Food can quickly become expensive and useless without adequate planning. Finding the best deals for your family and reducing food waste is easy if you follow these simple tips:
1. Cook meals. You don’t have to be a Top Chef to make your own meals. There are many recipes available on the web for cheap, quick meals. Find recipes that take 5-20 minutes to prepare and cook to save time. Appetizers and prepared food can cost more than cooking from scratch.
2. Make a shopping list. Using the selected recipes, plan your meals for the week. Then you can easily create a shopping list of ingredients. Keep an up to date list of all the items, so you can easily incorporate them into your weekly shopping list as your kitchen runs out. Scan your pantry and refrigerator before leaving for any last-minute additions.
3. Shop once a week. Shopping whenever you need to make dinner can become very expensive, very quickly with all the things you buy with each additional trip. Avoid this by making a trip a week and save a list with all your family’s needs for a week.
4. Use coupons. Coupon use can save lots of money. You can also scan your grocery store’s weekly circular to find what is on sale when you plan your weekly menu. Using coupons and sales plans, can to reduce the overall cost. Try some shopping at discount grocery stores in your area for further savings.
5. Do not buy hungry. Shopping while hungry can make you purchase extra items off your list. Even if you eat a granola bar or piece of fruit before you leave, put something in your stomach to fend off expensive cravings.
6. Shop early in the day. You’ll have more energy and get out of the store faster. Plus you’ll save money by not buying items that just get your attention.
7. Carpool. Save money on gas by planning your weekly trip with a friend. If you have children, there is additional support to watch them. And friends will even make sure you buy items on your shopping list!
8. Try store brand. Store brands often taste as good as brand name items and cost a fraction of the price. Chances are your family will never know the difference, but your wallet will.