Pouring over my grocery bills last night, I realized how much I spend on food each week. Since most of my time is spent at the computer or at the stove, I’m always looking for ways to make my work easier and my grocery shopping less expensive. Here are some ways to still fill your cabinets and fridge with your favorite items without breaking the bank!
1. If you have storage, buy in bulk. Take a look at the recipes you make on a regular basis, it might be worth it to get a membership to a bulk shopping club. For example, if you find yourself eating tacos once a week, stocking up on taco spice, canned diced tomatoes, taco shells, and bulk grated cheese might be the ticket. In the case of paper napkins, paper towels, and zipper lock bags, you’ll definitely save.
2. Swap out the name brands for generics that taste just as good. Some generic brands, especially when it comes to things like canned beans, sour cream and plain non-fat yogurt, and canned tomatoes, taste the same as their pricier counterparts.
3. Size does matter. No need to buy everything in bulk, but go for the five-pound bag of flour and sugar, even if you only bake on occasion. Flour and sugar keep really well on your shelf and even better in the freezer. Those one-pound bags will only get you through 1 to 2 recipes before you have to restock, spend more money and sadly more of your free time. That also goes for other items that store really well in the fridge like margarine, yogurt, and cream cheese, as well as things that store well in the freezer like nuts, rice, coffee, and butter.
4. Waste not, want not. Don’t toss out those carrots at the bottom of your crisper. At the end of the week make a soup from odds and ends or even a fast salsa. Add a bit of chopped bacon, ham, or a slice of turkey sausage for added flavor. Don’t throw out a scoop of sour cream left in the container or a spoonful of grated cheese at the bottom of the bag. Enrich your soup with things from your dairy drawer.
5. Check your fridge before you shop. Get in the habit of checking your fridge once a week before you shop so you don’t end up buying double of perishable items like milk, lunch meat, sausages, sliced cheeses, fruits, and vegetables.
- Check out my blog Easy Ways to Get Green in the Kitchen for more useful tips.
- Curious about green practices? Find out how to live a greener lifestyle on Plentymag.com.
- For more great ideas about how to use up what you have in stock, check out Pantry Supper.
- Want to get a special someone a useful gift? Kathy Maister has some great ideas for gifts under $50!.