with just don't ,

Chase Peckham:

yeah, you take inventory.

Annette:

Yeah, we started, this is how we organize it. Yes. So we give up some space in order to be super organized. So you start out with double paper bags and they were double stacked. So double stacked high and then double or triple stack across because our freezer was so big and all of the same kind of item went in one bag. So all the bread went in a bag. All the cheese went in a bag. All the frozen veggies went in a bag.

Steve:

And then on the very bottom of the freezer where we put roasts, so we'll have maybe hand five shake hands, we'll have three or four turkeys, we'll have gallons of milk. It's just a system are organized. Come up with a system and systems help you operate more efficiently.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, it's like having an efficient budget. We talk about it all the time and anything in life that you do planning is going to make your everyday life easier. It's going to make it less stressful. You're going to feel like you have everything in order, which is going to make life flow a little bit more evenly as much as life can, right? Cause Life's gonna come at you in all kinds of different ways, but the most organized you can be, you're going to have a lot better time handling those. Those times. And especially if you're planning for F , this is why I love this and I'm glad we talked about it today is my wife and I are, we're really not very good at this. I mean, and she's a planner. She's not a very good cook. But last night we , we, she's not a big chicken fan, but I can get her to eat those tenders. Right. Those, those little chicken tenders, which people don't buy normally, they're, they're relatively more inexpensive. She will eat those. And we had one of the greatest, we had a great stir fry last night and she was like, well , W and we, it was relatively, it was cheap. I mean it really wasn't expensive. You guys lead it to us. You, you mentioned smart and final and I wanted to ask a question because there are so many different choices that you can make on where to shop nowadays. I mean, you have out there in Arizona, I know that you have , um, the safeway , uh, and we have Vons , which is part of Safeway, Albertsons, those kinds of things. But then you've got the smart and finals, the Costco's the, the , uh, the different types of big , um, what do you , what do we call those box type stores? How do you decide on where you're gonna shop , um, when, when you are planning your, your time.

Steve:

Great . And I've got it . I've got a question for you before we answer that. Don't you guys have Aldi out there now?

Felipe Arevalo:

We do.

Chase Peckham:

We do.

Steve:

Okay.

Chase Peckham:

So apparently, although I didn't know that.

Steve:

you need to go , um, yeah, so, so the more competition there is, the lower your prices will be. Yes. And so we , we live in a place where I think we have nine different chains . Yes . All the user is coming to Phoenix , um, this fall. So we're really excited about that. Cause more competition means lower prices. But on the other hand, people who live in more rural areas, they're challenged with less competition, higher prices. So what we recommend for them is that they plan a trip to the big city maybe once a month where the competition is higher. Put a cooler in the car and that's when you do your big stock-up . You'd still want to support your local grocers cause you need them, but you can save a lot of money. Maybe if you have to drive an hour to get the lower prices. But let's talk about how you pick where to shop.

Annette:

Well, it was purely , um , time for us when we'd had all the kids at home and basically we would pick two stores. We would have this whole , like we would literally once a month on a Friday night, we'd get a sitter and I just picked the two stores that had the best deals that we needed to stock up on. And then if there was a third store that, oh, I just could not resist the deals. Then the next day when I did once a month cooking , Steve would take one of the kids and go pick up that lot, those last leader items at that next, at that third store, which you can't, you're right chase, you cannot drive around and hit eight stores in a week. It's impossible. So , um , you just go over time . You learn why the best prices are where the best loss leaders are and you just limit yourself. What do you have time for? We would make time for at least two and, and do it that way. So

Steve:

in our grocery book, we have a page where a net shows you how she looks at all of , of grocery flyers and she'll write the loss leaders down by store. So she'll have Safeway and she'll have five or six things that are on sale there. And then she'll have Albertson's and five or six things there and fries or Kroger. And then after you have that list of loss leaders , you can see, well gosh, Safeway had grapes for 69 cents this week. A smart and final had them for a dollar 15 cents . So in safeway had more things on sale. So that's how you kind of evaluate what you're going to do. Now let's talk about um , the costco and Sam's club because those are super convenient. They have good quality food, but their pricing is not as good as the grocery store sale price. So we have a table on that in our book too, we researched, I think about 15 different items and looked at the sale price from the grocery store versus the, the bulk price from Costco or Sam's Club. Right. And the grocery store was anywhere between 15% and 70% less expensive.

