Wondering how to save money cooking at home? These 11 tips will help.
Families all across the U.S. wonder how to save money cooking at home. Apart from rent and automobile costs, many households find food is their most considerable and unavoidable expense. Everyone knows it is expensive to eat out, but it can also be costly to cook, especially if you aren’t an experienced cook.
Here are some practical tips on how to save money cooking at home:
1. Save Money Cooking at Home by Learning How to Cook in Large Batches
Cooking a single large batch saves you both time and energy. If you make a stew, you can eat it for three days in a row. Or, if you make steak, you need to cook every night, so it may not be ideal for batch cooking. If you don’t like eating a lot of the same thing, consider making a few batches of different dishes at once and then portioning them out to enjoy throughout the week so aren’t eating the same meal two nights in a row.
2. Buy Your Staple Foods in Bulk
Flour, sugar, salt, eggs, milk—these are all products you likely use frequently and you can purchase in bulk. Keep notes on your consumption of regular pantry items and consider buying in bulk whenever possible.
3. Always Shop with Coupons
Most people get grocery coupons in the mail; don’t ignore these. Just a few coupons can make a tremendous difference. And if you’re buying the items anyway, it’s essentially like receiving free money.
4. Make a List Before You Go to the Store
To avoid any unnecessary impulse purchases at the grocery store, make a list of groceries before you go. Organizing this list by location (“produce,” “dairy,” and “meat”) will make you less likely to wander around the store and potentially purchase items that you don’t need.
5. Have a “Leftover” Day
Leftovers that are thrown out represent wasted money. Consider having a day that is specifically designed to clear out your kitchen of anything that may be going bad soon. Avoiding food waste isn’t just good for your pocketbook; it’s also better for the environment. Less waste is always a good thing.
6. Purchase Small Snack Foods
Things like cheese sticks, yogurt, and other small snack foods can be used to tide you over when you might otherwise feel like going out for a meal. Always have a backup in the event that you just don’t feel like cooking, whether it’s a frozen budget meal or the ingredients to a fast and easy stir-fry.
7. Consider a Crock Pot to Save Money Cooking at Home
Crock pots make cooking fast and efficient: you just throw everything in the pot before work and your meal is ready by the time you come home. If you feel like you don’t have the time for home cooking, get a book of crockpot recipes or look them up online and you’ll be amazed by the time and money you can save.
8. Always Comparison Shop
Basic items like milk or bread can be vastly different prices depending on where you’re shopping. Once you start comparison shopping in your area, you’ll get a feel for what you should buy where. Comparison shopping is really the only way to know you’re getting a deal; it’s a smart habit to adopt to avoid the highest priced brands and products at the store.
9. Pack Your Lunches
Cooking at home isn’t just for dinner; consider packing things like sandwiches for your lunch, too. Packing your lunches saves you both time and money, as you won’t need to spend time deciding where to eat and driving to the restaurant to get food in the middle of the day.
10. Don’t Forget the Drinks
You can save money cooking at home just by making yourself coffee in the morning. You can purchase and prepare beverages, including coffee, tea, shakes, and smoothies. Get some to-go style cups and enjoy your drinks on the run without the high cost.
11. Consider a Vacuum Sealer
If you find that leftovers often go bad, think about a vacuum sealer. If you’re only cooking for one or two, you may have a lot of leftovers. A vacuum sealer can extend the life of your food, so it doesn’t spoil as quickly.
It can take time and practice to learn how to transform your food budget. If you need a bit of wiggle room, a title pawn can help. Call or visit your nearest Title Tree store to find out whether you qualify.