When you have a tight budget, you need to do what you can to save money. Most people think there’s no leeway when it comes to food unless they want to eat cheap junk, but we found a way to save money and actually eat better too.
The first thing we did was to take an inventory of all the food in the house. We looked at the list and tried to figure out what we could put together as a meal without buying anything new. We put a mark by those items on the inventory, then added the dishes we could create to a menu list. Next we looked at what items could make a meal by buying just a couple of things. We marked off those items and added the meals to the menu list.
We realized that we had a lot that we could use without buying much more. Now that we’re doing this, we buy less stuff that we don’t really need. The inventory helps us know what’s already here so we don’t buy more.
Before we go shopping we now make a menu list and buy only the ingredients we need, keeping in mind what we already have on hand. We spent $100 less than usual last month! We ate great meals, we cooked a lot more from scratch and saved money too. Oh, and we’re only needing to shop twice a month, so we’re saving on gas too.
That’s another thing: When you make meal lists and cook from scratch you get to eat food that’s healthier and tastes better. You can also make larger meals so that you have leftovers, and those keep you from buying TV dinners and instant meals.
What tricks do you have for saving money on groceries while not compromising what you eat?
Image: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons