Groceries are a huge expense for many of us, which is why it’s always a good idea to save money on food. With growing families and the cost of food continuing to rise, it’s easy to spend a lot of money feeding our families. I’m here today to share 5 practical ways you can save money on food, so you can allocate that money towards other important areas of your life.
Make a Meal Plan & Shopping List
Meal planning is my #1 tip for saving money on food. By planning out what you are going to eat for the entire week (or even month), you are reducing the amount of trips made to the grocery store, and can plan to use the same ingredients for multiple meals.
I have even created a free printable meal planning worksheet you can use to plan out your meals.
Cook Once, Eat Twice
There are a lot of ways to cook once and eat twice, but the basic premiss is this: make twice as much as you need for one meal. This can mean making extra tacos for lunches the next day, doubling up on a casserole and popping one in the freezer, or eating the same meal two nights in a row.
Making double is a great way to plan for those busy nights where you might end up grabbing take-out on the way home and it saves money because you can buy ingredients in bulk.
Weekend Freezer Cooking
Setting aside a time to freezer cook a big batch of convenience foods is a great way to save money. Making a big batch of burritos for the freezer costs less than buying them pre-made and you have control over the ingredients.
Having pre-made convenience foods already made saves you from stopping while you’re out and spending $3 -$5 on a snack for just one person. There are so many things you can make for the freezer that are either grab and go or heat quickly in the microwave. Here is a list of our favorites:
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
- Breakfast Burritos
- Beef & Cheese Burritos
- Muffins (we like these strawberry banana muffins)
- Sloppy Joe Pockets
- Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies
Plan on leftovers
Planning a day each week to eat leftovers is a great way to save money and give yourself a night off from cooking. By writing in “leftovers” on to your meal plan each week, you save money by not wasting the leftovers that would probably otherwise be thrown out, and don’t have to buy ingredients for a meal that night.
Use a Slow Cooker
Slow cooking is a great way to save money. You can throw big cuts of meat in the slow cooker and have a great meal ready when you get home at night. It saves money, because you can purchase the meat when it goes on sale and just freeze it until you are ready to use it. It also prevents you from buying take-out or going out to eat. I know I am not likely to buy food out if I know I have dinner cooking for me at home.
The slow cooker is the ultimate convenience appliance and can be used to cook many, many different types of dishes. Most recipes take little time to prepare in the morning and are ready with minimal effort when you get home at night. Some of our favorites lately are: whole roasted chicken, Cajun sausage & potatoes, and buffalo chicken.
These are my top five tips for saving money on food. What would you add to this list?