grocery budget https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14273/all en-US 25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-664439618.jpg" alt="how to get the most nutrition for cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are on a tight food budget, it's only natural to prioritize the cost of food over nutritional value. After all, junk food is the cheapest food you can buy. But I have found that some of the most nutritious food can be surprisingly affordable.</p> <p>Here is a round-up of my favorite cheap and highly nutritious foods, listed in order of lowest cost first. The entries below are all priced for four-ounce portions that are all under $1, to make it easy to compare prices. There are even some superfoods on this list. Of course, prices for these items may vary by location and season. Keep an eye out for sale prices on them in your local grocery stores, and you might be able to buy some or all of these items for even less than the prices listed here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a>)</p> <p><em>*All food prices were determined using </em><a href="https://www.hy-vee.com/grocery/" target="_blank"><em>HyVee's</em></a><em> online grocery store. </em></p> <h2>1. Bananas</h2> <p>Bananas are highly portable, and are packed with potassium, dietary fiber, and magnesium. They make the perfect sweet treat, and they come with their own natural packaging.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 12 cents</p> <h2>2. Carrots</h2> <p>Carrots are delicious raw or cooked, and make a great addition to any lunch. In terms of nutrition, carrots are bursting with vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 22 cents</p> <h2>3. Cabbage</h2> <p>Cheap and nutritious, cabbage is great in a stir fry, eaten steamed, or microwaved with a little butter on top. Cabbage offers loads of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin B6.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 22 cents</p> <h2>4. Onions</h2> <p>Onions pack a lot of flavor for very little money, and you don't need to use much to get the taste you need. Nutritional highlights for onions include potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 25 cents</p> <h2>5. Mandarin oranges</h2> <p>Mandarin oranges are another great on-the-go snack option. For those afternoon sugar cravings, reach for one of these instead of a candy bar. They have vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 25 cents</p> <h2>6. Black beans, canned</h2> <p>Black beans offer protein, fiber, and potassium, and they're tasty right out of the can, or cooked into chili, soups, or served on tortillas.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 26 cents</p> <h2>7. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), canned</h2> <p>These are an excellent pantry staple because you can eat them cold in salads, warm in soups, or use them to make your own hummus. Chickpeas contain plenty of dietary fiber, protein, and iron.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 26 cents</p> <h2>8. Brown rice</h2> <p>This healthy carb is a wonderfully versatile base for meals. All you need to add is vegetables or meat. Brown rice contains protein, fiber, and magnesium.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 30 cents</p> <h2>9. Sweet potatoes</h2> <p>Sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative to white potatoes, as they have more fiber and vitamin A, and a lower glycemic index. They are also packed with potassium. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-turn-leftover-sweet-potatoes-and-other-starchy-foods-into-something-special?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Turn Leftover Sweet Potatoes and Other Starchy Foods Into Something Special</a>)</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 32 cents</p> <h2>10. Whole wheat bread</h2> <p>The question is not, &quot;What can you do with whole wheat bread?&quot; It's, &quot;What can't you do?&quot; The sky's the limit, really, when it comes to this healthy alternative to white bread, which offers your body plenty of iron and potassium.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 38 cents</p> <h2>11. Cauliflower</h2> <p>You can buy it frozen, fresh by the head, or fresh and pre-cut. It's a filling, hearty meat alternative for vegetarians, and loaded with vitamin C. If you prefer it pre-cut, look for fresh or frozen bags to go on sale.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 40 cents (fresh head)</p> <h2>12. Barley</h2> <p>You can use barley in stews or as a savory side dish with herbs and spices. Barley offers iron, protein, and magnesium.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 45 cents</p> <h2>13. Strawberries</h2> <p>Strawberries are naturally super sweet, bursting with vitamin C and potassium, and make for a great, healthy dessert.