In this economy, who doesn’t want to save a dollar? The biggest expense most families have is food. Although food is a vital part of daily living, there are still some ways to save money on it and feed your family good, nutritious meals. Below are my top 5 food-saving tips for you and your family!
1. Dented/Discount Stores
Many areas have some sort of dented can or discount store that offers food well below retail prices. To find one, do an online search, as discount stores don’t do a lot of advertising (so that they can keep their prices low). The food at these stores is still good, but has ugly packaging. Sometimes, you can find prices up to 90% off of retail.
2. Sale Shopping
You can save money on groceries by only shopping the sales. The best way to do this is plan your meals around only what is on sale at your local grocery store. This takes a little bit of planning ahead, but will save you a lot of money in the end.
3. Larger Meals
I know this may seem counter intuitive, but by cooking in bulk, you can freeze the leftovers and have them for lunches or other meals. Often, it’s cheaper to buy and cook in bulk. Just remember to choose dishes, such as stews, that freeze well.
4. Love Your Crockpot
A crockpot is a great tool to not only save you time, but money. You can throw a wide variety of ingredients in it and produce delicious meals. Many books at the library have different crockpot recipes for you to try, but if you can’t get to the library, you can also do an online search for crockpot meals.
5. Up Your Chicken
Chicken is usually less expensive than meat. If you get a whole chicken, you can get a lot of bang for your buck. A whole chicken can last at least 3 meals, if you use it creatively. For your first meal, simply pull off chicken pieces and serve with a vegetable and cheap side such as rice. For your second meal, pull off any leftover pieces and put it in a casserole or dish such as Chicken Tetrazzini. Now, don’t throw away that chicken carcass. Place it in a pot of boiling water for about an hour. When finished, pour the water and contents into a strainer and pick out leftover chicken pieces and make a big pot of chicken noodle soup. If you make a big enough pot, you can get 2 meals out of the soup. This chicken has now provided your family with at least 3 healthy meals AND saved you quite a bit of money.
Feeding a family can be a money drainer for any family. However, by following the above tips you can save a lot of money and make your money much further. That money can be used to pay for other family expenses, such as clothing and family activities. The key to saving money on food is to think outside the box.
Kayla McBride writes about saving money and visiting websites such as www.homeownersinsurance.org