Save Money On Food

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Saving money on food can be fun because you become more inventive with different recipes and flavor combinations and are also more likely to be conscious of the quality of food you buy when stocking up on sales or buying things in season.

  • Make a detailed list and stick to it. After you do this for awhile you can come within a dollar of your original estimate. It prevents impulse buying, helps plan weekly menus and helps gage how much you really do spend on food. Include a separate list for snacks, school lunches, cleaning supplies and junk if you want to get totally organized.
  • Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season. Not only do you save money this way, but the produce is obviously fresher.
  • Invest in a freezer. Stocking up when there are big sales can save a lot of money on groceries and when you have a freezer this makes it easier to do. Some fruit and vegetables that can be safely frozen are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peppers, broccoli, asparagus, peas, carrots, corn, beans, brussel sprouts and more.
  • Cook things like “hamburger helper” from scratch. One large bag of noodles that costs a dollar can feed a family twice, but the skimpy boxed hamburger helper mixes usually only feeds a couple people.
  • Make your own spice mixes. Taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, Cajun and Chinese five spice help flavor meals and preparing your own saves money.
  • Make your own sauces. Sweet and sour, honey garlic, barbecue, Thai peanut sauces and Alfredo are all from simple ingredients and are easy to prepare. Simple salad dressings are made with basic ingredients like oil, vinegar, herbs and spices.
  • Use a slow cooker to tenderize cheaper tough cuts of meat such as stewing beef or roasts. Marinating meats ahead of time also tenderizes if another cooking method is desired.
  • Make your own flavored coffees. Small amounts of vanilla, almond extract, cocoa, cinnamon, mint and more all help give your coffee gourmet flavors.
  • Plant your own fruit and vegetables. Even if you only have a balcony, you’d be surprised at how much you can grow in a small space. Herb gardens are also easy to grow and a fun and healthy way to add flavor to meals.
  • Buy in bulk. Flour, sugar, rice, oil, oatmeal and more are safe to store for longer periods and are sold in large quantities.
  • Make your own muffins for snacking on. They’re healthier and you can add nutritious ingredients to them such as raisins, pineapple, coconut, bran, berries or carrots.
  • Try making meatless meals a couple days a week. Meat is expensive and too much isn’t healthy anyway. When you do cook with meat, adding beans, rice or noodles can stretch small amounts of meat with such things as sauces, chili, tacos and casseroles.
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