photo © 2005 K.I.T. | more info (via: Wylio)I’ve compiled a short list of money saving techniques I’ve been practicing lately. Some of these things may seem obvious to some while epiphany moments to others. For me, my groceries are one of my largest expenses each month. The tips listed below are some helpful, handy and simple steps to help cut down one’s grocery budget.
- Plan Dinner Based On What’s On Sale. One of the best things I’ve found to do is to go through your local grocery store’s circular and find out what is on sale instead of digging into your recipe folder or trusty cookbook. If your grocery store has a sale on chicken this week, pick some meals you can make with chicken. If beef is on sale, see what you can make with beef.
- Find Recipes With What You Already Have. Something I find terribly helpful are websites that help you find recipes based on ingredients. One example is RecipeMatcher.com. On Recipe Matcher you can browse recipes based on ingredients or actually make an account, set up your “ePantry” and find matching recipes. It may seem tedious when first setting up your account but once you input your non perishables and spices it is easy to upkeep when you get home from the grocery store.
My pantry is rather bare at the moment but based on what I currently have I could easily whip up “Too Easy Garlic Chicken” since I have all of the ingredients necessary. I didn’t even know I had a makable meal available right now! According to my found recipes there are a few recipes I could throw together without having to go to the grocery store! If you find a recipe that doesn’t match 100% of your available ingredients you can see what you need and add it to your grocery list. More than likely, if you just need one or two items you’ll probably spend less at the store than you would have with a recipe that had multiple ingredients you don’t have readily available.
- Use a Crock Pot. My crock pot is probably the biggest money and time saver I have in my kitchen. There’s nothing nicer than dumping in ingredients in the morning, setting the temperature, leaving for the day and coming home to a cooked meal for dinner. The best thing about cooking in a crock pot is that many recipes don’t require TONS of ingredients which is friendly on the wallet. I almost ALWAYS have left overs so my dinner from the night before makes for an excellent lunch for a following day.
Post any easy money saving techniques you’ve found along the way in the comments below!!