How to Save Money Cooking at Home

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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.

What To Stock Up On In January 

What To Stock Up On In February

What To Stock Up On In March

What to Stock Up On In April

What To Stock Up On In May

What To Stock Up On In June

What To Stock Up On In July

What To Stock Up On In August

What To Stock Up On In September

What To Stock Up On In October

What To Stock Up On In November

 What To Stock Up On In December

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.

Final Word

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

8 thoughts on “How to Save Money Cooking at Home

  • February 9, 2020 at 7:25 am
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    What we do for “Select the Bigger Packages of Meat” is to read the weekly circulars from local stores and purchase the “Buy One, Get One Free” items. The packages are large and by going for the BOGO sales, we save a lot of money. We also keep track of pricing per pound to make sure that we are getting a good deal.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2020 at 8:17 am
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      Hi Karl, oh I love it when I hear from you. It’s so funny when I write I try to remember everything but sometimes I forget a few tips. Thanks for the reminder on the buy one get one free and the cost per pound. I just added it to the post! Thank you so much! Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2020 at 9:08 am
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    We live in town, but buy a quarter of beef from a friend, and a whole hog from a co-worker. They deliver to the locker plant and we call in with our cuts and preferences. The beef was 3.30 a pound—yes a little expensive for the hamburger, but it was lean. Also to consider it was 3.30 a pound for steaks and roasts! We paid 1.29 a pound for our hog–including pork steaks, pork chops, and bacon, ham and sausage. This has saved us much over the years (34 to be exact!)

    Reply
    • February 9, 2020 at 9:48 am
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      Hi Bev, oh my gosh, I remember the days when Mark and I bought a 1/2 beef, best thing ever! I would love to do that right now! Plus a hog, oh my that would be so awesome! 34 years of savings, I LOVE it! Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2020 at 9:40 am
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    If you or your spouse/partner are “senior” citizens, ASK about senior discounts. I know in my area, Wednesdays give me 10% off my grocery bill at one store and on the first Tuesday of the month at another store. Always ask! The same goes for those who are in the military (thank you, by the way)!

    The worst that can happen is that the store will say no, we don’t have a discount. Best that can happen is you save even more on your food bill!

    The thing that saves me the most, however, is the planning! I start out by knowing what is in my cupboards (I keep a list in a sheet protector on the inside of the door and mark things off as I use them) AND I meal plan. I have limited freezer space so purchasing larger quantities of meats and frozen items is a no go for me. I also don’t plan for left overs (or not many) due to the lack of space. If I had a free standing freezer that would be a game changer!

    Because I am on a fixed income, I use coupons and apps like Ibotta and Rakuten – there are others as well. Last year I earned some Amazon gift “cards” by simply taking pictures of my receipts (Ibotta) and planning as much as I could using that app to plan my meals/purchases. If I purchase things like gifts on-line, Rakuten helps me save some $$ as well. If you get a newspaper, be sure to use those coupons that come in the Sunday editions! I figure $0.25 saved using a coupon is $0.25 saved! It doesn’t take much time to get those coupons organized and you can then meal plan around those savings as well!

    Reply
    • February 9, 2020 at 9:49 am
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      Hi Leanne, oh yes, I forgot the senior citizen and military discounts! I need to go add that to my post, thank you! I need to look into those apps, it would save so much money!! Love your comment, Linda

      Reply
  • February 10, 2020 at 6:04 am
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    I’m glad you brought up cooking at home. Here in the Midwest they are calling for
    the Missouri river to flood again this spring, so with this much notice now is
    the time to stock up on food and supplies. I am far away from the river but I drive
    to Jefferson City to shop. If it floods the road MIGHT be closed and I would
    rather not shop in Columbia because it’s higher. The local store MIGHT not have the items
    I can grab cause the trucks would have to come from a town by Jefferson City and they would
    have to travel the same roads, so they might not make it either. Now is the time to stock up
    and home cook. Buying in bulk is a smart way to go. I stock up when and where I can.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2020 at 9:03 am
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      Hi June, oh my gosh, please be safe, my friend! I’m glad you’re stocking up. Let’s hope and pray the floods do not do a lot of damage to surrounding areas. Hugs from Utah! Linda

      Reply

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