Annette:

Okay. Y'All remember how we talked about impulse buying? Okay, so we've had people refer to Sam's Club and Costco as the $200 club. Easily. Yeah, because basically when you go into those warehouse clubs , um, you're gonna spend, ah , 60% impulse buys. Only the impulse buys at the warehouse clubs are going to be five to $10 a piece where the impulse buys.

Steve:

Wait, wait, wait. Should we store hold on five to 10. What about the Q led TV?

Annette:

Forget it.

Steve:

You know, you walk by the TV's first.

Annette:

Impulse items at the grocery stores are $1 to $3. So right there you're going to save a ton of money.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. We joke that everything is 10 99, 1299 or 1999.

Annette:

Right. And the hardest part is even if you see something that's a nonfood item and you want to buy it, even if it's a great deal, but maybe you have some at home or something. I don't know what most people, once they walk out of the store with an item won't bother to return it if they should.

Chase Peckham:

That's true. Although I have to tell you, my wife is phenomenal at that. Ever turned out . She's phenomenal at returning and Costco and Sam's Club, they will basically accept everything back almost without question.

Annette:

Right.

Chase Peckham:

They're really good about it.

Annette:

They'll take it back. Yup .

Steve:

One thing that Costco has, it gives them an edge over just about every grocery store is their rotisserie chicken.

Chase Peckham:

Oh yeah.

Felipe Arevalo:

I love that .

Steve:

One of the best, I think it's four 99.

Chase Peckham:

It's phenomenal. You can make like 10 meals out of that thing.

Steve:

Yeah. Because I think it's a three pound chicken. Now I've done a video where we actually weighed rotisserie chickens and you'll see a Most grocery store chickens are two pounds, but you'll see some for one and a half pounds. It's all the same price. Um, but Costco chickens are really good and I've been impressed with their , um, ready to cook meals. Yes . Yeah . Compared me , the , the aren't that expensive. I think $15 for a one and a half or rotisserie chickens and then a bunch of other sides with it. So they do have a market. So if you're, if you're eating out at the restaurant more often than you want the next step to solving that problem and saving money instead of eating a 70 or $80 meal at a restaurant is go to Costco and get one of their prepared meals for 15

Annette:

or even any grocery store. The prepared meals are phenomenal. Stir fry in a bag. It's not just the old fried chicken TV dinner anymore. There's so much to choose from. So yeah, if someone's eating out every night, you cannot go cold Turkey and cook every single night of the week.

Steve:

Cold chicken for that matter

Annette:

don't even, you know, you've got a wean yourself into a new habit slowly.

Chase Peckham:

Oh, you just brought me down to memory lane again. Hungry man dinners. Do you remember those? Yes. Wow. Talk about not very tasty. Oh my God. Sodium intake. Yeah.

Annette:

Just before we end, I've got to say something about special diets and organic because we get people talking to us all the time about, well, I am special diet so I can possibly save money. And you , you know me, I'm a black belt, right?

Steve:

So with groceries. gives them a roundhouse kick to the head.

Annette:

No, say very politely nonsense. If your gluten free, if you need to eat gluten free, okay? So you need to cook, r ead out of your diet. There's rice, there's potatoes, there's yams, there's corn, there's plenty of stuff that you can eat. So don't tell me because I'm gluten free. I have to spend money out the Wazoo and live in debt up to my eyeballs. I'm not buying it. Same with lactose free. There's plenty of recipes that you can find. Pinterest is one of my favorite spots for recipes. U m, where you can find recipes, u m, for anything, u m, to cook without a dairy products.

Steve:

Well , what if you're going keto you know, there's, there's ways to save with that too. Cut . Starching and eating lots of Bacon.

Annette:

Okay? And let's even talk about , um, organic foods. We, you know, I'll say, you know, if you've got the money buy em , what if you're like 80% of the rest of America? You may have to be a little bit more careful on how you spend your organic dollars. So use your organic dollars for the highly perishable items, produce meats, dairy .

