There are times in all of our lives where we need to save a few dollars for various reasons. When I need to save money, I always shave dollars from my food budget because it is relatively simple compared to trying to shave it from somewhere else. Below, I will describe to you 10 ways to stretch your food budget. You most likely will not be able to try all ten items, but if you try a few of them, I feel that you will definitely see the savings on your food bill!
- Plan your meals. By planning your meals, you will be able to plan meals that work with your budget and you will be able to prepare your shopping list so you know exactly what you need to purchase.
- Prepare recipes with like ingredients. By preparing recipes that use like ingredients, you will be able to fully utilize the groceries that you do buy and less will be wasted.
- Prepare meatless recipes. Meat is one of the most expensive items on your grocery shopping list, so try replacing a few of your family’s meals with other sources of protein, such as nuts, eggs, and beans.
- Prepare hot breakfasts. I’m sure you have noticed how expensive cold cereal is, so why not buy a box of pancake mix, oats, rice, grits, or cream of wheat? A box of one of these items goes a lot further for a lot less money!
- Prepare freezer meals. Most of the time it is cheaper to buy larger packages; however, you may not be able to use the entire package before it spoils. If you prepare freezer meals, you will be able to use all of the item and store it in the freezer for future use.
- Prepare larger meals and use leftovers for lunches. Instead of buying expensive lunchmeat and other expensive lunch items, try preparing dinners that allow for leftovers for your lunches. Another option to save money is to find a creative way to turn the leftovers into another meal!
- Shop the ads. Look at your grocery store’s weekly ad and plan your meals based on what is on sale. You can also choose to shop at multiple grocery stores and go to the store that will save you the most on particular items.
- Shop at Aldi. Yes, I know that you have to bag your own groceries at this grocery store, but the savings you gain are well worth it!
- Clip coupons. No, you cannot use coupons at Aldi, but if you shop at other grocery stores, such as Krogers, WalMart, or Giant Eagle, you can.
- Skip the snack isle. The snack isle is one of the most expensive isles, so why not just skip it. It will save you money and calories!
If you have ways that you reduce your food budget, please be sure to share them with us!