Even with coupons and meal plans, sometimes it feels like food just cuts into your finances way too much. It shouldn’t cost so much just to eat. However, trying to reduce your grocery budget can be a seriously daunting and overwhelming task.
If you feel like you’re spending too much but you don’t know where to make cuts, we get it. The last thing you want to do is deprive yourself or your family any necessities simply in the name of frugality. There are ways you can do it though, you just need to take things one step at a time.
You likely won’t cut your bill in half in the first month, and that’s okay. Changing how you cook is an important step in being more frugal, but that doesn’t happen overnight. It might involve learning new recipes and/or using unfamiliar ingredients. It can certainly take time to get used to doing things differently or out of the ordinary.
First and foremost, you should take stock of what you have. Clean and organize your refrigerator and pantry so you can minimize food waste.
Not all meals require multiple side items, nor does every meal need a meat product. Try making one-dish meals and vegetarian options a few times a week.
It’s easy to make the assumption that homemade foods are less expensive than premade, but that’s not always the case. Make sure you do the math before spending a lot on individual ingredients.
Prices can vary quite a bit from one store to another. While it may take longer to visit multiple stores, it may be worth it to pick up items on sale. Consider how much you save versus the time it takes, because money saved is essentially the same as money earned. Foreign food stores can often be a source of savings as well.
While we love coupons, like really love them, it’s important to use them wisely. It’s not about what you save, it’s about what you spend. If you purchase something you wouldn’t ordinarily buy simply because you have a coupon, you might not be saving anything.
Cooking frugally is all about learning how to make the most out of inexpensive ingredients. Often, this means having a willingness to learn new recipes and cooking techniques. It may take some time researching recipes or even looking into other regions’ cuisines.
Over time, you can change your cooking and eating habits to be more frugal.