Here are 10 of my favorite ways to save while shopping and cooking!
1. If you are cooking with a can of broth or tomato paste and do not need the entire can freeze left overs in ice cube trays! Once they are frozen you can transfer the cubes into freezer bags! Just label and date!!
2. Do NOT go food shopping while you ( or the kids!) are hungry! I find that it is easiest to stay on budget when I do our grocery shopping alone. I allows me time to concentrate on how much I am spending. I also find that I have less impulse buys when shopping alone!
3. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store! Everything is less expensive, unprocessed, and healthier!
4. Meal Plan!! Planning meals ahead of time allows you to use ingredients that you already have on hand. It also allows you to prepare meals ahead and cook in bigger batches for the future. When I make a casserole or meat loaf, I always make 2 for then I have one to freeze to be ate later!
5. Shop local and in season. Produce are cheaper and fresher when they have less distance to travel. Check out your local farmers market. When some produce aren’t in season consider buying frozen.
6. Always check your fridge and pantry before you go to the grocery store. Always make a list. Many items duplicate items will be purchased if you are unaware of what is in your pantry. I try to organize my shopping list to flow with the store. Bread, produce, natural products, meat, dairy, and freezer. If I follow the order of the store I am least likely to forget anything.
7. Instead of buying precut and trimmed meat do the work yourself. You save a ton of money when you are not paying for ready trimmed meat! Purchase meat in bulk and re-package into the quantity size needed for your family.
8. Make sure to freeze any produce that might go bad before you use it! A whole lot of money is wasted when food spoils!
9. While prepping produce save your scrap to make Vegetable Scrap Stock.
10. Buy household staples in bulk or while on sale. Store in air tight containers and be sure to watch expiration dates.