Eight Smart Ways to Lower Your Food Costs
Groceries take up a huge portion of people’s monthly budgets, especially when there are children involved. Since food prices will more than likely continue to climb, wouldn’t it be nice if you could find ways to cook for less? With a few small changes, you can easily create affordable meals that are still tasty and nutritious.
Plan ahead. Think about what you and your family will be eating for the next week or two and make a grocery list of the ingredients you’ll need. Before hitting the store, check your cupboards and plan a few meals around food items you already have.
Stick to your list. Once you hit the store, resist the temptation to buy items not found on your list. Impulse purchases can really stack up, and if you plan your meals ahead of time, you’ll know the food on your list is enough to get you through the week.
Forget brand loyalty. Try out generic brands of your favorite products. You’ll often find equal quality, but at a lower price. Buy seasonal. The best-priced fruits and vegetables are those that are in season. Consider buying locally-grown produce, as well. It is often cheaper than items shipped from far-off places.
Look up and down. Stores often stock their most expensive items at eye-level. Look at the top and bottom rows for similar food items, often at a cheaper price.
Do it yourself. Pre-cut fruit and grated cheese are convenient, but more expensive to buy. Purchase items whole and do the prep-work yourself.
Go vegetarian. Cooking a few meatless meals every week is a good way to save money. Keep protein in your diet by adding beans, nuts and dairy to your meals.
Love your leftovers. Find ways to create new meals out of your leftovers. Use brown rice from a stir fry for a casserole later in the week. Also, consider freezing portions of large dishes, such as chili, for re-heating at a later time.