Most of us only realize how much we spend on food only when we sit down to plan our budget. If surveys are anything to go by, the average American household spends over a whopping 6,000 dollars on food. In other words, every year, you spend about 13% of your income on food alone.
We know what you’re thinking. With food prices at an all-time high, what can you really do about it? Cut down the quality of the food you eat? Of course not! The most obvious answer is to avoid eating out and start cooking at home instead! The key is to buy your ingredients wisely and cook them in a smarter way! And here are a few hacks to help you do just that.1
1. Stick To The “List”
The first rule of grocery shopping is to make a list and stick to it! If you feel that you know what you need and lists aren’t “your thing,” let’s retrace your last trip to the supermarket. Remember that one packet of cookies – really expensive cookies – that looked exotic and fancy? The one you impulsively picked up only to later realize that even you could’ve baked them better? Yes, that wouldn’t have happened if you’d made a list.
2. Don’t Grocery Shop When You’re Hungry
When you’re hungry, even the most unappetizing dish on the menu will suddenly make you crave for it. Similarly, if you go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, you’ll end up purchasing items that you will probably forever lie in the back of your freezer. So, make your weekly trips to the grocery store only when your tummy’s full.
3. Buy From Your Local Grocery Store
Even if your supermarket screams “sale,” it’s best you drive past it. The produce at your local grocery store is not only cheaper but also fresher than at a supermarket. Also, they’re locally grown and cultivated, so it’s more sustainable as well. While you’re at the store, also buy seasonal food – they’re healthy and inexpensive than most imported food.
4. Buy In Bulk
Buying produce in bulk is much cheaper than buying in smaller quantity. When you buy in bulk, the cost per unit drops, and you end up saving over a quarter on your overall bill! But remember to only buy those items that you’re actually going to use. There’s no point buying wheat flour in bulk if you’re rarely ever going to cook it.
5. Grow Your Own Veggies
We’re not asking you to move to a farm and grow all your vegetables, but there are little things you can grow in a pot in your backyard or balcony. Grow tomatoes, lemons, chilies, and even spices. They’re probably the freshest ingredients that you can lay your hands on, and they cost zilch!
6. Keep A Jar Of Snacks Handy
Whether you’re at work or at home, always keep some snacks around. It could be dried fruits, whole-wheat biscuits, or some fresh fruit. If you don’t have anything to munch on, you might order-in food that’s not just expensive but also unhealthy.
7. Cook Bigger Batches Of Food
Let’s face it. Cooking is a difficult and a lengthy process, and we don’t always have time for it. So, whenever you cook, make sure you prepare enough food for the rest of the day (or even for the next day!). You can refrigerate the leftovers and reheat it whenever you want! To cut costs further, carry your lunch with you to work – it’ll save you tons of cash!
8. Cut Down On Meat
You might roll your eyes, but it’s true! Vegetarian food is cheaper than meat. Of course, we’re not telling you to ditch meat altogether, but limit your meat intake to once a week or lesser. Instead of baked chicken, opt for cottage cheese. It’ll fill you up faster, load you with protein, and be lighter on the wallet!
Now that you know the trick to eating healthy while on a budget, maybe it’s time to make your weekly grocery list!