Of all of the ways to save money, saving money on food is the easiest one. With some simple planning you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on your food bill each year. This article will teach you how!
Make sure your pantry and fridge are well organized
You need to be fully aware of what is in your pantry and fridge so keep it well organized. Food that spoils quickly should always be at the front, on the middle shelves and tins with a long shelf life can be on the top or back. Keep food that spoils quickly in plain sight.
Take note of what foods are wasted
Take a look at the kinds of food that is being discarded every week. What is left in the fridge until it goes off? Also watch out for wasted food, so if people are only eating half of what is on their plates, make portions smaller.
Plan your meals
The best way to make sure food is not wasted is to plan meals for the next week and stick with it. Ever Monday, sit down with a pen and paper and write out the meals you are going to have for the next week, before you go shopping. Meals that have ingredients that spoil quickly should be cooked early on in the week.
Utilize all leftovers and plan to make leftovers
One of the best time savers is making meals that produce leftovers. You can freeze any leftovers to use them another time, or simply take them to work the next day for an easy money saving lunch. Make larger quantities on purpose to save money.
Use sales and coupons
This one is a no brainer, but you should take advantage of sales, especially when the for sale items are long life canned goods, pasta, dried herbs and so on. Avoid buying lots of food that spoils quickly, even if it’s on special.
Cook in bulk
If you have a great recipe for something that tastes great even after being frozen, like chili, pumpkin soup or lasagne, make it in bulk. Just like the leftovers tip, it will save you a lot of money and time.
Buy in bulk at multiple supermarkets
You should hunt for those specials on canned goods at multiple supermarkets. If you like baked beans for breakfast, don’t hesitate to buy 100 cans if you see them offered at half price. Canned goods have years on their expiry date, and you will definitely use that many baked beans over the course of two years.
Eat food when it is in season
You can save money by eating seasonally and it is actually healthy to eat this way. In winter enjoy mandarins, oranges, spinach, cabbage and in summer enjoy peaches, strawberries, plums and beans. Because those fruits and vegetables are in season farmers will be producing large quantities of them and they will be cheaper.
Never shop hungry!
When people shop hungry they tend to buy a lot of junk food and food that they never get around to eating. Everything looks delicious and it’s easy to waste money!
Plant an herb garden
If you love to cook you know the benefit of fresh herbs. However they can be very expensive at the supermarket, so spend some time developing an herb garden. You will have access to incredibly fresh and organic herbs all year round and it’s surprisingly easy to do.
Use online shopping
Many supermarkets now offer online shopping, so you can make your purchasing decisions from the comfort of your own home. This is fantastic because it means you won’t have all of the distractions and temptations that come with walking around a supermarket! You can be calm and calculating when making purchasing decisions and compare item prices between supermarkets.
Keep track of your regular purchases
If you love to eat pasta and buy a certain type of pasta sauce in a jar, keep track of its price. Then when it is on special, you will know if it is really a bargain or not. When you find it cheap, bulk buy!
Understand best before and use by dates
When an item is stamped with a use by date, you shouldn’t use it after that date — it may be unsafe. However if it is stamped with a best before date, you might still have a tasty and nutritious product that is for sale at reduced price. Experiment with different types of food and see how some foods fair after they have passed the best before date. Some items like corn chips are perfectly good a couple of weeks after their best before date.
Buy generic brands instead of premium ones
Sometimes generic brands taste as good as the premium ones that cost much more. Test out generic brands and you may even find some that taste better than the premium brands.
So there we have it, our simple tips for saving money on food. By following these tips you will be able to save a serious amount of money!