If you’re looking for ways to minimize how much you’re spending each week, there are some clear places you can start to make cuts. Convenience is often something that we pay for, but a little effort instead can save you much more money than the convenience that we buy. A great example of this is moving from eating out to cooking at home. A meal at a restaurant might cost almost as much as a full week’s grocery shop. If you’re trying to save money on how much you spend on food, then try some of these tips.
- Cook in batches.
If you’re spending time in the kitchen, then any time you aren’t cooking in bulk is wasted. The time to prepare one serving of a meal and four servings is very similar, making the amount of extra food you get well worth it. This saves you in two ways. The first is that you can buy your food in bulk, which will save you from having to buy the same small amount of each food every time you cook. In addition, you’ll be more likely to use all the food you purchased, resulting in fewer leftovers. You also save time, which is more valuable than anything. Being able to get home and not worry about cooking is a huge time saver and can lower your stress and give you time to do the things you enjoy or spend more time with your family. Some meals that lend themselves well to cooking in batches are those that can be frozen like stews, chili, or curries. Make a large batch and then portion out and freeze for meals throughout the week.
- Learn to freeze everything.
If you ever cooked a meal, but there’s a bit too much left over, make sure to take a ziplock bag and throw it in the fridge! Once a week, try having a Leftovers Day where you dig through what you’ve left and eat it all up. In addition, do a quick check of the fridge every few days and save food that you don’t plan on using soon. Vegetables are a good candidate for this. Grab that pepper that’s inevitably going to go off before you get to use it and get it in the freezer. Likewise, if you have fruit that’s about to get too ripe to eat, chop it up and freeze. These can then be thrown in the blender for smoothies later on.
- Buy frozen.
As well as freezing fresh food that you don’t plan on eating and freezing meals you’ve prepared in batches, think about buying fruit and vegetables frozen rather than fresh in the first place. Frozen vegetables are easy to throw into any meal and are very quick to cook, along with the benefit that you don’t have to spend the time preparing it. Frozen fruit is perfect for making morning smoothies and make the drink cold without having to add ice cubes. Frozen food is also very nutritious, and because it’s frozen while the fruit or vegetable is still fresh, all the nutrients are maintained, while fruit and vegetables that are left on the shelf or fridge too long will start to lose their benefits.
- Buy food when it’s in season.
For the best value for money, always try to buy food that’s both local and in season. This means you’ll get a great variety of food throughout the year as you buy fruit and vegetables in particular that come and go into the season. These will be much cheaper, as buying food that isn’t in season essentially means you’re paying to have it imported. A tomato that has been flown overseas just so you can eat it in the winter will be far more expensive than buying winter vegetables. If you want to keep eating food out of season, try buying in bulk and then freeze so that it lasts. If getting fruit and vegetables yourself is too much hassle, if you work a full-time job with a family, for example, and don’t have time to go to the farmers market, see if you can find a co-op that will deliver to you each week. This will save you from having to source your food yourself and will mean that you have fresh food at your door to prepare every week.
- Plan out your meals.
One of the key mistakes that people make when doing their weekly groceries is to go without a plan. This can lead to you wandering around and picking up whatever takes your fancy at the time. You then get home and realize you’ve missed one key ingredient for that new dish that you were going to make, and then have to go back to get it. Not having a weekly meal plan may also lead to wastage, as you buy food and then completely forget that it’s sat in the back of the fridge until it’s too late. Instead, try to focus on 3 to 4 meals each week that you plan to cook, get all the ingredients you need, and then cook your meals in bulk. This will minimize wastage and will mean that you have food for the whole week. One of the best ways to avoid going out to eat or getting food delivered from a place like https://www.foodpanda.com.bd/cuisine/pizza-delivery-dhaka is having food in the house that’s tasty and ready to eat.
- Get membership cards.
Regardless of where you shop, you’ll always save money by buying membership cards for your store of choice. Once you have it, look for deals that are for members only, or that require coupons. As you shop more, you’ll start to notice the benefits of getting discounts on all of the food items that you were going to buy anyway. In addition, make sure to shop around and get membership cards at all and any grocery stores around you. It might be that one store has a great deal you can’t miss out on.