Tricks and Tips for Stretching your Grocery Budget

 

Here are some simple ways that you can save money in your everyday life. Though they do require some effort in addition to money some of these options can broaden your horizons, improve your health and be a lot of fun.

 

This topic can be broken into two sub components, shopping and cooking (this is where you get the fun and such).

 

Cooking

DIY (Do It Yourself)

Almost all of us buy foods that is pre-processed or packaged and most of the time this is a waste of money. There are some obvious examples of these foods like hot-n-ready meals or frozen dinners but even things like peanut butter, hummus, and bread, are fairly simple to make yourself and can save you a lot of money. The only thing stopping you is a little time and your own confidence.

Check out a list of 45 delicious foods that you can make for yourself

http://greatist.com/health/45-healthy-foods-make-and-never-buy-again

 

Ingredient Substitutions

Regardless of what you’re making there are cheaper, and often healthier options that you can switch for in your cooking. For dinner tonight try making Beans or Lentils, I made lentils for the first time last week and have eaten them 3 times since because I loved them so much. These may seem new and complex but most f the time there are how to cook instructions on the package. Or for even a simpler switch consider using ground turkey instead of ground beef.

Look here for tons more ingredient swapping ideas. 

http://www.wisebread.com/20-recipe-substitutions-that-save-money-and-prevent-food-waste

 

Batch Cooking

Have a busy schedule during the week with little time to cook? Maybe you should consider making large, batch meals on the weekend and storing or freezing individual portions for ease during the week.

Shopping:

Buy in bulk

Although the rest of my housemates complain when I come home with a value pack of 20 onions buying in bulk can be a great way to keep per unit costs low.

Make a list

As much as you may not want to hear it, making a grocery list is the best way to avoid buying things you don’t need. Try to do a bit of meal planning and write down exactly what you need for those meals, do not wander around the isles seeing what looks good.

 Don’t shop hungry

When ever I shop on an empty stomach I buy more than I really need and often a lot more junk food. I know I’ve certainly come home with that box of Dunkaroos that is full of regret and bad decisions.

Know what’s in your cupboards / freezer

Though it seems simple, many people (including myself) forget what they have buried in the depths of their freezer. Before you go shopping try and take a look at what you already have. This can benefit you in two ways. One, you don’t end up buying more of things you already own. Two it might help you think up ideas or meals of how to use up the things you do have.

 

Coupons

Coupons are basically free money, there is nothing shameful about them. Though couponing can be tricky f you don’t know what you are going to buy they become very simple if you’ve already made a shopping list and know exactly what you need. There are plenty of great online sites for couponing, take a look at http://www.coupons.com

*Note, coupons should only be used to buy items that you were already intending to purchase, you should not buy something solely because you have a coupon for it