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Trying to save money when you cook for your family every month resembles juggling and performing magic tricks. Prices are growing from day to day, and the sacrifice is even higher.
All of us, at least sometimes, throw away scraps of food or foods with expired shelf life. Besides endangering the environment, it’s like throwing money in the trash. In order to save money in the right way that wouldn’t do any harm to your regular grocery shopping, here is a list of ways which can help you save a little bit of money.
How to Save Money When You Cook
1. Make a Plan.
Be realistic and consider how many times a week you really cook, but how much you eat something ‘in a hurry’ or outside the home, and how much food you need in that case. Also, review the plans for the week and compare how many days will you be at home and have time to cook. Another trick is to cook for two days and therefore buy and then distribute food. It would be good if you plan all meals in advance, and if you do not like it, buy basic foods that you know you’ll use for sure.
2. Find Storage.
In order to avoid buying foods in a hurry in an expensive shop in the neighborhood, be sure to always have all the basic ingredients in the pantry. This way you will always have enough ingredients for a simple meal. It is good to look at the situation on the shelves and complement all that is missing. This applies to foods such as flour, rice, pasta, and oil, but also a few cans of tuna, peas or beans because you can do a lot with these.
3. Choose Seasonal Foods.
If you want to save money, choose seasonal ingredients because they are cheaper. Of course, sometimes for the pleasure, you need to choose more expensive foods which are out of season, but if that is the practice, the wallet will soon be emptier than usual. Fruits and vegetables are cheapest when purchased when it is their season, and those who want to save money should buy strawberries and peaches in the summer instead of apples, and oranges and bananas in the winter and not watermelon. Seasonal foods can also be homemade and healthy.
4. Make a Shopping List.
Besides having all the basic things in the storage and fridge, a shopping list will help you not to buy things that you do not need. If you plan your meals in advance, check whether you need some special ingredients and add them to the list. Planning a shopping list to a supermarket is the best way to save money. Experts advise customers to bring the list and buy only things that can be found there, take advantage of discounts and offers (two for the price of one), and take only as much money as you plan to spend. If you bring more than you need, you will definitely spend it on something you don’t need at the very moment.
5. Find the Best Deals and Discounts.
Large retail chains in cooperation with the manufacturers, offer customers products at low, discount prices. Follow flyers with deals and discounts because you can save a lot on the products that you do not use on a daily basis, but also on basic foods such as meat, fruit, and vegetables. Also, many sites for bulk purchase offer discounts for various things – from food to beverages, gifts, and travel accessories. If you come across to an item you don’t use that often, such as broccoli or cheddar cheese, but its price had been reduced, purchase it and check online for some amazing recipes containing that item.
6. Save Water.
Do not leave the water flowing because you are cooking. Most people leave it while going to the fridge or the oven. In that way, water flows away (money as well) down the drain. Think ahead about food preparation and do not use water to defrost the freezer packages at the last minute. When cooking food, pour less water into a bowl, and also reduce the power consumption, because just a little energy is needed to heat up small amounts of water. When cooking food, the sufficient amount of water is what will only cover the pan. This is much better for the taste of the cooked food because the flavors and nutritional value of foods are retained.
As you can see, there are tricks to save money while preparing food and it doesn’t have to be expensive each time. Small things can make big changes.
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What about YOU? In what ways do you try to save money when you cook?
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.