While dining out is a great way to date, enjoy time with family and taste excellent food, it can also be very expensive. There are several ways to shop inexpensively, cook effectively and eat healthy. Trips to the grocery store do not have to end with a drained wallet and low quality food anymore.
- Dried beans are a cheap source of protein that can be bought in bulk. They are easy to soak overnight to be ready the next day.
- Start an herb garden in the back of your house or on your apartment balcony. Herbs such as basil, oregano, and peppers can grow easily depending on the climate and time of year.
- Use a Saturday or Sunday to cook a large pot of soup, chili, or stew. These recipes use bulk items and can be easily frozen and thawed for multiple uses.
- Stay away from processed and prepackaged foods. For example, microwave popcorn can be expensive: popcorn sold in bulk that you make on the stove is cheap.
- Shop at large warehouse stores with a friend and split what you buy. This way you both can get good deals, but you are not taking home so much food that it spoils.
- Precut produce is much more expensive. Did you know baby carrots are just cut up regular carrots? Buy fullsize and cut them yourself!
- Look for items that are about to expire, as they are often significantly discounted. If you cannot find these items, ask around at the deli, bakery or cheese counter.
- Looking into farmers markets to see if there are good deals on produce: you can freeze your own produce, too.
- Look for cookware and cooking utensils at goodwill or thrift stores.
- Check out which day your grocer offers double or triple coupons.
- If possible, go shopping without your children. This can avoid the temptation to give into impulse buying.
Living a frugal lifestyle takes discipline, wisdom and action. Hopefully these tips can save you some money!
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