What to Cook for Dinner?
Is your grocery budget just getting a little too big. I know food can be expensive. But I have a few tips to help keep your grocery bill under control. None of these are anything fancy, but using just a few of them can really help to cut your grocery bill.
1. Eat Healthy Food
Healthy food are usually less expensive than processed foods. Take for example potato chips, I can get a bag of potato chips about 10 oz, for around $1.88. But with that same $1.88, I can get 10 pounds of potatoes to make my own potato chips and more. I know you can get some processed food for cheap or even free but in general natural foods are cheaper. Not to mention better for health which may help you stay healthier.
2. Eat What You Buy
How much in spoiled food do you throw away? I know even at our house, I will get some great deals on fruits or veggies, but then don’t take the time to process what we can’t eat before it goes bad. Save money by only purchasing what you can use before it spoils or make a plan to get it ready for the freeze, dehydrate or preserve it, before it can spoil.
3. Find New Places to Buy Food
Don’t just continue to shop at one store for all your groceries. Do try to shop at the dollar stores, discount grocery stores, ethnic markets and farmers markets to name a few. You might find some great deals you could be missing.
I know I love our local discount grocery store. I often find organic lettuce for $.25 a head and grapes for $.59 per pound. But be careful when shopping the dollar store, it’s easy to overspend, stick to what you know you need and avoid the it’s just a dollar thinking.
4. Use coupons combined with sales
Use your coupons when you can combined them with a sale to get the best deal. By using coupons with a sale you can get the rock bottom price. If you find a great price make sure to stock up on the amount you will use until the next sale. I know stockpiling is a great way to make sure you have what you need on hand and save money too.
5. Cook More at Home
By cooking at home you can make a whole week of food for what it might cost your family for one meal eating out. Keep your eating out to what you can afford in your budget. There is nothing wrong with a nice meal out just make sure it fits the budget. Also search out coupons for the restaurant before you go out and look for specials such as kids eat free nights.
6. Make Simple Menus
Keeping your menus simple can keep your grocery cost low. By making meals with a meat and vegetable side or a nice casserole with what you have on hand can keep your grocery costs down. Also plan your menu around what is in season to get the best deals on produce. If you have an especially tight week check out this 7 day frugal menu plan.
7. Always buy at Your Low Price
Try to find the best price in your area for the items you purchase most. By determining what your “buy” price is you can know a good deal when it comes along and stock up at rock bottom prices. I use a price book to track the best prices in my area. Make sure to get enough to last you to the next sale.
8. Share with your Neighbors
If you can get a good deal on a large amount of an item you use, see if a neighbor or friend will split the cost of the item with you. I do this with Zaycon Foods chicken (referral link) and I once got 48 heads of romaine lettuce for $2 at our local discount grocery store. We could not use that much so when I got home I called 4 of my neighbors and offered some to each of them. They got great lettuce and I got to take advantage of a great deal without wasting the extra.
9. Grow Your Own Food
By gardening you can grow your own organic foods very inexpensively. Even when we did not have a garden I would grow lettuce, radishes, cucumbers and even carrots in pots. Even if you are in an apartment with a small balcony or deck you can still have fresh grown veggies.
10. You add the last idea in our comments.
I know you have some great ideas of how to save on food. Please leave me a comment below with your best idea on saving money on food. Or tweet it out on Twitter, be sure to tag me @frugalfamhome