Food is expensive and it’s going up in price with each passing day. This leave many of us questioning how to save money on food each month. A number of factors contribute to the higher food prices and it often feels as if you have no say on what you spend at the supermarket. That’s not necessarily the case. You can eat cheap healthy food without breaking the bank.
Here are five super simple ways to cut back on food costs:
- Grow it yourself. You can grow a plentiful garden no matter where you live, how much space you have, and how green your thumb is. Now is the time to start your spring garden. Container and square foot gardens are popular solutions for city dwellers that don’t have the means to grow a full size garden. Herb gardens and medicinal plants like Echinacea, Borage, and Pleurisy Root can be grown on window sills and in window boxes no matter how small or large of home you reside in.
- Can and preserve your surplus. Food is only good if you can eat it. If your garden supplies more than your family can eat at one given time, can and preserve the remainder of your surplus. There are a variety of ways you can store the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you grow. You can make jellies and jams, pickle foods, and even make chips out of apples, zucchini, potatoes, and carrots in a dehydrator. If you hit a sale at the supermarket on strawberries, for example, you can purchase several baskets of them and preserve them so you can have them at a later date. This is especially helpful because so many foods are seasonal and subject to astronomical price increases.
- Learn the basics of food storage. Knowing how to properly store your food supply will increase its longevity and ultimately save you money. If you have no clue how to keep food good there is no time like the present to get started.
- Eat at home. Skip a pricey meal out and opt to cook something similar at home. You’d be surprised how much further your dollars go when you prepare meals from scratch. There are a number of websites full of free recipes for you to choose from. If you feel like eating Thai, look for dishes that use coconut milk. If you prefer something hearty, cook up a big pot of chili and invite the neighbors over so you won’t have a refrigerator full of leftovers.
- Use coupons to get it for free or cheap. You don’t have to be into Extreme Couponing to experience extreme savings. Start getting the Sunday paper and watching the ads for the best deals. Pair store savings with manufacturer’s coupons and get food items for free or pennies on the dollar.
Food is a necessity that can’t be overlooked. Without it, you won’t survive. With it, you can fight disease, nourish your body, and provide yourself with a source of energy that gets you through the day. When acquiring food for your family, consider the aforementioned list as a way of cutting grocery costs. There are plenty of ways to acquire food frugally. You can start a garden, forage for wild edibles, freeze, can, and preserve your produce or purchase food at a discount from supermarkets and farmers markets.
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.