As the state of the economy becomes more and more uncertain, many families are obviously tightening their budgets. Cutting back on grocery costs is a great way to save money and you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice the quality of your meals. In order to keep eating well on a budget you’ll have to start following some basic rules. You’ll need to start eating at home instead of going out, collecting coupons, and buying store brand products. If you do it right and keep the habit going you’ll find that you can make multiple meals in less time while saving money and improving your financial position.
Eat at Home
Many families like to go out and eat because of the convenience, but if you want to save money it’s the first and most important habit you need to break. Stop going to fast food restaurants and start buying groceries that will allow you to prepare meals at home. Don’t purchase junk food. Buy fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and meats. Purchase items that will allow you to make a meal–not boxes of prepared meals. If you buy fresh ingredients and learn how to cook a few simple dishes you’ll soon be enjoying your home cooking as much as any restaurant meal.
When you go into the grocery store you will find the store’s sales paper, which will have sale items and maybe have coupons inside of it. I know it’s obvious, but buying items on sale saves money, so buy as many sale products that you need as you can. Some stores even have a store membership card that you can sign up for free to get extra discounts whenever you make a purchase.
Buy Store Brand Products
Some individuals don’t like purchasing store brand products because they think they may not taste as good. This may be true for some things, but when it comes to staples you can rarely tell the difference. When you are on a budget, your family still needs to eat, so saving even 20% on the items you eat daily can add up. You will have to sacrifice name brand products for the store or generic brand in order to save some money. If you notice a store brand product tastes a little different than what you’re used to don’t be quick to give it up.
If you are the type of person who hates cooking every day, you can feed your family sandwiches. When you go grocery shopping make sure you have everything you need to make a few different kinds of sandwiches. Some deli meat, cheese, condiments, and bread will mean you can create a few different sandwich-themed meals each week. Throw in some fresh fruit as a side and you have an incredibly healthy meal as well.
Cook Enough Food to Last a Few Days
The holidays aren’t the only time you have to cook a big meal. You can cook one during the week. You will save time and money by cooking more food at one time. Your family may not want to eat the same thing every day, but you can repurpose parts of the original meal into other meals. Plus you can freeze leftovers and use them for a quick meal weeks from now. Who says you can only make a turkey at Thanksgiving? Turkeys can be very inexpensive at other times of year so go ahead and make yourself a Thanksgiving feast one weekend and you’ll have all the leftovers to yourself.
Also, if making a big meal on a budget so you can stretch the food out for days is your kind of thing be sure to check out Jeremy’s award-winning chili recipe, homemade salsa recipe, and crock pot pulled pork recipe. A little bit of money goes a long way with these recipes.
Eat Breakfast for Two Meals
Breakfast doesn’t have to be eaten just one time a day. You can have breakfast food for lunch, dinner, or even a snack. Eat a bowl of cereal for lunch. Eat eggs, pancakes, and sausage for dinner. Breakfast products aren’t typically expensive so you can save a lot of money by eating breakfast twice a day or substituting breakfast for another meal.
Hi with the economy the way it is this is real good advice. sometimes I cook enough food for a few days just put in freezer bags and pop it in the microwave or oven when you are ready to eat.
How about not eating once in a week?
Walmart execs are getting salary hikes and bonus in this recession time, and we have to plan count pennies for eating food?
I often do a breakfast at dinner time. I usually will do Belgian waffles or omelets for dinner. My kids also love fresh veges and salads for a light lunch.
Not totally sure I'm down with all the advice here - there are other alternatives to sandwiches that are just as inexpensive. What about salad? Or a quick veggie stir-fry dish? Or just a bowl of a homemade beef stroganoff? You can get creative on the cheap, in my opinion.
I definitely think the best advice though, is buying bulk and making large meals. You don't even have to make it in a row, for instance I just whipped up a batch of stuffed peppers and threw half of them in the freezer immediately. It'll be great in a week or so when we're tired of pasta/stirfry.
Good post otherwise though!
I plan a batch cook about 1x/week. Chilli, Lasagne, Lentils, Pot Roast, Chicken. Every one gives me at least 4-6 additional servings. If I roast a chicken I can change up what I do w/the leftover meat to vary meals even more.
Today I KNOW I will be VERY busy running errands, seeing my Dad and attending a movie sneak peak. Thereofore, I plan on either taking something out of the freezer for dinner or I will cook ahead this morning. I just KNOW I will not want to start making dinner wt 6-6:30 when I get home and this saves $$, driving, fat and calories NOT eating out or bringing in.
I am eating eggs about 3x/week for one meal or another (egg foo yong anyone?). I am also going from 1 veg meal/week to 2. One will be pasta/veg based and the other lentil or bean based.