Top 10 Food Saving Tips
According to Fresh Plaza, an online newsletter about global produce, food prices are once again on the rise in the United States. Thus, saving money on food is become all the more important as the economy recovers from recession. But the good news is that saving on food isn’t rocket science, and often, what’s good for your wallet is good for your health, too. The following are some easy-to-follow tips for saving on your food bill.
1. Prioritize your favorite foods.
Often, we go to the grocery store with a shopping list and buy the first brand we see, without regard to price. A good idea to save on food is to make a list of your favorite foods in descending order. For items that you aren’t too picky about, buy the cheapest brand. If you absolutely love a particular item, like, say, cheese, then put that at the top of the list and indulge in some high quality.
2. Buy produce locally.
Fruits and vegetables are especially expensive in today’s economic climate. Consider buying produce from local farmer’s markets. Not only are you doing a favor for small family-run businesses, but you’re also reducing your carbon footprint. Locally grown produce tends to be more flavorful and, grown without chemicals, better for you. For many farmer’s markets, paying a small membership fee will afford you great discounts on their items. The USDA has a searchable database to help you find a farmer’s market near you.
3. Drop the drinks.
Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and juices add significantly to your grocery bill, but are completely unnecessary in maintaining a healthy diet. Consider making your own fruit juices at home using fresh fruit, and try drinking more water or tea.
4. Eat vegetarian at least once a week.
Beef, pork, poultry, and fish are all delicious and provide us with needed protein. But let’s face it–they’re expensive. If for only once or twice a week, try substituting meat dishes with vegetarian protein sources, like beans, eggs, or tofu.
5. Buy less items more often.
Even though it takes more time, it’s sometimes a better idea to make frequent grocery trips, buying only what you’ll eat for the next couple of days. This method cuts down on impulse buys and reduces waste.
6. Buy frozen.
Common knowledge says that frozen produce is less healthier than fresh. According to WebMD, this is a myth. Frozen foods are typically frozen when they are most ripe, meaning that plentiful nutrients are preserved. With frozen foods, you can cook as much as you can eat, and then store the rest.
7. Change your attitude about eating out.
Everyone knows that eating meals at restaurants will be more expensive than eating at home, especially if done frequently. However, you don’t have to completely cut out dining out. If you think of eating at restaurants as a special treat, a way to celebrate an occasion, then you’ll enjoy your time out more, and you’ll spend money less often.
8. Plan out everything.
Although planning your meals in advance can be time-consuming, it pays off in the long run. Creating detailed shopping lists will also help avoid impulse buys.
9. Use coupons.
Coupons really do save you a lot of money, if you use them frequently enough. Clip coupons for products you know you’ll buy, and sign up for discount cards at grocery stores. It takes only a second to ask for a card at the counter, and it can cut ten percent or more off your bill every grocery trip.
10. Use kitchen appliances efficiently.
Although it won’t directly cut down on your food costs, making the most of your kitchen appliances, like using a slow cooker or putting multiple foods in the oven at once, can cut down significantly on your energy bill.