10 Rules To Spend Less When Food Shopping For A Family
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Saving money is even more difficult when you have other people in the family that rely on you. You don’t want your children to miss out, yet money is tight and you need to cut back in certain areas. It is a difficult position to be in, but it is not an impossible one. One thing that a lot of families spend a considerable amount of money on is grocery shopping. Below, we reveal different ways to feed your family for less.
- Be recipe savvy – Be savvy about the meals you make. Try to choose recipes that have minimal ingredients, or substitute expensive ingredients for cheaper ones. Do you really need to use the amount of meat stated? Why not replace a third of the meat with vegetables instead? Not only will this save you a lot of money, but it will be healthier too. You don’t need to stick to a recipe as if it is the law. If it states fresh herbs, for example, dried herbs will more than likely do the same job. You can also bulk cook, like this slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe, to save money.
- Cook and freeze – If you have cooked too much food, you should freeze it, and you can use it as a meal for another day. Of course, make sure you are aware of what you can and cannot freeze.
- Beware of special offers – Special offers are meant to entice us and make us feel like we are getting amazing value for money. But, it is only amazing value if you actually need the items, otherwise, you have simply bought more food for the sake of it. For example, if a packet of cookies is buy one get one free, but you don’t usually buy cookies, you aren’t saving any money, are you?
- Make note of what is in season – If you stick to foods that are in season, you will get much better quality for your cash, and they will taste a lot better too. If you eat a strawberry in December and compare it with one eaten in June, you will know the difference.
- Turn veggie twice a week – You don’t need to be a vegetarian in order to embrace this style of life twice a week. By eliminating meat from your meals twice per week, you will save a considerable amount of money. After all, red meat is expensive. In fact, it is good to limit your red meat intake to once a week. Lean meat, such as turkey and chicken, is a lot cheaper.
- Use local shops – You are likely to find a greater variety and cheaper prices if you shop at local greengrocers and butchers instead of large supermarkets. You can also give advice from your butcher or greengrocer on what works well for you. You may even be able to purchase less popular cuts of meat for a cheaper price.
- Buy different types of fish and cheaper cuts of meat – This leads on from the former point perfectly. The most popular types of fish and meat are also the most expensive. So, instead of purchasing the likes of salmon and cod, why not go for rainbow trout instead? You will save a lot of money by doing so. Another option is to buy a pack of salmon cuts instead. This works perfectly for risottos and pastas, and it is much cheaper than buying a whole fillet. When it comes to meat, opt for cheaper cuts such as brisket, which are great for slow roasting, instead of buying premium cuts like rib eye and beef sirloin.
- Know the difference between use-by-dates and sell-by dates – Far too many people throw away food prematurely because they are confused by the dates that are printed on products. The use-by-date is the date that you need to take note of. On the other hand, the sell-by-date is printed for the shop’s use. This gives them an indication of the last date they should sell the product to ensure customers benefit from quality. Sometimes, you will find that even use-by-dates are over-cautious, so it is worth checking the food itself to determine whether it can be used. Needless to say, if you are unsure, don’t chance it – the last thing you want to do is give your entire family food poisoning.
- Compare prices – There are plenty of comparison websites online today that enable you to find the cheapest groceries. Before you head off shopping, do a bit of research online. You can search some of the products you need to buy to see which supermarket is generally the cheapest.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it – Last but not least, it is important to plan ahead. Create a shopping list and make sure you stick to it. Otherwise, you will end up buying loads of things that you don’t even need. If you have a shopping list and you are strict with yourself, you will stop making impulse purchases, which add up and make your shopping bill a lot more expensive than you expected.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.