Steve:

So in the book, cut your grocery bill in half. We cited two research studies done, one by consumer reports and one by Mayo Clinic dealing with the organic food issue. And what they said was, you need to understand the value where, where the value lies in organic foods. And it's not, you know, buying organic bananas Like Bananas get very deep pesticides and very few , uh , fertilizers additive because they're , they're very hardy and thick skin. So pes don't permeate. Same thing with pineapple. Avocado. Um, uh, we have a whole list of things that you shouldn't buy organic because if you're prioritizing your organic dollars, spend it on things like the berries, right ? Which

Chase Peckham:

absorb the pesticides much easier than others.

Annette:

Right! We were speaking in Texas at a family convention and we gave our grocery , um, talk and um, of course people come up afterwards to chat with us and some guy came up and said, this is the most reasonable thing I've ever heard. He said, I know a woman in our area and, and this was the Dallas Fort Worth area. There's a lot of wealthy people there. And um, he said she was so hell bent on buying everything organic , um, and truly didn't have the money for it that she lost her house over this.

Steve:

You don't need to buy organic Mac and cheese. Come on. That stuff's crap.

Chase Peckham:

Right? Yeah

Steve:

Annie's organic Mac and cheese organic crackers. There's organic everything .

Chase Peckham:

Well that's , that's one of the key words now, right ? That it was almost like low carbohydrate or no carbohydrate for a long time. That was the big deal. They suppose key words that they use for marketing, right? Yep .

Annette:

It's like gluten free. Rice krispies have always been gluten free. About 10 years ago,

Steve:

anything organic was about 50% more than than regular stuff. Now because it's , it has become mainstream. Eating organic is less expensive than it used to be. It's still more expensive most of the time, but not all the time. We've seen times where organic broccoli, organic carrots are cheaper than the regular price. So you've got to know your prices,

Annette:

right? And we just told people live, live reasonably. In other words, if you can afford the best of everything, do it. But if you can't be wise about it, so let's , let's ,

Steve:

it's down to a gamification level. Okay? So if you're spending $1,000 a month on groceries, and in our budgeting system, we actually set the money aside in advance. In our bank account. It was segmented or it's like, like cash envelopes, except we do it in the bank and on paper. But the point is we set aside money every month for groceries. So let's make a challenge out of this thing. Let's gamify it. Let's see how much you can set aside the regular amount and at the end of the month, see how much you have left and then sweep that money into a vacation account or a debt repayment account. And let's see how in three months, how much you can accumulate. And the winner is the one who comes out with 50% of their grocery account saved and moved into that special savings account. It's [inaudible] that'll make the bells ringing . I'll make the lights go on. That's cool.

Chase Peckham:

So I think first, I mean as we, as we wind this down, if people really want to see, because that's , that's really what it is, I think. I think people, the idea of this is great, but what people really want to see as something tangible. So if they look at it like at first that the national average is 200 per 200 per person in the household, and then they go from there as like the bar and head south, that's where they're really gonna see the difference. Correct?

Annette:

Right . Oh absolutely.

Steve:

And you want to also remember, we're not talking about living on ramen and rice. No way we are eating steak.

Annette:

Oh, and lamb. Yeah. So not, not every week, but we're eating it

Steve:

the goal is eat good quality food and wholesale prices. Don't pay retail, don't pay retail.

Chase Peckham:

I think that's words to live by and that in this day and age especially when are so health conscious. It's amazing to me the day and age that we live in, we're health conscious. We're worried about prices yet, we are as obese as we've ever been as a, as a country , uh, which just goes to show that there's a lack of planning and that we are decision making very quickly based on the Carl's Jr that we're driving by or the in and out that were driving by. And believe me, I love Inn-N-Out as much as anybody.

Steve:

Well, we're also, we're also into convenience ,

Chase Peckham:

right? Yeah .

