Did you know among other foods, vegetables alone will have a price increase of 4% to 6% in 2017. Everyone is talking goal setting and resolution for the new year. I bet saving money is on the top of the list for many!
I’ve been trying to save money and educate myself on money and how to create a budget and run a family on budget and save as much as possible for many years now. So I decided to share these money saving tips with you. Habits that, some are second nature to me, and some I have to remind myself of.
There it goes,
Money Saving Tips For Your Kitchen
1. Create a grocery budget
Having a budget is a great idea but you need to review your spending at least weekly and compare it to your budget. Before each grocery shop you need to know how much budget you have for that particular week and grocery shop.
2. Create a weekly meal plan
Among all money saving tips, I think this is the most important one. Knowing what you’re cooking every day not only helps with the wonder of what to eat tonight. It will reduce the amount of overwhelm around cooking and it saves a lot of time and money for you everyday. I say if you are going to do one thing, let it be this one.
It takes only an hour or so to put together a weekly menu but saves you time and money everyday. Once done properly it can be reused with a bit of tweak.
It also helps with the impulse takeout sessions when you don’t know what to have for dinner.
3. Plan on a leftover/restaurant style night
We always have a little bit of leftover. Lets save those small portions and turn them into a leftover/restaurant style dinner. Portion and store the leftover in the freezer, when you have enough for all members of the family announce a leftover night, reheat all different foods and have everyone pick their favorite. If you want to make it fun, you can create a simple menu and make it a real restaurant style dinner J
4. Have one or two meatless days
Not only it’s healthier and good for your body and the planet, it saves you money each week. It’s good for you pocket too 😀
5. Check your pantry and fridge before going to store
Having a list of what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer will give you that flexibility to make immediate changes to your menu and shopping list if you find something on sale that can work with what you already have. And of course saves you from spending money on things that you already have.
6. Schedule your grocery shopping
Always shop on a day that you will have enough time to prep and store properly after shopping. It will be just waste of your time and money if you spend it buying fruits and vegetables and letting them go bag in your fridge because you didn’t have the time to store them properly.
7. Always shop on a full stomach
Stats show, when hungry you tend to buy more than your need and encourages impulse shopping. Or you may end up munching on a bag of chips while shopping which is not good for your body or pocket. (Guilty as charged this is something I have to remind myself all the time )
8. Try shopping alone
Shopping together with a friend or with children can reduce your focus on your mission. Your Mission is to go home with only the things you need for that week and pay as low as possible.
9. Shopping list is your best friend
When you have your meal plan, creating a shopping list is very simple. See what ingredients you need for your recipes, check your fridge, freezer, pantry and jot down the missing ingredients.
Having a shopping list somewhere close to the fridge and pantry to add to your list when you finish up something helps a lot too. You can use your smartphone or a piece of paper, shopping with a shopping list prevents you from impulse shopping.
10. Buy bulk
You know what you use a lot, and your family’s favorite foods. Buy the things you are absolutely sure you will use up fast or know you can keep them long on bulk. It will save you a lot of time and money.
11. Check out the discounted section of your grocery store
Some grocery stores have misfit section or produce on sale section where they sell perfectly good to eat produce that do not look good or can spoil if left on the shelves longer. Take advantage of these but again make sure it’s not an impulsive “ Oh it’s on sale let’s buy this” shopping. Make sure you actually need it for that week, or that you can change your menu to include the sale item (this is where knowing what you have in your pantry comes handy)
12. Look for sales and stock up
If something you use a lot is on sale, consider buying more to stock up your pantry or freeze.
13. Buy value packs and freeze
Consider buying in value packs, especially when you buy animal protein. At home you can portion out and freeze for later.
14. Buy Generic or No-name brands
I’m not saying to buy everything generic, but you can save a lot by buying generic or no-name brands in areas that you can, like salt, sugar, flour.
15. Adjust your meal plan
If you bought something that can go bad soon, eat them first. That means you may have to change your meal planning not the meal itself but when you have that meal.
16. Take the time to store everything properly
I can’t emphasise this enough, I mentioned this earlier as well. When you get home, take the time to take everything out of the packaging (hopefully you came home with as less packaging as possible )and store properly. Find out how to store different vegetables properly. Not everything needs to be stored in the fridge.
You can even wash and prep some of the ve
getables for your use during the week. But make sure to store them properly if washed and cut.
Fresh gogoBags can come handy here.
17. Cook from scratch
Cooking from scratch is healthier as most helpers are full of salt, sugar and most time ingredients that you can’t pronounce, and it will save you a lot of time. For example, you can pay about $6 for a jar of spices where you can mix your own dried herbs and spices and have it in a jar in your spice cabinet. It probably will cost under $3 if you buy everything in bulk section of your grocery store.
When cooking from scratch why not cook more and freeze the extra. The frozen portion comes handy on the nights you don’t feel like cooking and saves you a ton of money on take-outs.
When I started meal planning and keep track of what I buy, I soon realized that we don’t have that many variety of meals and our shopping list is pretty much the same. Now I do meal plan not only to save money and time but to be able to explore and cook new dishes and get my children try different foods.
These are the things we do every week to be able to eat healthy on a budget. It may seem a lot but when you just go through couple of weeks the rest will be easy and can be kind of streamlined.
Do you have a money saving tip want to share? Would love to hear from you in the comments 🙂