“How do I spend less on food and get the best value for the money?” This is the question every one of us asks every week. And, shopping for food on a budget is a goal for all. Sometimes, despite the best budget-abiding intentions, we tend to spend more, resulting in wasted food and wasted money.
So, below are the six ways you can cut down your food expenses and save money-
First and foremost, plan your shopping ahead. Taking note of what you have in your pantry saves you from overbuying. Create a list based on your weekly meal plan. Also, plan how you would be using the leftover food items.
Have light snacks before shopping; it will help you stick to your shopping list and keeps you from making impulsive purchases as you explore the aisles. Check Cashsaver weekly ad or flyers and see what’s on special discount.
In addition, use shopping coupons and take advantage of the sales trending in the store near you. You can also sign up to get shopping alerts or receive coupons.
Buy Healthy Food Items
Eating healthy can help you save money. People tend to spend a lot of money on extras, including bakery items, chips, soda, fried foods, etc. These food items don’t have any nutritional value and are unhealthy.
However, if you consider the nutritional value of everything you buy, you will get the value for the money. For example, soft drinks deliver empty calories only. You can replace them with less expensive fruit juices or water.
Preparing lunch and taking it with you is an excellent money-saving tip. Moreover, it is a great way to use leftovers at school, work, or any other destination. It helps you save money; you can control the nutritional value, ingredients of the food so that they are healthy.
Pack soup, wrap, or a simple sandwich. You can use freezer containers to keep the food at optimum temperature until you don’t have access to the refrigerator.
Save On Proteins
Substitute vegetarian foods like tofu, legumes, beans, etc. for costly meat, fish, and poultry. Consume a vegetarian diet twice or more to include more healthy foods into your diet and save money.
When you buy meat, look for smaller portions of the lean cuts; for example, lean cuts of beef include the terms ‘round’, ‘lion,’ etc. Or, you can buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself rather than paying the butcher. Besides, you can go for a family pack and keep them in airtight freezer bags.
Buy Canned, Frozen, or Dried Food
Try canned, frozen, and dried ingredients for a recipe. They might be less expensive than fresh foods but are equally nutritious. Produce is frozen or canned at the peak of ripeness when they have plenty of nutrients.
You can use as much amount as you need, reseal the pack, and store it back in the freezer. If you store the food properly, there won’t be any waste. Dried fruits are a great substitute for fresh fruit and are concentrated in flavor. Furthermore, you can use a powdered form of milk in desserts, soups, casseroles, etc.
Don’t Waste Food
Before you add perishable food items into your cart, just think about how you will be using it. Using leftover vegetables, salads, or meat in soups reduces the cost and shows your creativity in the kitchen. For example, you can use roasted chicken in the dinner one night and the leftover food the next night.
Aside from this, you can top fresh greens with slices of leftover chicken, vegetables, or fruits. You will get a healthy meal within minutes. You can also consume leftovers as breakfast or lunch.