Are you spending more money than you need to at the grocery store? Unless you’re very careful about watching your purchases, you probably are, and you might not even realize it! The best way to cut your grocery spending isn’t clipping coupons and waiting for sales, although those are great (as long as you’re only buying things on sale that you still would have needed to buy without the sale, of course.) Instead, a few new habit changes can save you money on groceries without taking too much more time or effort!
Plan Your MenusDo you think about all the meals you’ll be preparing with the food you get before you go to the grocery store? Most of us don’t, unless we’re running a large household. Even one or two people can score big savings on groceries by doing a little planning in advance, though. Write up a simple list of meals you’ll be preparing, and figure out what you need to buy in order to make them. You’ll probably have many of the ingredients on hand already. The ones you don’t have, or don’t have enough of, will make up your grocery list.
This ensures that you don’t buy food you won’t use just because it looks interesting, and it also ensures that you don’t buy something you already have plenty of. Simple meal planning can eliminate a lot of accidental food wastage, and a lot of wasted money that goes along with that.
Work From Scratch
The more food you make at home, as opposed to buying from restaurants or getting pre-made meals, the more money you’re going to save. Cheap pre-made meals are usually unappetizing, unhealthy or both, and eating out is many times as expensive as cooking for yourself. You don’t have to be a great cook to save money cooking for yourself: consider making simple meals, such as pasta, premade sauce, and ground beef sauteed with chopped onions. You’ll only need two pans – one for the beef and onions, one for the pasta – very little preparation work, and you can make enough food for four to six meals. Save the leftovers, and for about $5 (a pound of pasta, a jar of sauce, half a pound of ground beef and one onion) and 20 minutes in the kitchen, you’ve covered a significant portion of your weekly meals.
Leftovers are key to eating on the cheap, especially if you’re single or have no children: plan to make large meals, and then package and freeze single portions together. Those portions can be brought to work as frozen lunches and reheated, or eaten on subsequent days. It’s simple!