If there is one place you can save money in your spending, it’s usually on food. Whether it’s cutting back on eating out, skipping happy hour or carefully planning your weekly grocery haul, blowing your budget on groceries and food shouldn’t be a concern. Use these tips and tricks to cut down that weekly grocery bill and save a little extra cash for that down payment or that trip you’ve been planning.
Shop the sales
Each week, take a few minutes to check online or the weekly circular to see what sales and promotions your store is running. Oftentimes it will be what is in season, or special promotions surrounding holidays and occasions, like graduation or Labor Day. During the summer months, look for promotions of fruit like watermelon and berries, while in the winter you’ll often find root vegetables like potatoes and cabbage. Stock up on these ingredients to save some money and also for the base of many healthy and nutritious dishes.
By strategizing your menu each week before you shop, it will ensure that you don’t purchase any extra food that will go to waste. Pick recipes that have similar ingredients so you can use all of your herbs, vegetables or proteins if you don’t need it all for just one. Plus, meal planning can help you curb spending on eating out for dinner or purchasing your lunch or snacks every day. Though it can be initially time consuming, it will save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.
Utilize your pantry
Like most people, you probably have stacks of vegetables, soups, beans and other nonperishables stacked in your pantry. Instead of heading to the store and adding to the stockpile, look through and catalogue everything that you already have and build meals around those ingredients. If you have a lot of beans and rice, opt for something Mexican-inspired or spice up canned soup with some fresh vegetables or protein for a unique meal that won’t cost a lot of money.
Embrace your crock-pot
By making large portions of one meal in your crock-pot, you will save not only money but also time. Pick any easy crock-pot recipe, let it cook all day and you will come home to a delicious and easy meal. But the best part: large crock-pot recipes often have leftovers. Use this to your advantage and portion out the remaining servings in storage containers and eat it throughout the week. This will prevent you from needing to by more groceries and also from being tempted to pick up lunch or dinner while you’re out and about.
Buy in bulk
If you have the storage space, it’s much more cost effective to purchase large quantities of products you use often. Things like paper goods, frozen foods and even some produce like apples and oranges will last for a long time and give you more for your money in large quantities. Plus, if you’ve got everything you need on hand at home, you’ll be less likely to pick up impulse purchases on a trip to the store to stock up.