If you’re looking for ways to save money on food and in the kitchen, here are several practical ideas to squeeze your dollar:
GROW A VEGETABLE GARDEN
You may be surprised how much money you can save by growing some of your own food – especially in today’s environment of increasing food prices. There are many vegetables that are very easy to grow, and by setting aside the time to grow even a small garden or container garden, you will not only reap the rewards of a harvest, but you will learn a valuable and practical skill.
PREPARE MEALS AHEAD
Rather than waiting until the last minute to throw together a meal (which often leads to finding quick and more expensive fast foods or processed foods for dinner), make a meal plan and prepare ahead of time. Examples include soaking and cooking your own beans from scratch (rather than cans of processed beans). Steam vegetables ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until you need them. Prepare (peel, slice, chop, etc.) vegetables and have them at the ready. The general point is, if you plan and prepare ahead of time, you will be less likely to rush and use more expensive alternatives instead (like ordering pizza…).
PURCHASE FOOD IN BULK
Buying foods in bulk can save lots of money. Foods are marked up when you buy in small quantities. While some foods are not practical to buy in bulk (because you won’t consume all of it in time), there are MANY foods which you can store in bulk and incorporate into your meal plans. As a society we have been trained to consume processed foods. Not only are many of them relatively unhealthy, but we pay lots more for them compared with making your own meals from raw ingredients. Consuming processed foods are indeed faster, and in today’s rushed world it is a very easy way to eat, but you will usually pay more for it.
SAVE THE LEFTOVERS
There are LOTS of people who will not save leftovers and will not eat them the next day. While I’ve never really understood this, the fact is it’s true. Apparently reheating the next day just doesn’t taste as good to them. The thing is, this is costing you money. When looking for ways to save money in the kitchen, you must eat your leftovers. It’s a no-brainer, but needs mentioning.
What I mean by this is learning to cook from scratch and to become creative with meal plans while using bulk and other foods and spices to compliment an overall cost-saving meal. There is an alarming number (majority?) of people who simply do not know how to cook hardly a thing. Not only is it more expensive to pay for others to process and prepare your meals, you become reliant on them for your very survival. While in the developed world we have the luxury of ready-made foods at our disposal, who’s to say that it will always be that way… Be better prepared and learn how to cook from scratch.
What are some of your own tips how to save money in the kitchen?