Steve:

This is a millennial mindset. Um, you know, instacart , um , buying groceries online and having someone else do the shopping for you, for , uh , for a mom with two or three kids at home. And that is a lifesaver. But you will miss deals. And we were , we were in Walmart one day and I saw this gal pushing a tall cart probably about four or five feet tall and it had different bins in it and I asked her what she was doing. She says she's a personal shopper for Walmart , uh, and she was fulfilling three or four orders at a time and this was about two or three years ago. And she , I said, how long have you been doing this at about six months. She said in the last six months we've hired five additional people because the demand is so great. o yeah , growth there if you've got it . Okay . The problem is that you're missing the ability to look high and low and find alternative products that are 50 to 60

Annette:

or markdowns and all that stuff. And sometimes groceries online are more expensive. Our , our oldest son is a , a true millennial and he does everything on Amazon and he has a Kroger Fry's store very close to his house. And he decided to go shopping in there and he came back, we said, do you know that going to the grocery store is way cheaper than buying your groceries on Amazon? I said, yes, I did know that. And um , so you know, there are, you're getting like Steve, you're going to miss amazing deals. There are times to do that when you have high stress, high paying jobs. Groceries are better than not groceries. When you have a mess, a little kids at home, maybe you're caring for somebody that's ill , um, elderly parents, something like that. There are times when that's important, but when you have the opportunity, go to the store if you can and, and do some shopping, walk the aisles.

Steve:

Right. But you don't want to go to the store so often that they put your name on the marquee. Annette, where have you been?

Katie Utterback:

Steve and Annette. This has been so informative. Um, for our listeners who want to learn more about you, where can they go?

Annette:

Um , they can go to our website, MoneySmart family.com and um , they can see in our menu bar at the top, they can click on our grocery page and yeah , we're there now .

Steve:

We also have a youtube channel with more than 5 million views on it. I think we have 26,000 subscribers and we have tons of grocery . Then you have , you have tons of recipes and we have tons of how to videos. Right. One of our, one of our top how to videos is how to clean your carpet for 25 cents.

Annette:

Yeah. We're also on Facebook and we're also on Pinterest. So , um , haven't jumped on Instagram yet and that's, that's hopefully going to be in the near future. Yeah ,

Chase Peckham:

Gotta do that cause that's fun. There's lots of pictures.

Annette:

Yeah. People can find us out in a lot of different places

Steve:

and they can find us on , on Amazon. Uh, all three of our books are there . First book is called , um, uh, American cheapest family gets you right on the money. And that's The New York Times best seller . And they've got cut your grocery bill in half. And that was a number two Amazon best seller.

Annette:

Right. And then our third book, the Money Smart Family System, teaching financial independence to children of every age. So it's a kids and money program that we invented with our kids. And um, and all, most of them, most of them, they're all, or none of them are boomerang. Not, not one child who's come back home and took the keys. Oh, they, they, they went out on their own. And even though some of them have struggle , you know, their friends will say, oh, well why don't you just go back home? They're like, no , you don't know. You don't know my mom and dad. Yeah . Not going home . Okay .

Katie Utterback:

Well thank you guys so much for your time and for sharing all of your wisdom with us. We'll make sure to put all those links to your pages and recipes and videos in our show notes so that people can find you. And , um, yeah. Hopefully you guys can get on Instagram soon so we can drool over all the delicious meals you're making Annette.

Annette:

Alright, well it was great to be with you all. Thanks for having us. Thank you. Bye Bye . Bye.

Chase Peckham:

And now a little follow up with myself, Phil and Katie .

Katie Utterback:

I'm ready to go grocery shopping now. I want to test my skills.

Chase Peckham:

It's really funny you say that because my wife doesn't allow me to go to the grocery store anymore unless it's like just to get one or two things. That's because I am that person.

Katie Utterback:

You're the impulse shopper?

Chase Peckham:

I am. I walk in and I do this for a living. I know better, but I go in and I say, oh I that looks really good. Or Oh, that looks really good. I'm the guy that my wife sends with a list and I come home with seven extra things and only half of what was on her list.

Felipe Arevalo:

That's me too Katie. I'm totally guilty of that,

Chase Peckham:

so I'm just not allowed anymore. She just says, forget it. I'm going .

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. I thought it was funny, they mentioned that about one time they bought 60 pounds of chicken wings or something like that. I'm thinking, wow, it's phenomenal.

Katie Utterback:

Chicken legs.

