As a busy cook you probably face the dilemma of how to save money on your grocery bill but, at the same time you’re tempted by the number of time-saving, convenient prepackaged food. Unfortunately, the prepackaged, time-saving foods are more expensive and less nutritious than meals prepared from scratch. Yes, cooking from scratch is more time consuming, but it’s not so overwhelming when you plan ahead. With careful shopping, menu planning and some basic organization you can save a lot of money.
Avoid buying instant or labor-saving foods; the less you have to do to it, the more expensive it will be. Long grain rice is half the cost of minute rice and hardly takes much more time or effort to cook. The same goes for the large container of oatmeal versus instant oatmeal.
Learn to shop and cook smarter. For example, buy a large roast and then cut a portion of it into stew meat and put the rest in a slow cooker for dinner. Left over roast can be sliced for a delicious French Dip sandwich. That’s three meals from one roast!
Buy family size packages of meat on sale and separate it out before putting in your freezer. Grate your own cheese. Don’t buy single serving chips, yogurts, cottage cheese, etc. Package them up yourself for additional savings.
Don’t pass up the store brand foods, they are less expensive and most of the time of equal quality. When you start to think about saving money on your food bill you will start seeing other things you can do to save on groceries.
Plan your meals around your supermarket sales. Don’t get the newspaper? No problem becausemost stores will have their sale ads on line each week. Also, print coupons online, search coupons to find sites that offer printable grocery coupons.
Casseroles, soups, and stews that contain pasta, rice, beans and vegetables are good low-priced meals. Don’t throw away leftover vegetables, gravy and meats; freeze them and add them to homemade soups later.
Plan a couple of meatless meals each week with fish, eggs or beans for protein. Or have breakfast for dinner once a week, bacon, eggs, and toast is always good.
Use your cookbooks, magazines, or websites to help in planning your meals. Planning your meals will not only stretch the grocery dollars, but you’ll end up with more nutritious and interesting meals.
Kathy McHenry, founder and CEO of MyOnlineMeals.com has helped thousands put a real dinner on the table. Go to MyOnlineMeals.com to receive a free weekly recipe list and shopping list; and to be added to her monthly newsletter. You can reach Kathy by email at Kathy@myonlinemeals.com.