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Trying to save money when you cook for your family 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 that can help you save a little bit of money.
How to Save Money When You Cook
1. Make a Plan.
Be realistic. Consider how many times a week you really cook. How many times do you eat something in a hurry, eat out, or order food? How much food do you need to buy if that is the case? Review your plans for the week and compare how many days you will be home and have time to cook.
Another trick is to buy and cook for two days ahead of time. Plan all meals in advance if you can, and if you don’t like them, buy basic foods that you know you’ll use for sure.
2. Find Storage.
In order to avoid buying food in a hurry or at an expensive shop in the neighborhood, have all the basic ingredients in your pantry. This way you will always have enough ingredients for a simple meal.
Take a look at your pantry shelves and find anything 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 pleasure, you need to choose more expensive foods which are out of season.
Fruits and vegetables are the cheapest when purchased in season. Buy strawberries and peaches in the summer instead of apples, oranges, and bananas in the winter. Seasonal foods can also be homemade and healthy.
4. Make a Shopping List.
Besides having all the basic things in storage and in the fridge, a shopping list will help you stick to your plan and not buy food you don’t need. If you plan your meals in advance, check to see if any special ingredients are needed and add them to the list.
Planning a shopping list for the supermarket is the best way to save money. Experts advise customers to bring their list and only buy the things on that list. Take advantage of discounts and offers (two for the price of one), and only take as much money as you need. If you bring more than you need, you will most likely spend it on something you don’t need.
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 products you don’t use on a daily basis. You will also save on basic foods such as meat, fruit, and vegetables.
Many sites for bulk purchase offer discounts for various things such as food, beverages, gifts, and travel accessories. If you come across an item you don’t use often, but it’s on sale, purchase it and check online for some amazing recipes containing that item.
6. Save Water.
Don’t leave water flowing because you are cooking. Most people leave it while going to the fridge or the oven. When water is wasted, money is as well. Think ahead about food preparation and don’t use water to defrost the freezer packages at the last minute.
When cooking food, pour less water into a bowl. This reduces power consumption because only a little energy is needed to heat up a small amount of water. When cooking food, only use enough water to cover the pan. This saves water, waste, and money and the taste of the food is better 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.
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.