Learning to be frugal with your food, is a good practice not only during hard economic times, but also through times of prosperity. Being economical at all times will help you not only save money, but to help keep your budgets in good standing all year long.
Grow Your own Food
Learning to grow your own food is not always an easy task. But for those who do it right, it can play a big part in lowering food costs. If you are a beginner, start by picking crops which are known for being easy to grow. Examples would be tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and zucchini to name a few. When choosing your vegetables, always figure out where you plan on growing your vegetables before you purchase them. Then make sure there is adequate sunlight and proper water drainage for those plants. Some plants, such as herbs usually require full sun. This means at least 6 to 8 hours of full direct sunlight per day. Always follow the guidelines for when to start planting your vegetables either from seed or from seedlings. Some plants such as basil are very susceptible to cold weather, where a quick morning frost can hurt its chances for survival.
Clip Coupons and Sales
Through the use of coupons and store sales, a person can save quite a bundle on their shopping bill. A great idea is to set a schedule for looking through coupons and sale announcements in your local paper. Since many coupons can be valid anywhere from 3 months to a year, clip out anything you might need in the future. Taking advantage of store sales are always helpful. These are promotions a particular store is running on particular items. Sometimes these are meats, boxes of pasta, or vegetables. If your budget allows, make the most of these sales by stocking up on these items. Remember, you will need to make sure you have adequate storage area - especially for items that need to be frozen.
Organize your Kitchen Pantry Regularly
Organizing is often overlooked as an easy way to practice frugality. Each week take inventory of items which are on your pantry shelves. You might be surprised at what you have laying around which you had forgotten about. Using what you already have on hand to create a new recipe helps avoid taking needless trips to the store throughout the week.
Turn Leftovers into Makeovers
Another wonderful frugal tip is to master the art of using leftovers. Instead of simply serving last night's dinner again, try to create a new meal from the left over ingredients. For example, if you had a rice and stir fry dinner and there is left over rice, use that rice the following night as part of a chicken casserole. No one will ever notice!
Buy in Bulk
Buying items in bulk takes careful monitoring because not all bulk items are necessarily cheaper. However, in many cases the price can be cheaper - especially in the world of meats. Often times, when a store needs to move items quickly, they will drastically reduce prices, or run a Buy One Get One free promotion. Purchase the extra meat and freeze what you do not intend on using right away. Most meats, if properly stored, will last indefinitely in a freezer. However, keep in mind that although the meat will still be okay to eat, it will start losing its freshness after 6 months.
If you find yourself always picking up a coffee at a drive through on your way to work, you can easily save money by purchasing a nice insolated coffee mug tumbler and make your own coffee at home. If you enjoy espresso, consider purchasing a stove top espresso maker which can give you lattes, cappuccinos and other great specialty coffee drinks at a fraction of the price.
Replace Eating Out With Good Meals at Home
If you tend to eat out quite a bit, try to make it a point to cook more delicious meals at home. Instead of just cooking what you need for that meal, make sure to cook up extra serving amounts so you can take the extras to work the next day for lunch. This helps prevent any unnecessary spending for eating out during the work day. By reducing the number of times you eat out at work by at least twice a week, can easily save $40 to $50 - that's about $160 to $200 a month.
Cooking foods from scratch may not be the answer to all your budget problems or needs, but in some cases it can help trim down the expenditures. Common foods which can be made easily at home instead of purchasing at the store are any type of dough product. Examples are biscuits, pie shells, cookies, and even pizza dough. Through the use of convenient kitchen appliances such as an 11 cup food processor, or bread machines with dough settings, people are able to create many of their baking concoctions in a fraction of the time normally required.
Learning to be more frugal with food does not have to mean compromising the quantity or quality of your meals. In fact, being frugal is really being more economical with your purchases and uses of your foods. Take advantage of these tips and over time you may find yourself with more food- at less of a cost!
This post is offered by SimpleItalianCooking.com,
a website featuring Italian recipes and tips, reviews
for the best meat grinders for making Italian sausage, along with other
appliances used frequently in Italian cooking.