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 47 cents</p> <h2>14. Dried lentils</h2> <p>Toss some dried lentils in your slow cooker or Instant Pot and you can do some easy meal prep for the week ahead. You can use lentils in soups, stir fry, dips, and spreads, and they provide iron, fiber, and protein.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 47 cents</p> <h2>15. Steel cut oats</h2> <p>You can make your own oatmeal at home using steel cut oats that are cheap and delicious. And with tons of calcium, iron, protein, fiber, and potassium, they're also nutritious.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 50 cents</p> <h2>16. Peanut butter</h2> <p>Whether you like it smooth or crunchy, this spreadable goodness can be put on bread with bananas for a great sandwich packed with protein, potassium, fiber, and iron.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 53 cents</p> <h2>17. Whole grain pasta</h2> <p>Who doesn't love pasta? And if you opt for the whole grain version, you're also getting a healthy meal base with plenty of protein and fiber.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 55 cents</p> <h2>18. Greek yogurt</h2> <p>Plain Greek yogurt makes for a protein- and calcium-filled snack that you can add cinnamon or honey to in order to satisfy that sweet tooth.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 62 cents</p> <h2>19. Raisins</h2> <p>The dried version of grapes, raisins are generally cheaper and have a longer shelf life due to the way they've been dried and preserved. Raisins make for a great snack, or they can be added into salads and other dishes. They are also packed with potassium and vitamin B-6.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 74 cents</p> <h2>20. Peanuts</h2> <p>A handful of peanuts is all you need for a filling and protein-packed snack. Choose low sodium or unsalted for the healthiest option.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 74 cents</p> <h2>21. Avocados</h2> <p>Use avocados on sandwiches, in salads or guacamole, or just cut one in half and eat with a spoon. Avocados are delicious and filled with protein, potassium, and vitamin C.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 75 cents</p> <h2>22. Frozen blueberries</h2> <p>Fresh blueberries are great, but often pricey. Buy the frozen version and you've got a cheaper cereal topper or snack option that is bursting with vitamin C.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 75 cents</p> <h2>23. Spinach, bagged</h2> <p>The great thing about bagged greens is that they're typically already cut and washed. Use bagged spinach for salad, add it to omelettes, or steam it in the microwave. Spinach also has vitamins C, A, and K, as well as zinc and fiber.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 75 cents</p> <h2>24. Broccoli</h2> <p>Enjoy broccoli florets raw or microwaved, and reap the health benefits of eating this nutritious gem, which is loaded with vitamin A, B1, fiber, and potassium.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 83 cents</p> <h2>25. Mushrooms</h2> <p>You can add mushrooms raw to salads, or grill or sauté them for extra flavor. Mushrooms give the body iron, fiber, and lots of vitamin D.</p> <p>Cost per 4 oz: 94 cents</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%2520Low-Cost%2520Foods%2520Packed%2520With%2520Nutrition.jpg&amp;description=25%20Low-Cost%20Foods%20Packed%20With%20Nutrition"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Low-Cost%20Foods%20Packed%20With%20Nutrition.jpg" alt="25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping food shopping grocery budget grocery shopping grocery shopping tips nutrition Fri, 23 Mar 2018 09:30:18 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2123148 at https://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Stick to Your Grocery Budget https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-stick-to-your-grocery-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-stick-to-your-grocery-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_shopping_480797641.jpg" alt="Woman sticking to her grocery budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to stick to your grocery budget, tips for a successful spring garden, and how to maximize your cruise vacation.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.frugallyblonde.com/2018/02/8-tips-to-stick-to-your-grocery-budget/">8 Tips To Stick To Your Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; It's not always easy to stick to your grocery list. If you're prone to impulse buys, consider shopping for groceries online to avoid the temptation. [Frugally Blonde]</p> <p><a href="https://premeditatedleftovers.com/gardening/7-tips-successful-spring-gardening/">7 Tips for Successful Spring Gardening</a> &mdash; Follow these tips to get your spring garden off to a good start! [Premeditated Leftovers]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cruise-Travel-Tips-43998454">5 Tips For Maximizing Your Cruise Experience</a> &mdash; Don't waste your cruise time trying to research and coordinate your days at port. Do all of that before you get on the ship. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://wallethacks.com/fun-frugal-weekend-activities/">38 Fun Frugal Things You Can Do This Weekend!</a> &mdash; Being frugal doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of the fun things in life. There are plenty of fun things you can do without spending much &mdash; or any &mdash; money. [Wallet Hacks]</p> <p><a href="https://www.thesimpledollar.com/six-things-to-look-for-in-a-life-insurance-policy/">Six Things to Look for in a Life Insurance Policy</a> &mdash; Do your due diligence when you shop for life insurance. There are certain factors that you should look for and a few to avoid. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://brokegirlrich.com/3-reasons-debt-repayment-strategies-fail/">3 Reasons Debt Repayment Strategies Fail</a> &mdash; Can't seem to make any progress in paying off your debt? One of these common pitfalls may be the cause of your troubles. [brokeGIRLrich]</p> <p><a href="https://jessifearon.com/2018/02/saving-for-a-big-purchase-without-going-broke.html">Saving for a BIG Purchase without Going Broke</a> &mdash; It's okay to prioritize your big purchase and say no to invitations that may derail your goal. [Jessi Fearon]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimplyorganizedhome.com/time-to-declutter/">How Busy Moms Find Time to Declutter</a> &mdash; If you have young kids, take advantage of nap time and bedtime to declutter without your kids underfoot. [The Simply Organized Home]</p> <p><a href="https://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/weekend-routine/">Nurture Your Weekend Routine So You Have A Productive Week</a> &mdash; Create fun weekend traditions to help you get into the mood of enjoying your down time. [A Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="https://acultivatednest.com/12-time-saving-kitchen-organization-ideas/">12 Time-Saving Kitchen Organization Ideas</a> &mdash; Keep your spices organized and accessible by making a nifty magnetic spice rack with items you can find at a dollar store. [A Cultivated Nest]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-stick-to-your-grocery-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips grocery budget Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Amy Lu 2104180 at https://www.wisebread.com 13 Ways to Cut Costs on Holiday Feasts https://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-cut-costs-on-holiday-feasts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-ways-to-cut-costs-on-holiday-feasts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_woman_taking_out_her_roast_turkey.jpg" alt="Smiling woman taking out her roast turkey" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every time I plan a big holiday meal, I brace for the bill. Even after making these family-style feasts several times over, I'm still annoyed when I hear the total at the supermarket checkout. &quot;How do turkey, green beans, and mashed potatoes cost <em>that</em> much?&quot; I ask myself. Yet year after year, I overspend on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners while continuing to scratch my head.</p> <p>But not this year. No. This year I'm setting a reasonable budget and sticking to it (so I can have more money to buy presents!). Here's how you can do it, too.</p> <h2>1. Take inventory of what you already have</h2> <p>One of the biggest mistakes is not itemizing all the dinner ingredients at once and checking your pantry and cabinets for what you already have. I've gone to the supermarket countless times and questioned whether I have enough butter or olive oil just to return home to realize I did, in fact, have plenty &mdash; <em>after</em> I bought more, of course.</p> <p>Stocking up on these items unnecessarily is a massive budget suck, and you're better off taking the time to figure out what you need to buy and what you don't before hitting the store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pantry-tricks-that-save-you-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big</a>)</p> <h2>2. Map out your menu</h2> <p>Based on the ingredients you already have on hand, you can start planning your menu, then fill in the gaps with new items you buy. I go through my bookmarked recipes on my phone and visit my favorite food sites to choose my recipes, keeping in mind the money-plus-time investment. I don't want to spend 12 hours slaving over the stove, so I make sure that all dishes can be prepped in less than 10 minutes, not including set-it-and-forget-it cook time. Just because the recipes are efficient, however, doesn't mean they can't be delicious. Maybe they're not overly fancified, but I've come to learn that most people aren't that impressed by my cooking and presentation skills when they've been growing hungrier since the moment they walked through the door.