Do you know how much you spend on food? Eating is a necessary and often enjoyable act. So, there is no escaping the expense of food. However, there is a way to save a little coin, and who doesn’t want to do that? You can still enjoy delicious eats, while putting some money into savings.
Are you ready to start saving up for that dream vacation or paying off that credit card debt? We can help by offering these cost effective tips:
1. Eat at home more
Yes, eating at home can definitely save you big bucks. Did you know? “Nearly a third of the U.S. food dollar is spent on eating out services.” It’s true. There are a lot of people who love to dine out. Whether it be because of convenience or fun, restaurants are a popular treat. But, they can also cause you to spend more per meal. For example, on average a boneless chicken breast may run about $2-$4 a pound at the grocery store. But a meal (including chicken breast and two sides) at a chain restaurant could run closer to $13.00.
A half a pound of meat is recommended per person, which means your home cooked chicken would cost you about $1-$2 per person. Your sides would most likely not equal $10 or $11, which means you’d rake in quite a bit of savings by just eating at home. And, this is just in regards to chicken, could you imagine what you’d save on steak!
However, if you dine out, please read our article “Eating Out on a Budget” to learn thrifty savings tips.
2. Give leftovers a chance
Some people love leftovers, while others refuse to eat them. But, before you say ‘no’ to leftovers, consider the savings and time you could render. Not only will leftovers provide you with another meal, but they’ll save you time cooking. And, you’d probably be surprised at how many foods can be reheated, if done the correct way. For example, leftover fries don’t have to be tossed, you can reheat them in your oven or toaster oven. This will help them remain crispy, instead of turning into a soggy mess in the microwave. If you’re ready to give leftovers a try, check out this great article on how to reheat leftovers the right way.
3. Be a pro grocery shopper
There is a ton of ways to save big money on your groceries. First off, do not go to the grocery store hungry or stressed, it can make you spend more than you budgeted for. Second, go with a plan in hand and stick to that plan, this means bringing a list (checking out the deals and clipping coupons prior). The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be and the less you’ll spend.
Please check out our article “How to Save Money on Groceries” to learn more.
4. Consider affordable food choices
There are plenty of staple foods that can make cooking more affordable. Consider “cheap eats” like pasta, rice, beans, and ground meats. You can plan meals around cost-effective choices.
5. Embrace creativity in your cooking
Search fun ideas online for how you can use up leftovers or clean out the pantry. Instead of throwing out perfectly good food, embrace creativity.
Also, keep in mind, another way to be creative (and save money) is by utilizing substitutes. Sometimes a recipe will call for something you don’t have on hand, and you know you’ll only use it for this one recipe. If that’s the case, don’t spend the extra, instead look for an alternative. Here’s a great list of cooking and baking substitutes that you can put to use.
6. Make use of your freezer
If you know you won’t be using up all of your leftovers in time, freeze them. This can help extend the shelf life of your food. You’d be surprised at all of the things you can actually freeze! Check out this list from Once a Month Meals.
These are just a few ways you can save funds on your food budget. Even if you just adapt one of these tips, you can benefit financially.