Having food in the house to cook and eat is essential for life. No wonder it’s such a huge portion of your budget! But if you’re finding your belts getting tighter and tighter (and not just because you’re eating so well), it might be a good idea to sit down and go through your food budget.
Food shopping can get a little pricey from time to time. It’s always worth it to go through your budget planner at least once a month. Check where the money is really going. See if you can cut back without compromising on the quality of the meals you prepare. To help you manage that, we’ve listed some food budget tips below that really go the extra mile.
Buy Basics in Bulk
Basics include anything you eat on a regular basis and/or anything you can throw into a dish to pack it out. Buying these in bulk ensures you’re always stocked up on them. So when a deal is good, get as many as the store will let you take!
Items such as chicken, rice, pasta, and vegetables such as carrots and broccoli all count here. These are the main ingredients in hundreds of thousands of dishes around the world. You can make ‘bases’ out of them with just a few select spices.
Freeze for Later
Freezing is one of the best ways to save money when it comes to perishables. This is especially useful if you like to buy in bulk. Stocking up your freezer means there’s always something in there to cook, even when money is low that week.
Make some room in there now. Investigate what you’ve already got stored; you can meal prep to clear some space for your new ingredients. In doing this, you can also make good use of anything that’s near its freeze-by-date. Then, get it out of the way and into the pan!
Don’t Throw Anything Away!
If you have leftovers once you’re done with a meal, you’re likely to pop them in a dish you can freeze and then store them for as long as possible. But if you’d rather not clog up the freezer with just bits of vegetables and potatoes or small offcuts of meat, why not cook up a quick dish that doesn’t require much effort? This way you can throw all these leftover ingredients in and then only have to store one thing.
Soups are great for dealing with leftovers. You can find a great chicken vegetable soup recipe at primaverakitchen.com if you don’t have a family recipe to follow. But you can also make pot pies, stews, and broths from the random mish-mash of ingredients left in bowls once lunch or dinner is over. That’s one more meal squeezed out of that week’s shopping!
Mealtimes can be difficult to food budget for, especially if you’ve got a large family to feed. Start with basic tips like these and work from there.