When preparing meals:
(1) Research substitute ingredients. Don’t dash to the store (or worse, a convenience store), if you find you’re missing an ingredient to complete a recipe. Log on instead. The web abounds with information and suggestions for ingredient substitutes – everything from eggs to buttermilk.
(2) Lighten up. Not all meals have to consist of 3 or 4 offerings, plus dessert. Consider lighter fare, with only one main item and one side or dessert. Benefits the waistline to boot!
(3) Stage a challenge. One night a week, stage a pantry, freezer and fridge challenge. Have fun making meals from whatever is leftover or needs to be used soon. Don’t be afraid to eat an odd assortment.
(4) Put inexpensive tenderizers to work. Pound, then marinate less expensive cuts of meat in vinegar, apple juice or tomato juice to tenderize them. This will make them enjoyable while saving money on fresh meat.
When shopping for ingredients:
(1) Comb mark-downs racks first. Stores mark down their overabundance of bakery goods, and any produce that needs consumption soon, and sometimes regular dry goods. Check these before selecting from regular areas.
(2) Think ‘non-food’. Every week, coupons and store incentives combine for free or nearly free health, beauty and household supplies. Leverage this on a regular basis to free up money for food, while covering other needs too.
(3) Look high, look low. If an ingredient you need is not on a good sale, shop the top and bottom grocery racks. Often store or lesser-known brands will be shelved there, as name brands pay a premium for eye-level shelf locations.
(4) Fill a prescription. Many stores offer coupons, worth money off a shopping trip, for using their pharmacy and starting a new prescription, transferring one, and sometimes even simply filling one.
(5) Watch the ounces. Bigger is not always cheaper. Check the price per ounce on everything you buy. And get the best value that matches your needs (and, hopefully, your coupons).
Home cooked meals tastes even a little better when you can enjoy some savings along with them!
Written by: SavingsAngel Di (blog angel) on July 21, 2012.