Saving Money on Food!

Save Money on Food

Save Money on Food

It can be of the most costly parts of our lives and also one of the most crucial if you want to remain healthy – food! Check out some simple and easy money saving tips for food.

Organize and keep control of your fridge!

A lot of food is left to spoil simply because it was left at the back of the fridge for too long. A well organized fridge will have foodstuff that spoiles quickly near the front so when you open the door you remember that you have those blueberries or fresh lettuce. Your freezer should also be organized to make sure nothing gets stuck in the “twilight zone” and never seen until it’s too late for it to be eaten.

Organize and keep control of your panty!

Just like your fridge, you should keep the pantry under control and invest in plenty of storage so your perishables are kept airtight. By organizing well you will have the room to bulk buy items that last a long time in the pantry, like pasta, rice, herbs, tinned food and more.

Watch what goes into the bin

Look at what your family is not eating and watch what gets thrown out. You might be buying some items that the family is no longer eating before it spoils. Also watch the portion size of meals you are preparing – are you feeding people too much and they are throwing it into the bin after the meal? Cut down on portion size or keep the leftovers for the next day.

Leftovers are awesome
Speaking of leftovers, if you are making a meal that translates well to lunch the next day, make plenty of it. If everyone loves lasagne, make a super sized portion and they can have it for lunch tomorrow, saving you money that would have otherwise been used to buy lunch from a lunchroom or cafe.

Plan meals
This is a common tip that many people still don’t follow. Plan your weekly meals so you have some variety, avoid wastage, make the most of your fridge space and take advantage of specials you find at the supermarket.

Eat seasonally
Despite the fact that you can buy almost any kind of vegetable any time of the year thanks to modern farming practices and globalization, it is still often cheaper, healthier, and more delicious to eat seasonally. That tomato that came halfway across the globe to reach you in winter may have been irradiated and may be costing you 25-100% more than it would in summer. By eating seasonally you may be able to source the vegetables from a local grower as well. Often because the food is in season they will have a lot of it to sell so you get better deals.

Use Sales and Coupons
This one is a no-brainer. Be on the lookout for coupons and sales on items that you regularly use – especially long life items like canned good. However don’t be a sucker and buy items that perish before you can use them all, or items that you rarely use.

Buy and Cook In Bulk
Cook like you are feeding an army, but freeze the rations! Use tupperware to freeze up individual meals in your now organized freezer, and make sure you label everything. Look for specials from supermarkets that sell in bulk like Aldi and Costco. So when you see a bargain on a particular canned good, snap it up, cook in large quantities and freeze it up. Look on the Internet for a variety of meal ideas so you have plenty of variety from the bulk bought items and meals.

Brown-Bag It
Now that you are freezing and cooking in bulk it should be a lot easier to brown-bag it and take your own lunch to work. Just heat it up in the office microwave, or take a salad. With a little forethought you can save huge amounts of money on your daily lunch over the space of a year.

Look for frozen, canned and dried foods
Always be on the lookout for items that last a long time and snap them up when on special. These items can often sit in your pantry for many months so buy big when they are cheap. Just make sure you keep that pantry clean and use everything in it.

Go for generic brands
Nowadays the generic brands are often of a similar quality to the name brands but can be 10%, 20% or evern 30% cheaper! Test a few products each week with the shopping, so instead of buying a premium brand buy a branded one, instead of a branded one, buy a store brand. Surprisingly I have found that some of the store brand products are better quality than some of the premium ones!

Buy prepackaged only when essential
There is a premium to buying prepackaged meals and salads. So instead of buying that pre-mixed salad, just get the ingredients yourself and make it up. It will also taste better because many of the pre-made salads have been sitting on the shelf for a longer time and have gone a bit stale.

Plant a Garden
There is nothing like fressh produce direct from the garden. Some things like herbs are expensive from the supermarket and don’t always keep for very long. If you plant a small herb garden or plant a few lettuce and tomatoes, you will not only save money but be eating healthy.

Don’t shop hungry
This is one of the classic rules. People who shop hungry tend to buy a lot of junk food and then get home and look at their shopping with horror, realising they have wasted a lot of money on junk food!

Be aware of supermarket tricks
Understand how supermarkets play the game. They will have junk food and magazines at the checkout so you impulse buy while waiting in line, they will keep the milk at the back of the store, they will keep the products with their highest profit margins at eye level on the shelves. Look at the top and bottom of the shelves for better deals, avoid falling for junk food while waiting in line.

Is it really a bargain? Track prices on regular purchases
If there are some foods that you tend to buy a lot, track their prices. That way when you see a massive “special” sign above the product you will really know if it is a special or not. There are actually a lot of price tracking websites and also price tracking apps for smart phones now. So when shopping you simple tap in the first few letters from the product name and they will show you the price history of the product. Don’t be a sucker!

Ignore the best before
Use by dates must be followed, because the food will most likely be spoiled after that date. However best before dates have some flexibility. You can also pick up bargains in the supermarket on foods that have passed their best before dates. Experiment with different kinds of products so you will know the difference between a cake that is 1 day over the best before date, and a packet of cornchips. You will find that some products are horrible past their date, while others taste pretty much the same.

Shop Online
There are plenty of online shopping options now and more everyday. Shopping online lets you make rational decisions about what you are buying, seriously buy in bulk and also really compare apples to apples when making a purchasing decision. You can browse multiple websites and go for the supermarket that has the best specials for the week. Again, avoid the “tricks”, online shopping websites usually have a ton of confectionery on special to draw customers in. Avoid the confectionery and look for specials on foodstuff that is nutritious and has a good shelf life.

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