Food can get expensive, especially if you add eating out at restaurants to your cost. Redesigning how you buy and cook can save you a lot of money on food. Whether your budget needs organization, you need to clip coupons, or you need to learn better meal prep, saving money on food is definitely doable.
Here are 12 ways to help you save money on food:
- Look at grocery store flyers, and plan meals around the sale items. Get a loyalty card for each store you frequent to get store discounts automatically, then use flyer coupons for additional discounts.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it.
- Don’t shop hungry. Always hit the grocery store after you have eaten a snack or meal so your urge to buy food won’t be as strong.
- Buy food in bulk. Instead of buying enough potatoes for one meal, buy a large bag and plan other meals that use potatoes. This also goes for food such as oatmeal, rice, apples, and beans.
- Use your freezer. Buy a lot of meat when it’s on sale, and freeze what you don’t cook.
- Choose cheaper cuts of meat. For example, you can buy chicken thighs cheaper than chicken breasts.
- Buy snack items from the grocery store instead of a convenience store or vending machine. If you eat yogurt or a candy bar every afternoon, buy a big pack from the grocery store. This also applies to coffee, soft drinks, gum, etc.
- Don’t overbuy perishables. Some foods, like fruits and vegetables, go bad quickly. Pay attention to what you have to throw away at the end of the week. If you throw certain foods away often, buy less of these so you don’t waste money.
- Meal prep by cooking a large amount of food once or twice a week and dividing it into equal portions to store in a refrigerator and freezer. When your meals are prepared and ready to eat, it is less tempting to eat out or order take out.
- Try new recipes. This will help curb the urge to eat out since you’re cooking new recipes instead of the same old ones all of the time. (Check out some of these cookbooks and websites for new recipe ideas.)
- Grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Plants such as strawberries, tomatoes, and lettuce are easy to grow in small pots on your deck or patio. Herbs can be grown in small pots on windowsill year round.
- Drink more water and less juices, milk, and soft drinks.