You can stretch your grocery budget to go much farther than it does, and feed your family better while you do. All you need to do is follow a few simple rules, and you’ll be putting money in the bank.
Simply stop eating out, and you’ve saved up to half your budget immediately. Resolve not to waste food , and you will do the world a favor while you your family saves money. Eat less meat, or less expensive vegetarian food, and always buy seasonally and on sale, to stretch your grocery budget as far as it will go.
Eat at home
Most Americans eat in restaurants every week. Only 75 percent of Americans eat at home each night, and half of those are eating take-out, choosing deli food, or ordering in.
You know it’s cheaper to eat at home, and usually healthier too. Make that quickie casserole you like, or set aside a few weekend hours to cook and freeze meals for the week. The savings can be tremendous.
When you are forced to eat lunch in a restaurant, simply order a salad. People will assume you are dieting, and never guess you are choosing a low-cost alternative.
Don’t waste food
Another way to stop wasting money is to stop wasting food. At wastedfood.com, Jonathan Bloom offers an entire site dedicated to preventing food waste.
Consumers can easily avoid lots of waste, he says. Any leftovers should be eaten the next day or frozen. Fresh food should be prepared immediately. If you notice too much fresh food being wasted, buy less, and turn to canned, dried, or frozen alternatives.
Eat less meat
Even if you are a dedicated carnivore, you can stretch your grocery budget by extending the meat you buy. Make chile con carne or pasta sauce instead of hamburgers. Eat chicken noodle soup or turkey meatloaf instead of hunks of poultry. Have a meatless dinner or two every week as well. It’s better for your health as well as your bank account.
Buy on sale
Some people believe in grocery coupons, but others find them overrated. It you buy basic foodstuffs and cook from scratch, coupons usually won’t offer deals on the foodstuffs you buy. They’ll be cheaper anyway, though.
Other discount prices happen naturally when you buy foods that are in season, particularly if they are grown locally. Farmers markets are great places to buy food on sale.
If you eat at home, don’t waste food, eat less meat, and buy on sale, you will stretch your grocery budget much farther, and your family will eat better too.
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