I spend about $60 a week on groceries for myself and any family dinners I host. I’m not breaking any records, I know, but I eat in a very particular, quite fussy way, and that ends up being a great deal more expensive than eating crap like instant noodles and whatnot.
Please note: cheap food is only cheap in the short term and disastrously expensive in the long term. Being healthy is the best way to keep yourself out of hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Here are six ways you can save money on groceries, just by being a bit more like me:
- Buy enough groceries to last more than a week. That way, you won’t be able to justify picking up something really quick on the way home.
- Think of the things you go out for, and buy them at the store. You like to go out for a beer? I won’t judge. But pick up a six pack and remove the temptation to go out.
- Buy several different kinds of vegetables. Branch out! Eat seasonally! It’s cheaper to buy vegetables in season. If you don’t know how to cook something, recall the vast world wide web, and buy it anyway. You might find new favorites.
- Buy enough different meats to keep things interesting. Meat can be a budget killer, but again, something is always on sale, and you can make one chicken last several meals.
- Buy condiments! Fun hot sauce? $3? Sold! If it makes things more interesting, then get the chipotles in adobo or whatever strikes your fancy.
- Always buy eggs. That way, if you run out of your more expensive protein options, you still have easy, cheap protein for dinners, or whichever meals you choose.
Once you get home:
- Chop veggies in different ways. Put them in Tupperware. Then put that in the crisper drawer. Now you don’t have an excuse to throw out wilted cabbage, and since you’ve already put some effort into it, you will be considerably less likely to let it rot. Knowing that there are veggies in the fridge, just waiting for a stir fry or something, will keep you again from heading to a take-out place on your way home from work.
- Prep other ingredients. Get out your crock pot.
- Make dinner and put the leftovers into fun containers for lunch. I’m loving the snap lid glass containers.
- When meal planning, check out the menu of the restaurant you’re skipping this week, and recreate the dish you would order. Sometimes this goes hysterically wrong, but often you find that you’re a better cook than Chilis or Applebee’s.