Felipe Arevalo:

chicken legs. Yeah , yeah. You could do a lot with that. But I put, you know, 60 pounds unless you've moved up to that level where you have that extra freezer.

Chase Peckham:

I think what they said, everything's relative, which is a kind of a , you know, we're all in our unique situations. We all are in our own unique freezer space area and we're not allowed to do that in like she mentioned, she's the black belt, right? So they really have this down almost to a science and they have this, they have a passion for it. You can tell that they really have worked hard to , uh, basically , uh , create this beautiful craft that they have , um, that they, it's down to a science, right? They perfected it. So if we can take as consumers, if we as listeners can just take a little bit of what they're talking about and I think it comes down to that one word that comes up over and over and over and over again. Just a small plan. I mean we, my wife and I were talking about it just the other night. I mean I've gained a certain amount of weight over this summer and I'm going, my Gosh, what happened? I need to get back down and lean again. And , and it really, when it comes down to, she's like, you know what you need to do? You just need to plan out your meals. You need to not eat as much and you need to not eat chips and stuff on weekends when it just is there and she's right. I just have to be more structured, structured and people, we don't like that as human beings, although we do lots of weird thing people, if she meant she , what did she mention? She talked about the fact that people like to be impulsive. They like to do that, but no, they don't. What they really are as lazy and we don't want to have to take the time or the thought process of putting together those kinds of meals when in reality, once it's done, you're gonna feel so much better that it's not three o'clock in the afternoon on Monday and you're calling your husband and you're texting and you're saying, what's for dinner tonight? I don't know what time you picking up the kids or I don't know, but, but can you go to the grocery store? No, I really can't . Okay, well then I'll stop by olive garden and pick up food. Right. I'm just throwing that out there cause I've never ever eaten it all.

Felipe Arevalo:

Is that because I told you about that all you can eat pasta for the whole season deal?

Chase Peckham:

That's what happens, right? I mean that's what we all do. If we were a little more structured, there would be no question. You wouldn't have to say, do you have to go to the grocery store? Can you stop by the supermarket? Oh No, I can't do that. I got to pick up the kids, I've got to get this one to soccer practice, this one to baseball practice. Okay, well then I'll stop by olive garden on the way home and I'll pick up the meal for 35, 99 whatever it is, plus tip. And you've eaten all those complex carbohydrates. I mean, so you see what I'm saying? That there's, even though there's the impulsive side of it, you would really rather, I think we would rarely have it done. Yeah.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. There's two things we need to introduce you to chase. One more than other. It's to try Olive Garden, but more importantly they mentioned it during the podcast. More importantly, we've got to bring you to an Aldi. Hey, we gotta bring Katie to an Aldi too.

Chase Peckham:

I've never even heard of it until two podcasts ago.

Felipe Arevalo:

I do majority of my groceries there . You just got to remember to bring your quarter for the shopping cart. But um , it's interesting because you get their brand and it's cheaper. Aside from the ketchup, which I think we've had the conversation before if it's not Heinz, it's not happening. But aside from that, I don't mind getting off-brand mustard or pickles or whatever it is. Um, so it's, it was interesting that they go to two stores and , and they make a list, which is a whole nother level of organization. But um, if you find a store in your area that's much cheaper than just by making that change you , you could stretch your money out even more.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. I think anytime people have to make change, it's uncomfortable. Yeah. Right. So something like this would sound overwhelming to a lot of people because this early on they've done for years I think.

Katie Utterback:

I think the meal planning is not very intimidating, especially with Pinterest and Instagram. It's not that hard to find.

Chase Peckham:

It's actually really easy now.

Katie Utterback:

It is. And I think making a list of groceries that you need, especially after you meal plan and you figure out what ingredients you need. I think for me, where AJ and I struggle is the inventory, like taking stock of what we have and making meals based around that. Because what we're doing right now is meal planning on what do we want this week, right, and then we're not necessarily taking stock of what's in our pantry, but one of our most memorable meals was we actually did not have anything and we managed to make a pasta sauce out of what was in our cabinet and it turned out to be like amazing.

Chase Peckham:

Was there Heinz Ketchup in that?

