Areavoices: Tips to help save on groceriesOne of the largest expense categories in most budgets is dedicated to groceries and dining out.
By: Nancy Kvamme, Areavoices.com / Save Spend Give
One of the largest expense categories in most budgets is dedicated to groceries and dining out. It also may be one of the easiest to control.
Grocery shopping is dreaded by many people, but if you take some steps, it can be more enjoyable. I will also share ways that you can save money without having to clip coupons.
Stock up to save: One tip to saving money is stocking up on items you use regularly when they are on sale. Not that you have to buy a bunch; just one or two extra. Sales usually run in 12 week cycles, so you could buy enough to last until the next time it comes on sale. If you have extra items on hand, when you shop you don’t have to pay the regular price for it.
Menu planning: Take a few minutes each week to set up a menu plan. When you know what you’re going to make each night, you can have everything on hand and get things ready if you need to the night before. This is one way to save you from frequently stopping for take out. When planning your menu, it’s helpful to look at grocery store fliers to see what is on sale and try to plan around things you have on hand and are on sale.
Once a month cooking: Another way to save time and money cooking is once-a -month cooking, or freezer cooking. The idea behind this is to buy enough ingredients and set aside one day to cook enough meals for a month. There are many cookbooks and websites with recipe plans and tips on this. Or. if you don’t want to devote an entire day to it, double or triple some recipes and freeze. You can also make a meal item or baked item if you have some spare time or while your current meal is cooking.
n Use a slow cooker: Using a slow cooker is both a money-saving and time-saving way to cook. It is nice to come home after a busy day and smell supper ready. It’s money-saving because it saves you from the possibility of going out to eat or bringing home take-out if you don’t have time or don’t feel like cooking. Also, you can use a cheaper cut of meat and it gets tender from cooking all day.
n Pantry challenge: One method people use to save money is participating in a pantry challenge. They try to go a month by using items in their pantry and freezer. They do buy some groceries, but try to limit trips to the store by using things they have on hand.
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