People are always looking at new ways to save money on food.
Buying generic brands, eat out less, using coupons and meal planning are all great ways to save on food, but there are a few other adjustments you can make in your life to be the most penny-wise you as possible.
Here are our favorite ways to save money on food, no matter where we are trying to save when it comes to food:
While Grocery Shopping
Keep a list on your fridge and add to it anytime anything you use in the kitchen that finishes. By the end of the month, you will end up with a grocery list of only what you need and you will easily be able to see what you aren’t using as much if it didn’t make it on the list. That way, you know not to purchase more of it!
You can use your trusty pen and paper or, more simply, your phone. Use your note app or a dedicated one for the job!
Pay in Cash
Paying in cash instead of on your card will save you a lot more than you think. Take only the amount of cash you have allocated for groceries and you won’t have the option to go over budget!
Buy Grains and Canned Food in Bulk
Grains, dried pasta, and canned foods last practically forever. So, if you see a deal or a sale on any of these items, buy them in bulk and stock up your pantry! This way, you will always have something to eat at home.
Shop in Season
Fruits and veggies are a lot cheaper when they are in season versus offseason. Buying your favorite fruit in the month that it blooms will be beneficial in your pocket, plus it will taste a lot better too!
Avoid Items on Eye Level
Most people know this trick, but a lot of you might not. Avoid buying items that are kept at eye level in grocery stores. Either buy from the higher shelves or the lower shelves; this is because the highest-priced items from each category are placed at eye level to be the first options buyers see!
Ways to save money on food in the kitchen
Freeze What You Can
Whether it is soup, leftover veggies or even food you cooked in bulk, just freeze what you can and defrost it when you’re ready to eat. You can apply the “buying in season” trick with this one and freeze your favorite fruits till they are out of season. Using freezing bags its a must! They close up easily and will preserve your frozen food for longer. This is one of our favorite ways to save money on food.
Skip the Meat
Meat can be expensive, so have days or even a week where you skip the meat! This will help you budget and lessen the load on your conscience as you eat greener and lower your carbon footprint.
Plan Your Meals
Plan what you will be cooking at the beginning of each week; write down the recipes and ingredients you will need. This way, you can buy only exactly what you need to prepare those meals and not spend on anything extra. There are so many great Apps that will help you with this such as Mealime or Paprika!
Grow Your Herbs and Veggies
A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to grow your own herbs even in the tiniest of spaces. If you have even enough space for a few pots on a windowsill or balcony, you can even consider growing a few veggies. If you have no idea what you are doing, you can take a class on Skillshare or Udemy or you can watch a few youtube videos.
Food Scraps Are Not Waste
Collect your food scraps like unused veggies or even chicken bones. Bones and veggies can be boiled and turned into a stock that can be used in multiple dishes down the line.
Ways to save money on food while ordering in or eating out
Go To All-You-Can-Eat Buffets
This one goes without saying. You can take your time and eat your fill for a low cost. You might not be able to take anything home, but at least you can eat till your heart’s content.
Fill Up on Bread
A lot of restaurants give free bread before a meal, so eat some before deciding exactly what you want to eat. If you order on an empty stomach, you will probably end up ordering more than you need.
Look For Deals
A lot of restaurants have become more welcoming of guests bringing their own wine to dinner. Just call up wherever you plan to go and find out if they allow it and what their corking fee would be. It’s much cheaper than ordering off the wine menu!
Go Out On Your Birthday!
Some restaurants offer free meals or discounts if it’s your birthday, so don’t stay in it. Don’t let go of the opportunity for a free meal!
Less Food Waste
Absorb Ethylene Gas
Ethylene gas is what makes fruits and veggies ripen quickly. Use products like Bluapple Produce Saver that will absorb these gases in your fridge to make your produce last up to three times longer than it normally would. And, yes, they do really work!
FreshPaper is another product that works by extending the life of your produce. Toss one of these sheets in your salad or fruit bowls and extend their lifespan up to four times longer.
Silicone Food Huggers
A lot of recipes require the use of half of a certain vegetable, so what do you do with the other half? These silicone food huggers create an airtight seal around the cut portion of a vegetable, keeping it as fresh as before it was cut!
Store Cheese in Paper not Plastic
There is a misconception that cheese needs to be stored in plastic airtight bags to stay fresh, but cheese needs to breathe and lasts a lot longer in cheese paper. These cheese storage bags will keep your expensive cheeses mold-free for longer.
Buying a vacuum seal might seem like an extravagant expense you don’t need, but this one only costs around $50 and comes with a slew of benefits compared to normal plastic bags. Vacuum sealing and freezing protect from freeze burn so it’s great for preserving expensive cuts of meat for example. Also vacuum sealing its a great way to preserve the freshness of food item subjected to dehydration such as slices of bread, chips, crackers.
These were our favorite tips to stay frugal! What are some of yours?