Katie Utterback:

No, it was like stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes in olive oil and Italian seasoning, like an irregular.

Chase Peckham:

Now did you go to Pinterest to figure out how to make homemade tomato sauce?

Katie Utterback:

I just googled like these are the ingredients I have. What can I make out of it?

Chase Peckham:

That's a great idea.

Katie Utterback:

Right?

Chase Peckham:

You went backwards.

Katie Utterback:

I went backwards. That's what I'm saying that.

Chase Peckham:

Instead of finding what you don't have. You said this is what I have and wow. I like that.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah, use what you had already in this it .

Katie Utterback:

This is what I'm , this is what I took away from all this is that I was looking at it from a pretty good viewpoint. I was making a list. I was meal planning but I was missing a component. I was missing that inventory component. So we did have a lot of food waste cause maybe we bought shredded lettuce to make sandwiches. Then we don't have sandwiches for a couple of days. It rots right about that money. But now it's good. Dot.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, that's a really, really good thought. That's, that's a very good kind of flipping the script idea, idea and way to look at it that we do the same thing. Our , if you look at our spices cupboard, there's two things of garlic salt because for some reason we just decided we didn't remember that we had garlic salt. So that you're right. That's a good way to go about doing that. And , and I think if you have lots of spices, you can pretty make anything good. Even if you know you're like, oh chicken again, if you spice it, if you have lots of different kinds of spices, which spices generally aren't going to be super expensive. And if they are, they still last typically a long time. So you can make many, many different things.

Katie Utterback:

and you don't even need that exotic spice, salt and pepper. I actually don't really use salt. So it's more pepper, olive oil. That's all we need on chicken and it tastes great with like she was saying, you get a salad bag personally like to chop mine.

Felipe Arevalo:

When I'm watching cooking shows. They'll be like, oh, don't do anything fancy. Just add a little salt and pepper steak on the grill. That's a motivator to yours . Wow . If Chef Ramsey will do it that way, then that's good enough for me.

Chase Peckham:

Those are guys with real pallets though. For guys like me who likes spice and Tang and uh , those types of, I like flavor and even if it's Taco season , yes.

Felipe Arevalo:

Oh my gosh. Yes. Chase loves tacos in case you get in there.

Chase Peckham:

I would have gone in and I apologize the England, but I wouldn't go crazy if I was brought up there. Cause food typically, and it's not so much anymore, but historically it was , you know, the, the, the, the hit on England was, their food was very bland. Um , I would go crazy there yet. My wife on the other hand has got a very, her grandfather called her a supertaster, which meant she doesn't, she can't, her Palette doesn't handle spice and flavor very much. She likes things toned down, which is the opposite for me. So like when we cooked stuff, I gotta I kick it up a little bit with things and , and she doesn't, and the kids are kind of like somewhere in between, but yet you can have the same thing, eat the same meal and just spice it up a little bit differently.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah, that's true. Or if you go out to only eat half of it and then the other half is your lunch the next day. Or.

Felipe Arevalo:

Oh, I have this like block in my head from when I was little and I'd go out to you with my parents and like , you ordered it, you better eat it. So I have the hardest time still as an adult, even though I know better to order to ask for a box to go. And half the time I walk away with, I remember to grab the little box. I , Sarah has to remind me, hey, you're like, oh yeah, because I have this block when I was little, if you go out to eat, you ordered it, you eat it. Um, I see where my parents were trying to do there , but at the same time they created this, I have a hard time saying, oh, you know, I'm Kinda full . I can save this for later. You still overeat like, yeah. Even though I know better and even though I like, oh , I'm going to have to pretend like I go to the gym so much more.

Chase Peckham:

Um , you know, it was a big thing with parents back in those days. Our Day even younger was like, you ate your entire meal. It's a different generation cause they, it will , especially like grandparents of mine who grew up during the depression, like you ate everything you had, you ate everything that was on the table. And I don't, nowadays we're looking at it and we're trying to teach our kids that you don't have to eat an absorbent amount, just eat what you right . Listen to your body, listen to your body. Right. Exactly. And I think all of that goes hand in hand and we can save so much more money too. I think that we don't have to make these giant portions that look like the Pinterest. Right. Right. And it doesn't have to be this huge thing that restaurants will give you these giant portions because it's worth their money. Right. It's worth the money that you're using on them. If you ate those whole portions every night, you'd be overeating . You'd be eating more calories than your body needs. Uh , so I think that even if we do cook it lesser amounts , um, that's probably better for us in the long run to.

