Here are some tips on saving on the family grocery bills.
Plan Your Meals
Doing a meal-plan will mean that you know exactly what you will be cooking each day and how much food you need to buy. Remember to include breakfasts and any packed lunches too. If you are cooking two or three meals for the family due to dietary reasons, be sure to add in these ingredients to your meal plan.
Cook One Meal For The Family
Unless a member of the family has dietary intolerances, try to cook one meal for the family. This will reduce the amount of electricity you use while cooking also. If you have a picky eater, incorporate at least one food that they like in the main family meal and serve up the entire meal. They may be tempted to try foods they usually don’t like.
Reduce Meat Consumption
Meat can be expensive, especially in the current economic climate. Could you reduce your meat bill by introducing more vegetarian foods? There are many good websites with vegetarian recipes the are filling and tasty, even satisfying the most carnivorous of eaters.
Add Bulking Agents
Adding lentils, chickpeas or shredded carrot to a casserole or bolognese will make it go further. You could use this along with the suggestion to reduce meat consumption by cutting down on the mince or beef in a recipe, adding lentils or shredded vegetables instead. This is also a good way to get vegetables into children who usually don’t eat them.
Write A List
Once you have decided on your meal plan, write a comprehensive list. Don’t forget items for packed lunches or breakfasts and try to include a couple of treats. Be determined not to buy anything that is not on the list.
Try different places to get a good bargain. For example, the local greengrocer will be able to sell you fresh vegetables at a much lower price than the supermarket. This also helps local farmers as the produce is usually from markets rather than from a farmer who has had to knock down his prices substantially in order to get a supermarket deal. Every couple of weeks, do your shop in a different supermarket . You may find that they have ‘value’ ranges that are as good quality as your ‘regular’ brands.
Rather than getting distracted by all the hustle and bustle whilst out shopping or buying on impulse, would it be possible to shop online? That way you can stick to your list much more closely and this reduces the temptation to buy extra things on impulse, thereby saving you money on your shopping.
Buy In Bulk
If you have the space to store produce, buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money in the long run. A chest freezer or large larder would come in very handy and membership to your local Cost-co or Macro should not be very expensive. Good items to buy in bulk are : washing power, cordial, nappies, baby wipes, hair products, meat and cereals.
Buy Items That Are On Offer
Buying items that are in a special promotion, such as buy-one-get-one-free, will save you money. The same principle applies as bulk-buying though, try to only buy what you reasonably have room to store and things that you actually need. Don’t just buy things that are on offer.
Cook From Scratch, Cut Out The Junk
Rather than buying takeaways or fast food, eat at home. Don’t buy lots of filling junk, try to make your own snack instead. Things such as fairy cakes, flapjacks and muffins are inexpensive to make, tasty and far healthier than the shop-bought options.
Try one or several of these options for just a month and keep a record of the amount you spend. See how big the difference is at the end of the month.
More Key Tips to Saving Money
Does modern living really need to be so expensive? Businesses like shoppers to keep buying non-essential items. Credit card providers profit when impulsive shoppers spend on things that are not necessities. Trying to keep up with the neigbours can be a trap too, making people more covetous. Even politicians endorse this harmful notion.
But what if people became happy with less? What if people created more of their own entertainment, cooked more in the home, left the car in the driveway and even made birthday and Christmas presents at home? Here are a few tips that will help reduce spending and spur a more creative lifestyle.
Key Tips on Saving Money
Entertainment on the Cheap. Keeping entertained nowadays costs a lot of money. Trips to the movies, eating out, going to concerts. Further to this, entertainment is now included in the act of shopping. An afternoon’s amusement may include wandering around a shopping mall and spending (or charging to a credit card) in an attempt to stave off boredom or depression.
Yet it is possible to entertain friends and family cheaply, or even for free. Organize a walk in a nice park, or invite friends over to dinner instead of going to a restaurant. Check out local government guides for free concerts and activities. Libraries also offer lots of free entertainment possibilities. They hold a wealth of fascinating books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, magazines and other items that cost nothing. Local libraries also offer free activities to get involved in. Once the imagination is fired with these possibilities, wasted afternoons shopping and looking for ways to cope with boredom will be a thing of the past. Keeping entertained while gaming at onlinecasinosthailand.com is also cheap.
Learn How to Cook. More and more people eat either highly processed, pre-prepared food or outside the home altogether. This means paying other people to cook and prepare food when it could be done in the home at a fraction of the cost.
In affluent countries, people also have a take-it-for-granted attitude to food. A recent study found that Australians throw away approximately $5 billion worth of food a year. Like anything, learning to cook is a skill. The Internet can be a great help here. Simply type into a search engine a meal idea and lots of free recipes will show. Learning to cook is a rewarding skill that gives a great sense of accomplishment. It’s also something that can be shared with friends and family.
Drive Less, Exercise More. Unfortunately, the future price of oil does not look promising. Oil is a finite resource, which is experiencing growing, not diminishing, demand. Many highly respected oil experts feel demand could outstrip supply sometime this decade. This will mean dramatic increases in the price of oil and all that it helps produce in the economy. For most the car is a non-negotiable necessity. However, it is probably prudent to start thinking about higher oil prices as the norm for the future, and preparing for it now.
This will necessarily mean driving less where possible. One of the best alternatives to driving is cycling. A recent study in Australia found 52% of typical car trips in capital cities are under 5 kilometres long – a distance that would take approximately twenty minutes to travel by bike. This statistic leaves a lot of opportunity to fill the week with short bike trips.
Find safe, local bike paths that connect to shops, parks and entertainment centres. Invest in a basket for the bike, or attach a caboose. Cycling will save on fuel costs. It is also an excellent form of exercise. A moderate twenty-minute ride will burn about 140 calories.
Make Presents at Home. Buying presents for friends and family can run up quite a bill. It’s quite a simple affair to make things from home. Pot a plant grown from seeds, or bake some biscuits and wrap them in cellophane. There are many hobbies that provide opportunities for making excellent gifts from the home.
Practice Energy Efficiency. It’s possible to shave an impressive amount off water, gas and electricity bills by simply keeping an eye on usage. Offer children in the house the difference in any efficiency gains that are made on previous bills as an incentive to turn off lights and appliances.
Saving Money Requires Imagination and Creativity
Saving money takes imagination and creativity. It requires a change of attitude as to what constitutes a satisfying and rewarding lifestyle. It means cultivating happiness without basing it on an excess of material goods.