Among the many monthly expenses that are simply unavoidable, buying groceries is one of the few that's squarely in your own control. While it's a necessity you can't eliminate from your budget completely, there are some simple ways to save a few bucks during future grocery runs.
One of the easiest ways to spend more money (and time) than you intend to at the store is to go in without a list of items you need. Spend a few moments considering the meals you'd like to make in the near future then write down exactly which ingredients you need.
Evaluate Shopping Frequency
Overbuying perishables like fruits and veggies is one of the many ways food is wasted, but going to the store every day is an inefficiency all its own. Try making a grocery trip once per week on a day you have ample time to think through what you need, how much you need and how long it will last.
Say "No" to Snacks
It might be difficult to avoid the temptation, but skipping the snack aisles can improve your finances and your diet. While it's unnecessary to completely eliminate your favorite snacks, limiting your consumption of foods like potato chips, candy and more can save you money and lead to more nutritious eating habits down the line.
Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
Similar to walking past the snack section, pay careful attention to how often you load your cart with items from special stands and end-of-aisle displays. For one, these foods are unlikely to be part of your "must-have" list, and second, there's a decent chance these are specialty items with marked up prices.
Store Food Properly
While it may not directly pertain to shopping, learning how to store the foods you do purchase can help them stay fresh longer, which can help cut down on trips to buy more. Freezing meat in freezer-safe bags, keeping potatoes in a cool area and other appropriate food storage methods can lead to more efficient use.
Find more food tips and tricks at Culinary.net.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Culinary.net) Eating healthier and saving time around the house are common goals for many families, and there’s one solution that can help attain both: meal-prepping. By planning and preparing meals in advance of each week, you can practice better portion control while creating free time for normally hectic mornings, afternoons and evenings.
Consider these tips to start your meal-prepping process:
- Include the whole family. By letting everybody in on meal-prepping, you’re helping ensure everyone is satisfied with the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that become your end results. Even if you only plan to work in advance on lunches, for instance, loved ones will likely enjoy the process more if all are pleased with the meals they enjoy later.
- Plan the meals. Once the whole gang is included and on-board, start brainstorming the recipes and dishes you’d like to make. Try starting with just one course at first – lunch is likely to be the easiest – to help keep meal-prepping simple at the start.
- Buy ingredients in bulk. Whether your grocery shopping takes place over the weekend or on a free weeknight, purchasing ingredients and supplies in bulk – without overbuying perishables like fruits and veggies – can help make sure you have everything you need once it’s time to build the meals themselves.
- Head to the kitchen. Pick one day each week when you can plan to spend ample time in the kitchen making your meals. Use cooking techniques that are less hands-on, like baking or slow-cooking, as often as possible so you can multitask throughout.
- Sort and divide. Using quality food containers to keep your meals as fresh as possible, start splitting up servings in ways that fuel you and family while instituting improved portion control. By sorting out specific meals ahead of time, you can begin creating better eating habits.
Visit Culinary.net for more kitchen tips and tricks.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images