Katie Utterback:

well they say that, like when you're cooking, that's part of the eating process. Smelling it too . So actually by cooking at home, you could actually be, maybe achieving a health goal

Felipe Arevalo:

if you cook all day, feels like by the time you sit down and eat , you're like, I'm not that hungry.

Chase Peckham:

My problem is, is that if I'm cooking or barbecue and I want to have a beer with it.

Felipe Arevalo:

Oh that's true. Especially with barbecue cause it's like a process. True . Katie , that's extra calories,

Katie Utterback:

See I'm not barbecuing . AJ's, the one that's outside dealing with the meal . Even cooking though. No. See, I'm the opposite. I Made Avocado fries in the air fryer this weekend. They turned out phenomenal. I'm so proud of myself.

Chase Peckham:

Excuse me. How did you learn about the airfryer ?

Katie Utterback:

Felipe

Felipe Arevalo:

and then that comes back to chase. Yup . Thank you. Yup . Best thing ever invented. Oh, I agree. Air Is, Sarah was trying to figure out what to get me for my birthday. Like, you know, I'd kind of want an air fryer and we did the kind of tools and then she came in and talked to chase. Now I have an air fryer . Um, they're phenomenal. They're awesome. They really didn't do anything in them . You can , yeah. We should do a whole episode on rare first. If you , you're best friends, if you're people that bought frozen French fries and you cook them in the oven, you're going to be the most pleasantly surprised person on the planet by so much better. So much better. So much better. So much healthier. Yes. It's funny, as you were sitting here, I kind of decided I'm going to try and make a quick little work week, a meal plan. And all these are very easy to make. Very cheap , uh, ingredients. Uh , and they're pretty quick and I'm gonna throw them out to you for five days , uh , and maybe no particular order, Spaghetti and meatballs. Uh , and I have kids, so you have to remember, I have to try and make this appealing to them. Uh , hot dogs and Chili dogs , uh, barbecue chicken, chicken salad with the leftover chicken from the day before and Veggie Omelets, Veggie Omelets, and it's all very healthy ish, minus maybe the hot dogs, hot dogs and Chili . But you know, it's quick, it's easy. And the ingredients seem to be pretty inexpensive. You come to try it on and there's lots of different ways to make Chili's and I don't think I can convince my kids to eat this stuff. Most of it.

Katie Utterback:

you should to make oven bake chili cheese dogs like I did .

Felipe Arevalo:

You were telling me I'd have to try him .

Katie Utterback:

I never had a chili cheese dog before so I made some this weekend. It was like you take hot dogs buns, you put them on the pan, you sprinkled cheddar cheese in, you put the hot dog on, put um , Chili on top and then my chili or I cheated. I cheated cause I didn't know if I was going to like this meal. So I didn't really want to spend too much time making a tray cause that can take awhile . Really . A good chili can take awhile to make. So we got like a Vegetarian Chili and then put that on top, baked it for 45 minutes. And then yeah, it was.

Chase Peckham:

just looking at your face right now. It was delicious.

Felipe Arevalo:

She discovered something new.

Katie Utterback:

It just like cracked me up so much that like this ,

Chase Peckham:

that something as simple as a chili dog would make you so excited.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Isn't that amazing?

Katie Utterback:

It's so silly. Yeah. Oh.

Chase Peckham:

Hey, a good chili dog will do that to a person.

Felipe Arevalo:

I was surprised you never had one. Yeah .

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. That's, that's surprising.

Felipe Arevalo:

So you and a j introduce each other to new foods. All the time.

Katie Utterback:

It's true. He had his first corn dog like a month ago. I took it. I took him to the beach and he had a corn dog.

Chase Peckham:

There's nothing better than a really good corn dog. That just brings me back to my , you pick the bottom line. Just make a plan. [inaudible] [inaudible] .