How a Little Planning Can Add Up to Big Savings
8. Start Meatless Mondays or Fish on Fridays. Pick at least 1 day each week where your source of protein for your main meal of the day isn’t meat. This can mean eggs for dinner, tuna melts for lunch, or a savory bean salad as part of an entree. Search for creative or ethnic meal ideas online and you’ll likely be surprised how easy it is to adjust to this cost-saving strategy.
9. Cut out the cost of convenience. Pre-cut vegetables, bagged lettuce, frozen lasagna, snack-packs, etc. You pay a premium if some or all of the preparation has already been done for you. If you like your fridge stocked with ready-to-go items, pick a day of the week and do your meal prep yourself. Invite a friend or family member to help and make it fun!
10. Use your slow cooker or crockpot. It will let you buy cuts of meat that take longer to cook and are therefore less expensive.
11. Raid your pantry. Most of us tend to stock up when we find an item we like on sale. So clean out your pantry and freezer every 4-6 weeks and plan your meals around what you already have. This can easily save you at least half of one big grocery shop every couple of months.
12. Shop without your kids. They influence your spending choices and take your focus off the task at hand. Cost-conscious grocery shopping takes a lot of energy, from comparison shopping to avoiding clever marketing tactics while at the store and making meal planning choices on the fly. Minimize your distractions to make it easier to keep to your budget.
And finally, tip #13 hidden here at the end is to not be afraid of changing your mind about what you chose as you empty your cart at the check-out. Give what you don’t want to the cashier and they’ll have someone return the items to the shelves.