Families are always looking for ways to be more efficient and cost-saving. They may do this by getting a tiny compost machine or going from two cars to one. Our food bills can be one of our biggest expenses, and eating is one thing we can’t do without! Fortunately, there are strategies people can use to reduce their food bills, and this article is going to discuss 6 of them.
1. Buy In Bulk
If you can, buy items in bulk rather than separately because large purchases are usually offered with discounts. Bulk buying will reduce the need for frequent trips to the grocery store, also saving your fuel. While this method may require a bit more storage space than others on this list, it’s well worth considering.
All you need to do is make sure that everything will be used before its expiry date. Make a list of what you’ve bought so that:
● you know what you’ve got
● you use the oldest items first
Buy food in bulk when it’s on sale (especially meat and vegetables) and freeze what you don’t need right away – this will give you several months to consume it.
Besides using physical stores, the internet is a great way to make large purchases and save yourself some money. If you want to buy bulk pickles you can often sign up for product alerts by email and access free shipping or local pickup. Whether it’s for side dishes, food topping, or garnish for cocktails you can buy bulk whole pickles, pickle slices, pickle juice, pickle brine or even pickle pops.
2. Make A Weekly Meal Plan And Grocery List
There are many benefits of doing this:
● It can save you time
● It can help keep costs down
● It helps make sure all of your groceries get used before they spoil (especially produce)
● You won’t have to make as many trips to the grocery store
● It will save you duplicating purchases
● You can use ingredients (e.g. jars of sauces) for two meals rather than throwing some away
● You’ll be more strategic when you go shopping, knowing exactly what you need in advance
3. Shop At Farmer’s Markets
Farmer’s markets are outdoor events where farmers sell what they have grown. These markets usually offer fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods and sometimes even clothing items like sunglasses or scarves. You can get local produce that hasn’t been sitting in transit for days and also talk directly with the person who produced it.
When you visit a farmer’s market bring some cash with you and bring enough bags for what you’re planning to buy. Purchasing food this way can sometimes be more expensive but keep in mind that everything was probably grown locally and there will be a higher nutritional value. If the food was organically grown, you’ll be eating food that hasn’t been covered in pesticides, insecticides, and more. If the costs are higher for some items, cut back on some of your other shopping to compensate- it will be worth it.
4. Eat Out Less
It is simple but true: if we eat out less often, our food bills will decrease substantially each month. It might be hard to resist all the nice restaurants and delicious food options that are around us at all times, but it can be an expensive and unhealthy option. Many people are tempted to eat out because they have so much to juggle in their lives, be it work or family responsibilities; all they want to do is go out and let someone prepare the food for them. The solution is to be wiser over your cooking, for instance making things in bulk. If you cook more than you need, you can freeze some for another day. If fish and fries are what your kids enjoy, provide them from your freezer once a week rather than taking everyone out for it.
Two other helpful points are:
● Pack your lunch before you go to work or school, instead of eating out every day
● Recognize that cooking dinner is cheaper than ordering takeout
5. Cut Out Junk Food
Junk food is what we all turn to when we’re feeling lazy or tired and don’t want to cook. There’s nothing wrong with giving in to temptation every now and then, but too much of it can seriously damage your health (and your wallet). Ask yourself the following questions:
● what are the benefits of cutting out junk food from your diet?
● what will happen if you keep eating it?
The problem with processed meals is that they’re full of additives and preservatives, which can make you feel sluggish. Once we start feeling tired and lethargic, we tend to crave even more processed food. Processed foods are incredibly convenient but they lack vital nutrients that give our bodies energy. Instead, they pump us full of unhealthy salt, sugar, fat and calories.
What about making your own snacks? You could buy some healthy ingredients like nuts or cheese cubes so you have something ready for when those cravings strike. If this sounds too much effort, try buying a box of wholemeal crackers instead. They will fill you up without leaving you hungry again ten minutes later.
6. Apply Practical Wisdom
There are many helpful blogs that can provide wise advice for saving money on food. Having said that, it sometimes needs a little common sense to be applied. Here are some examples for you:
● Eat leftovers from previous meals to save wastage
● Use discount coupons
● Cut back on meat – eat vegetarian one day a week
● Reduce your alcohol intake and drink water instead. It’ll save money and reduce your calories
● Buy generic brands when possible; they are typically just as good as the name-brand version
Hopefully, you are now empowered to save money on your food bills. By taking some simple steps you may be able to lose weight, eat better food and free up your money for other things. In turn, both you and your family will feel better than ever and others will notice the difference.
Featured photo: Pixabay (BenPixabay).