The USDA estimates that the average family of four spends anywhere from $146 to $289 per week on food. Saving just a little bit of that money each month can add up quickly!
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite cooking and cost cutting tips to help you stay within your food budget & eat well – without spending all day in the kitchen.
Buy fresh herbs at the peak of the season, when they taste their best and are on sale! After washing the bunch, let it dry and then freeze the whole bundle in a freezer bag. To use, to just chop off as much as you need! Shopping in-season is always a money-saver.
Grow your own food, herbs are easy and you’ll save money right away!
You can also take herbs or spinach and blend them up into a paste. I added about 1/2 cup of water for a bunch of spinach and pulsed the blender until it started to combine.
Blend until smooth and then freeze the paste in ice cube trays or silicon molds. These are great for smoothies, or you can make tiny herb cubes for soups.
In general, the freezer is your friend for saving money in the kitchen. Here’s a list of 31 unconventional items that you can freeze. Before you throw something out, ask yourself “can I freeze this instead?”
Buy a little extra veggies when you’re at the store. Chop them all up and put together a tasty salad. The following night, use the leftover veggies in a stir fry! If you have leftover stir fry, store it in the freezer and use it to start a soup – just add your broth of choice and a can of beans, some more veggies, or a little cooked meat. Loving your leftovers saves money, and lots of time!
Making your own things that you normally buy in a package can save you a lot of money – and it’s healthier, too! Here are 20 pantry staples that are easy to make yourself.
Pack lunches instead of eating out. Check out my post on how to keep sliced apples from turning brown…a great lunch box (bag) treat!
Go meat-free every once in awhile! Try some of these tasty vegetarian meal ideas:
- One-Pot Zucchini, Black Beans and Rice
- Rainbow Stir Fry
- One-Pot Veggie Risotto
- Tomato Basil Blender Soup
- Smoky Split-Pea Soup
Meal planning can save you a lot of money because you only buy what you know you’ll be eating. Here are some more tips on meal planning.
Stick to your shopping list, and stay to the edge of the store. The produce, meat and dairy products are all around the edge, while the aisles are usually full of boxes, cans and treats.
When considering buying in bulk, check the unit prices. That’s the price per pound, per oz, or however it’s measured. It’s usually cheaper to buy in bulk, but not always. Here are some other tips on shopping in bulk at big box stores.
Drink more water and less soda! Here are 23 tips for drinking more water each day!
Check out my best couponing tip – I used to spend a lot of time researching and clipping coupons….but this tip is all you need to know!
How do you save money on food?