One of the budget items most families have that causes them concern but is also a flexible expenditure is food. How much you spend on food often depends on whether you tend to eat out a lot or not. People who learn how to cook are more likely to eat healthier and save money. Let’s look at how cooking at home saves money.
When you go to your local stores and farms, you’ll spend a lot less money. Do a search in your area for produce delivery or pick up to save hundreds a year getting local delights instead of always going to your grocery store for these items.
Buy in Bulk (Appropriately)
Know what you use a lot, and before it goes bad or loses flavor and buy those things in bulk. For example, buying flour in bulk and storing it properly if you bake a lot is a good idea. But buying cinnamon in bulk probably won’t be so thrifty because you don’t use it as much, and most spices just don’t taste as vibrant after a couple months on the shelf. Also, don’t buy produce in bulk unless you know you’ll really process it and use it in time.
Shop in Season
When you shop in season, you will save a lot of money. This may take a little more prep and planning time because maybe you don’t know that it’s strawberry season, and you can get them for a buck a pint right now unless you look at your grocery store sales before meal planning.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
Don’t go shopping without a plan. Know what meals you want to prepare based on shopping in season, locally, and during sales. When you shop that way, you’ll not need to buy extra and will be more likely to avoid waste. Since about 30 percent of the food most households buy goes to waste, you have a lot of leeway to reduce your bill even more.
Shop with a List
When you do all that preparing, make sure it ends up with a good list. Your list might also include potential substitutes depending on price. For example, if you want to make your special chili but meat is at a premium right now, be ready to switch gears with the list.
Eat Less Meat
Most people who live in the USA can cut down on their meat consumption without affecting their health in any way but positive. If you tend to eat meat constantly or it’s the main dish for every meal, consider making one meal a week meatless to save money.
Make One-Pot Meals
Most one-pot meals use fewer ingredients and then offer a few shortcuts too. If you make more one-pot meals, you’ll eat healthily, but you’ll also save time and money in the process.
Avoid Food Related Health Costs
Cooking at home puts you in charge of the ingredients. That means when it comes to fat, salt, and sugar, the main flavor enhancers for food, you’re in charge, and you can use the kind that you feel is healthiest for your family knowing their health needs.
Make no mistake, you can spend less eating at fast food places if you order off the cheap menu. But you’re not going to get something that is very flavorful or healthy. Eating a healthy meal out costs more than 10 dollars per head in most places, if not twenty. But cooking that same healthy meal at home will usually cost less than 5 dollars per serving. In fact, with planning, most home meals will average about 3 dollars per serving if you’re careful about what you buy.