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How to Save Money on Food

Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.

Check Flyers for Sales

Check your local newspaper, or visit the websites of big grocery chains to see what deals are going on. Keep an eye out for sales on meat, dairy products and produce that you can use as ingredients in meals you make at home. For example, if ground beef is 50 cents per pound off, try making a huge batch of pasta sauce or spaghetti—you'll have plenty left over for lunches during the week. If milk is reduced by two dollars per gallon and eggs are half price this week, buy several cartons of eggs (which go great in omelets) and freeze them until you need more.

Supermarkets often offer coupons when they're trying to get rid of expired shelf stock; these typically come in packages with six or eight copies apiece. You might also find coupons online if there's a coupon code relevant to what you're buying at a certain store location; check out websites like RetailMeNot before heading out shopping so that there won't be any surprises when it comes time to check out!

buy food in bulk

Buying food in bulk is a great way to save money on food. However, you should only buy in bulk when it makes sense for your family and your needs. For example, if you are only cooking for one or two people and have limited storage space or no freezer at all, then buying large quantities of food may not be a good option for you. Here's how to decide whether buying in bulk makes sense for your situation:

  • Does my freezer have room? If so, I can store several packages of meat or fresh fruits until there is enough space for them on the shelves inside my fridge.
  • Can I use this item up before it expires? There are many things we buy that we end up throwing away because they've gone bad before we get around to eating them (example: avocados). If this happens often enough with an item you'd like to buy in bulk (or would rather not), then readjusting either how often it gets used or how long the product lasts might help keep more money in your pocketbook!

buy your produce at farmers' markets

A great way to save money on food is to buy fresh, local produce. You can find farmers' markets in most cities and towns where you can find fresh, organic produce at a lower price than the grocery store. Farmers' markets are also often more convenient as they usually have longer hours compared to traditional grocery stores.

Some other tips when shopping for produce: try buying produce that's in season or has a good price; buy what you can use in recipes; choose fruits and veggies over processed foods like chips or candy bars; make sure your diet includes plenty of whole grains, legumes (beans), lean meats/poultry/fish, nuts/seeds

learn about the different cuts of meat and pick the cheaper ones

You can save money on meat by learning about the different cuts of meat and picking the cheaper ones. Beef is generally the most expensive type of meat, with pork coming in as a close second. Poultry is more expensive than beef and pork, but not as expensive as lamb or veal. Lamb is also quite pricey compared to other meats such as goat or rabbit (although these are less common).

Familiarize yourself with some basic terms used when discussing cuts of meat (or fish):

  • Prime grade: highest quality available
  • Choice grade: high quality
  • Select grade: middle-of-the-road quality

buy small quantities of frozen foods instead of canned

  • Frozen foods are cheaper than canned.
  • Frozen foods are better for you.
  • Frozen foods are more convenient.
  • Frozen foods are more environmentally friendly, because they don’t require metal cans or plastic bottles to be produced and shipped around the world before they get to your plate (and then sent to a landfill).
  • Frozen foods contain more nutrients than canned goods, because they are usually frozen as soon as they come off the farm and haven’t had time to lose any nutrients in processing or shipping.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables can be used in cooking instead of fresh ones, so you can use them during those times when you would normally have no access to fresh produce at all (like during winter). They also make great ingredients for smoothies!

fix meals around a few key ingredients

"Focus on a few key ingredients and make meals around them," says Samra. "Stick to the same few ingredients for a week or two, then switch things up. By focusing on one item, you're saving money and reducing food waste—and you won't get bored!"

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It's true that most people have dozens of options in their kitchen cabinets at any given time: cans of beans, bottles of salsa, jars of peanut butter and jam (or jelly or preserves), bags of rice, flour and sugar—the list goes on. But what if you could whittle down your pantry to just five items? What would those five items be?

learn how to cook with stale foods by looking up recipes on the internet that call for stale foods as an ingredient (like french toast)

If you're trying to save money on food, one of the best ways to do it is by cooking for yourself. This can be intimidating if you don't know how to cook or what ingredients to use. The good news is that there are plenty of recipes available online that show you how to make delicious and affordable meals using common household ingredients.

You'll want to start by making a list of all the foods you want/need in your diet, as well as all the ingredients you already have on hand (those leftover chicken thighs from last night!). Then, create a shopping list based on those lists so that all your shopping needs are taken care of when it comes time for the weekly trip down aisle 6 at Safeway or Walmart. Once this step is completed, go ahead and plan out your meals for the week—breakfast lunch dinner—and then work backward from there!

save kitchen scraps and put them into a crock pot to make soups and stocks

A crock pot is an excellent tool for cooking and preparing food. All you need to do is throw your scraps into the crock pot, along with some water, and let it simmer for a few hours. After that, strain out the liquid and throw away what’s left behind (or compost it). This can be used as stock or broth for soups and stews.

grow some herbs on your windowsill so you don't have to buy fresh herbs all the time

Growing your own herbs is a great way to save money on food. The most important thing to remember when growing herbs is that they need lots of sun, so make sure you put them near a window with plenty of light. Make sure that your pot has drainage holes in the bottom, and use potting mix for good drainage. I like to use a bigger pot than I think I'll need because herbs grow quickly!

To make sure you're watering enough without over-watering, stick your finger into the soil every now and then—if it feels moist all around, then water again later if necessary; otherwise wait until it feels dry again before watering once more (make sure not too much water gets into the air pockets).

there are many ways to reduce food costs without sacrificing nutrition or quality

There are many ways to reduce food costs without sacrificing nutrition or quality. Here are some tips that can help you save money on your grocery bill.

  • Plan ahead and use coupons
  • Buy in bulk when you can (but don't buy more than you need)
  • Shop for better prices on foods that have a long shelf life, such as beans and rice, flour and sugar


Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas for how to save money on food. If you found them useful, let us know! We'd love to hear about your own experiences with food and budgeting.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Shanon Sandquist

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