When I was a young adult (and not so organized) I used to go grocery shopping about once a week. I’d spend a reasonable amount of money, but many times those shopping trips ended with me going home, putting everything away and then going out to dinner. I was a little crazy to shop without a plan and then come home with nothing to eat for dinner. I soon learned that by planning meals before grocery shopping can save you BIG MONEY!
Ten Tips to Save Big Money on Your Food Budget
- Cook at home. This will be your biggest savings. Americans spend some 50% of their food dollars on restaurant meals. Cooking at home is always cheaper. Planning a week of meals at one time can make it easier to follow your plan.
- Stretch your budget by making a meal out of left-overs. Omelets, quesadillas, stir-fries, soups or pastas can incorporate many different ingredients.
- Eat left-overs for lunch or freeze for another meal.
- Know what’s in your freezer. Have a running inventory of what you have stored and plan when you will use it. Make sure you use each meal within a year.
- Use less meat. Make a meal once a week that focuses on beans, tofu or eggs.
- Incorporated frozen vegetables into recipes. They are healthy and inexpensive.
- Grow your own garden. If you have a yard use some of it to plan some herbs and seasonal vegetable. It’s healthy and a great project for the kids.
- Buy some items in bulk. Check prices, but sometimes buying in bulk and freezing for later can save lots of money.
- Stock up on staples like beans, rice, canned tomatoes, oil, pasta and frozen veggies. Having basic items will help you through something together for dinner in a flash.
- Buy when it’s on sale and use coupons when able.
You can save big with a little organization.