July 27, 2013

How to Save Money when Shopping for Food

It is always good to be prepared before you head out to do your shopping for groceries. This will help you to save a lot on food but you will still be eating well in the end. In this article, we take a look at some strategies to have in mind at all times in order to avoid spending too much and sticking withing your food budget. This will show you how to save money on food.

Save Money when Shopping for Food
© Depositphotos.com/ xxxPATRIK

1. Avoid the prepackaged salad mix

It is true that salad mixes which have been prepared are very convenient and they make it easier for you to eat your vegetables. However, they are quite expensive and they can go bad very quickly. So, next time you are doing your shopping, it is much better to opt for heads of lettuces to make your very own mixes. You can mix together some romaine, red leaf or even escarole.

2. Grow your own food

Growing your own food does not take that much space and will also take a short time. You can buy a packet of seeds and plant them in a row that will ensure you have enough greens for weeks to come. The initial investment in term of buying seeds does not have to be that expensive as you can start small and plant more as you gain experience.

3. Purchase your spices from the bulk bins

Spices are a key ingredient of great, healthy and delicious food. You also reduce on the fat you use when you have bold flavors. When you are shopping around for spices, you should look for the stores that have the spices in bulk as the price will be cheaper. Additionally, you can also buy a smaller amount. This means that the price of the spices upfront is less and you are also less likely to have spices that sit around for long and go to waste.

4. Buy in bulk when it is sensible

Some foodstuffs are cheaper when they are brought in bulk as compared to buying in smaller units. This applies to foods that have a long shelf life and you get to buy at a wholesale price which is much cheaper as compared to retail. It is recommended to compare the price per unit weight for the bulk items before making the purchase in order to know whether you will be saving money or not.

5. Save money on staples

You can stock up on staples such as nuts, canned beans, olive oil, and past when they are in season. This way, you get to buy them at a lower price and in bulk. You will also be assured of having food in the house even when these produces are not in season. Stocking up on these foodstuffs may come in very handy one time when you are low on cash to do shopping.

6. Potatoes

Potatoes are a great source of vitamins, potassium and fiber. They are also a great value for your money as they come very cheap. You can always bake them and stuff them with salsa, vegetables or beans. They can even be taken for breakfast thus saving you lots of money.

7. Preserve food

A lot of food goes to waste when it is not properly preserved. It is advisable to store foods properly in order to avoid throwing them out when they have gotten bad. Buying vegetables and fruits when they are still unripe is great as it ensures they stay fresh for longer. Refrigeration is also another option for food preservation and can save you quite a lump sum in the end.

8. Be smart when buying chicken

Chicken breasts are very convenient foods and are usually fat free. However, they are a very expensive way of buying chicken. You can buy chicken when they are on sale in order to save money. Alternatively, you can buy a whole chicken and roast it. The leftovers can always be used in sandwiches, salads or even soups. You can also buy thighs, drumsticks and whole legs in order to save both time and money.

8. Do not skimp on flavor

fresh herbs are quite expensive. However, they are the key to great, tasty food. You can always look for the fresh herbs that are in a combined package in order to save money. You will not only save money but also get a bit of different flavors hence reducing waste. Another option is to grow your own herbs which can last all through the year.

9. Beans

beans are a very low-cost source of proteins and fiber. Canned beans are a bit more expensive however, so you should always go for the dried ones instead. You can cook a huge portion and freeze the extras so that you can use them in another recipe.

10. Whole grains

There are some economical choices of whole-grain such as brown rice, barley and whole-wheat pasta. You can always shop around and compare prices in order to get the best price for more expensive grains such as wild rice and quinoa.

11. Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a very budget friendly choice of food as it is made up of entirely ground beef. This is a very inexpensive choice and ground beef can also be used in other ways such as in the taco salad, the Portobello and the beef patty melt.

12. Saving on seafood

According to recent studies, it has been shown that eating seafood a couple of times a week reduces the risks of heart diseases. Seafood should therefore be a part of your diet. When looking to save money on seafood, you can buy frozen fish and defrost it when you are ready to use it so you know it is fresh. Canned fish is also another way of saving money as they are significantly cheaper as compared to their fresh counterparts and also give the same nutritional value.
In conclusion, knowing how to save money on food is quite easy and only needs you to have a keen eye when you are shopping. You should also be wise in the decisions you make and conscious of your budget at all times.