It’s no secret that eating out will cost your family a lot more money than staying home and fixing dinner. Think of all the money you could be saving every year by ignoring the convenience of the drive-thru several nights a week. Are you curious about how to save money cooking at home?
Having an already cooked meal waiting for you when you get home from work is possible. While eating at home will certainly save you money, it’s also careful planning and buying the right items at the grocery store, that will take you to the next level. Here is how to save money cooking at home.
Fix What you Already Have
You might be surprised by how many meals you still can make by simply taking a look in your food pantry. Maybe find that you have all the ingredients to make one of your favorite meals and just need to add one item on your grocery list to finish the job.
It’s always good to take inventory of what you have before you head to the store anyway, that way it’s easier to come up with meal solutions based off of what you already have. Here is my post on the Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store
Buy Whole Roasted Chicken
When you first walk into the grocery store, the smell of whole rotisserie birds will often greet you, especially around the dinner rush hour.
Give in to the temptation for a great price of $4.99 and you just found not only dinner, but even a meal or two later. Many people shred the meat and use it to make chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, and casseroles.
You don’t have to use whole roasted chickens simply for the parts. Take the bones and use them to make chicken stock, and you’ll not only save money by not buying stock, but the chicken flavoring will make your batch taste better. Here are my 5 Meals From One Rotisserie Chicken
Stock Up on Sale Items
How else do you save money cooking at home? When you’re at the grocery store and see a great deal and you know it’s something that you’ll without wasting it, stock up on it. You’ll pay much less than the retail price, especially if you buy that same item often.
It might also be in your best interest to shop around and go where the deals are. In order that you get more bang for your buck that might mean having to go to 2 or 3 stores on a shopping trip to save money.
We also recommend that you consider getting membership cards for every shopping center you go to, that way you don’t miss out on any other great deals.
This is why I started my series on What to Stock Up on Each Month.
Store Brands are Just as Good
Save yourself even more money by buying the store name brands instead of the national brands. You may be surprised, but many store-brand foods are actually as good as or better than those national brands.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a great shopping strategy to have if you have a big family, but it can also be a bad idea if you waste a lot of it. Purchasing your flour, spices, beans, and rice doesn’t get any cheaper than buying it in bulk.
Head to the Farmer’s Market
You can find super fresh vegetables and fruits that are locally grown at the farmer’s market, and you’ll pay less too. If you don’t go often, spend a little extra and stock up.
Whatever you know that you aren’t going to use right away, go ahead, and freeze them. Your fruits and veggies will be just as fresh, once you go to thaw them.
Cook Using Less Meat
This might sound crazy, but cooking with less meat can save you money, and maybe healthy for you if you’re already eating too much of it.
If meat is that important to you, shredded bacon can add extra flavoring to your meals that are light on meat.
Use Filler in Your Protein
Beans and rice happen to be two foods that contain a lot of protein and can help stretch a lot of meals. Need help on how to Cook Beans?
That’s why these two items are great to buy in bulk and will help complete an endless amount of dishes. Many people add beans with their taco meat and meatloaf, which works great. Here are some Rice Meal Ideas
Use Up Those Eggs!
Eggs are another protein food that doesn’t happen to cost that much and they’re great for weight-loss. Plus you can make them a number of ways besides scrambled. Don’t forget about hard-boiling them, egg salad, or a fried egg sandwich. 3 Ways To Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs or My Egg Salad Recipe or My Demo of Classic Hard-Boiled Eggs
Select the Bigger Packages of Meat
When you do buy meat, make sure that you go after the family packs and the thick cuts. You’ll save more money this way. Be sure and watch your weekly sales at your local stores.
If you can buy one and get one free, it’s a win-win for our budget, right? Be sure and check out the cost per pound when you purchase those bargains.
The same goes for your hamburger and chicken breast. If there’s a good deal at the time, don’t hesitate to save your family even more money.
Divide and Conquer
After you’ve brought home the family packs of meat, go ahead and cut and divide them up into meals. Now you have meat that can be used in a number of dishes.
Whatever meat you don’t plan on using over the next couple of days, go ahead and store it in the freezer. It might be in your best interest to invest in a vacuum sealer to reseal your meat supply.
Plan on Cooking Big Batches
Cooking big batches is also a smart way of saving your family money and providing quick and easy meals for many days to come.
Again, whatever your family doesn’t use up, you can store it in the fridge and freezer and then enjoy it at your own convenience.
Get Yourself a Slow Cooker
With a slow-cooker at your disposal, there really isn’t a reason that you can’t have a meal ready for you and your family when you get home from work. I actually have two slow cookers, one large one and a smaller one.
Just by throwing in a few ingredients and letting it simmer all day, coming home to food already set to go, can feel pretty good. Plus you can say goodbye to so much fast food in your life and say hello to healthier eating.
Senior Citizen or Military Discount
Here’s the deal, certain stores give 10% off your entire grocery bill on certain days. If you use coupons, you still get the additional discount depending on the day each store designates the discount day. Check which days they have discounts for seniors and military, it’s worth asking about.
You see, there’s plenty of ways to save money by cooking at home? You also don’t have to use the excuse that you don’t have time to make dinner anymore. With some careful planning and a slow-cooker, you’ll save thousands every year by cooking more often from home.
Tell us your tips on how to save money at home. Please keep prepping, stay well, and stay safe. May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Cooking Depositphotos_42749243_s-2019