Because everybody must eat, saving money on the food bill can be advantageous to all. However, many people simply do not have the proper knowledge on the various ways to minimize the cost of their food. If you are interested in learning how to save money while still eating well, you are in the right place. This article contains several suggestions that can get you pointed in the right direction.
watching the sales flyers
One of the first things you need to do is start watching the sales flyers from your local grocery stores. All of them have a rotation of sales. If you can learn to follow them, you can stock up on certain items when the sales hit. As you gain practice, you will not be spending any more in a particular week doing this because you will not need to buy all of your supplies on a weekly basis. For example, if you get canned vegetables when they are on sale, you will not need to purchase them for a couple of weeks. This will free up part of your grocery budget for other items during those times.
In addition to the sales flyers, many stores now have savings cards for preferred members. If you fill out a small bit of paperwork, you can use this card each time you shop. See if your stores offer any additional savings by going online. Often, you can just use your telephone number instead of the card. If you do not want to carry around several cards, this is a convenient option. You may also receive special offers from some stores the more often you use the card. There are many across the nation that will provide a savings on fuel at particular locations. Though not part of your food bill, this is another expense that you need to save on.
As you are learning to watch the sales ads, consider using coupons to increase your savings. There is no need to go to extreme couponing to save money. Look in your weekend paper and local flyers for coupons on products your family uses. Another place to find them is online. You should check the policy at the stores you use to find out if they accept Internet coupons. You can also ask if they double coupons. Some companies put double coupon options in their sales flyers while others have a strict no doubling policy.
When you are at the store, look for items that have been marked down. When meat is close to the expiration date, stores will offer a discount in order to get it sold. You can freeze the items that will not be used the same day. Make certain that you keep the meat in your freezer properly rotated to avoid freezer burn. You may also want to consider repackaging it in plastic then paper. You can mark the date and what is in the container on the outside so you never have to wonder what is available.
purchasing in large packages
Another way to save money on meat is to purchase it in large packages. Even if you have a small family, the savings will quickly add up. Retailers have a lower cost per pound in the family packs of meat. When you get them home, break them down into meal sized units and freeze. This works for chicken, steak, and many processed meat products like sausage. Plan your meals out so that you utilize the meats you have available in your freezer.
Limit the amount of junk foods that you purchase. Though many believe these cheap snack foods are all they can afford, the opposite is actually true. Food products that have no nutritional value are actually a waste of your money. While the occasional bag of potato chips won’t do extensive damage to your health or your budget, find healthier snack alternatives. Meanwhile, work on limiting the amount of snacks you eat. Small children need several small meals throughout the day; adults do not.
Buy produce that will be eaten or frozen before it goes bad. Even if you get a great deal on something, it doesn’t save you money if you end up throwing it away. Most types of berries can be frozen and used for smoothies and other recipes in the future. You can purchase onions and peppers, cut them up, and freeze for future use. Not only will this save you some money, you will reduce the amount of time you spend in meal preparation.
growing some of your own
Another method of saving on food that is becoming more popular is growing some of your own. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can still grow a few items. Tomatoes are very easy to grow and can be eaten fresh or used in a variety of recipes. Peppers and garlic grow well in small areas as well. You can have a container garden on your porch or patio. Not only will it look great, you will have fresh produce on a regular basis. Also consider growing some of your favorite herbs and spices. These are very expensive at the grocery store but, take minimal effort to grow yourself. You can pick the herbs fresh when you are ready to cook with them. Some will need to be dried or frozen at the end of the growing season. Learn about your favorite herbs and how to grow and store them.
It is important that you find all of the ways possible to save money. You will feel empowered and have more money to do the things you want. Because you must eat all the time, it is a great place to find ways to reduce your expenses. Learning to be a smart shopper does not have to take a great deal of time. Simply learn to be attentive to the sales and options in your area. Grow those things that you can and freeze meats when you find a good deal. You will be glad you made the effort.