The first step is to stop spending money on the unhealthy things- pop, chips, junk foods- or at least buy less of them.
2nd step- yes you guessed it- plan in advance- see what’s on sale, or what you already have in freezer. If fruit is high priced this week, then use some of what you bought last month on sale.
• Seek out sales on produce. And shop for fruits and vegetables that are in season, as they're usually priced more affordably than out-of-season ones. Ask the produce person what’s the best buy this week- small town- nice
• Avoid impulse purchases (and going to the store when you're hungry!) — buy only what you'll use.
• Opt for dried versions of foods like beans or pasta (rather than, say, canned beans or fresh fettuccine).
• Buy in bulk, especially for dry goods like flour, sugar, cornmeal, cereal, pasta, rice, and beans.
• Invest in high-quality, airtight storage containers or freezer-weight self-sealing plastic bags for storing foods, so items will keep longer on the shelf or in the freezer.
Use a list- Keep paper handy in the kitchen to write down what you run out of as it happens, or use the notes section on your phone- we always have our phones with us, so you always have an up-to-date list.
It’s ok to go off the list if you find a really good deal on something you need.
Plan some meals w/o meat- use eggs or peanut butter as the main protein source
Reduce the portion of the main dish- meat, hotdish etc- save half for later
Read the store flyer in advance
Shop only once a week, the more trips to the store, the more money we spend on things we don’t need
Use seasonal foods- oranges in the winter, apples in the fall, berries and grapes in spring/summer
Use the “store brands” most is very good- a few are not
Shop when the store is not crowded- get through faster and spend less
Shop when you are not in a hurry, so you can spend time comparing prices
If there is a good deal on large quantities, split it with family or friends
Avoid buying single servings of snack crackers, ice cream or bottled juices
Check sell-by and use-by dates, so it doesn’t out-date too soon
Coupons- only use for something you would already buy, sometimes the store brand is still cheaper than the name brand with the coupon
Keep track of price of foods you buy often, so you can spot a good sale
Buy day-old bread and freeze
Regular rice vs quick cooking, Quick cooking oatmeal instead of instant packets, head of lettuce vs bagged, bag of carrots vs baby carrots- you pay more for convenience
Check through your kitchen often to see if anything is about to out-date
Learn to cook! A bag of potatoes that you can peel and cook is much less than instant- make homemade chili and soups instead of canned- more healthy too. (great website iastate.edu/foodsavings- videos teach how to cook, plan meals, shop, store foods, and handle foods safely)
Homemade pancake, muffins etc cost less than mixes. Make extra, wrap and freeze (that’s a quick tip too)
Home popped popcorn instead of microwave- air popper at a second-hand store or cook on stove with a lid
Make iced tea from scratch- tea bags are cheap, but pre-made or bottled tea is expensive.
Some convenience foods are good buys when on sale- canned veg and frozen juice.
Don’t let food spoil- and don’t throw away leftovers -have leftover night as I mentioned before. (Americans throw away 25% of the food they buy)
Don’t forget the cabbage- cheaper than lettuce, mix with lettuce for salads to stretch it, use it in stirfrys, tacos
Potatoes are underused- so much more for your money instead of chips- nothing easier than a baked potato in microwave- filling and satisfying.
If you want to order pizza once in a while, order less and serve with some fruits and veg.