When you have an active, busy life, it may be tempting to rely on takeout or ready-to-go meals. However, making your ownmeals will benefit both your wallet and your waistline. If you are looking for ways to get the most out of your food budget, try these tips:
- Eat fresh. You don’t actually have to “cook” to make your own meals. Mix and match greens and a variety of other vegetables to create quick and easy meals. Fresh vegetables can also be frozen for later use in soups or stews.
- Cook with what’s in season. Prices on many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, may vary throughout the year. Anything that is in season should be less expensive. Stop by your local farmers market for the best deals on the freshest produce.
- Make a meal plan. Mapping out your meals for the week will help you determine what ingredients should be on your grocery list. This will help decrease food waste and limit overspending at the store.
- Buy meat in bulk. A large package of chicken breasts can be split into smaller portions, frozen, and cooked later. The same is true for fish and other meats. A lower-cost roast in the slow cooker with lots of vegetables will also yield multiple portions. Eliminating meat from your diet one or two days a week is another way to save.
- Avoid food waste. Rotating canned and frozen foods could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Start by taking an inventory of what is in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Then, create meal plans based on what you have in house.