</p> <h2>3. Compare prices</h2> <p>Just because something is on sale doesn't mean it's not cheaper elsewhere. Don't limit yourself to one supermarket. Pick up the circulars and flip through to price out what you need. Use a price comparison tool like <a href="http://www.priceblink.com/" target="_blank">PriceBlink</a> or <a href="https://camelcamelcamel.com/" target="_blank">Camelizer</a> to make sure you're getting the best price before stepping into the store. If this means you have to visit two supermarkets to save, decide if it's worth your while. Generally, if I'm saving more than $10 between stores, I'll take the detour. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a>)</p> <h2>4. Check your cash-back apps before heading to the store</h2> <p>Hopefully you're clipping your coupons before you go to the supermarket &mdash; and being smart enough not to fall for the &quot;buy more and save&quot; deals because you're not really saving if you're buying more than you need &mdash; but I also want you to scroll through your cash-backs apps like <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv" target="_blank">Ibotta</a> and <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/" target="_blank">Checkout 51</a> before you start shopping to see what deals are available. Many times I've gone grocery shopping and checked the app after the fact, only to realize that I could have bought a similar item at a discount. Open the app and browse what's offered so you have the items fresh in your head as you work your way through the aisles. Afterward, submit your receipt and claim your cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 8 Shopping Apps That'll Actually Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>5. Set your budget and stick to it</h2> <p>Once you've priced out all the items you need, create a shopping list and set your budget. Try not to exceed more than $10 of the total you've set, but your real goal is to come in <em>under</em> budget. This requires discipline, especially when factoring in impulse buys at the supermarket. To avoid this, it's best to go food shopping right after eating since you won't be hungry in the chip and cookie aisle &mdash; my biggest weakness. Another trick to maintain efficiency in the supermarket is to go on a busy day. I know, it sounds dreadful, but on those days, you're likelier to want to get in and out instead of shopping more leisurely. The less time you have in front of all that food, the better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>6. Opt for generic</h2> <p>I'm usually against buying generic (yes, I know it's the cheaper option, but I prefer name-brand food; it's a quality issue for me), but when I'm planning a big meal, I relax my anti-generic policy to shave money off the bill. Butter, for instance, doesn't have to be Land O'Lakes, and I'll settle for store-brand spices, which are already pricey. Pastas, nuts, sugar, and flour are also good options to buy generic. These substitutes make zero difference in my recipes, but you do have to be savvy about what you're swapping. Namely, not all cheese is created equal, and I would recommend sticking to what you know, lest you want an oily mess on your hands. Some corners should not be cut.</p> <h2>7. Load up on cheap carbs</h2> <p>Know how to feed a crowd and actually fill them up? Ask any working family in America and they'll tell you the secret is carbs. Serving breads, potatoes, and pastas is a great way to extend your reach in the bang-for-your-buck department, which means you can skimp a bit on already love-it-or-hate-it vegetables like Brussels sprouts, spinach, and asparagus, which all come at a premium.</p> <h2>8. Buy in bulk when it makes sense</h2> <p>Buying in bulk doesn't always save you money, especially if you don't plan to use <em>all</em> of whatever it is you're buying before it expires. However, if you're getting a better deal in a large quantity versus buying several smaller versions, go for it. I don't, however, suggest you buy a wholesale club membership solely for your large holiday meal. You most likely will not get back in savings the $60 you spent on the membership in that single shopping trip. If it makes sense for your family the rest of the year, consider it, but otherwise it's not a good idea. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bulk Buying Basics: What to Buy, How to Store, and Money Saving Tips</a>)</p> <h2>9. Turn your holiday feast into a potluck</h2> <p>If you really want to slash your own out-of-pocket costs for the holiday meal you host, leave the side dishes and desserts up to your guests. You make the main course &mdash; turkey, ham, or whatever you like to serve &mdash; plus a few pre-dinner treats, but request that your guests fill in the blanks. An easy way to keep track of who's bringing what is to create a Google spreadsheet that you can share via email with all of your guests. It will save updates automatically for everyone to see. When sides and desserts are claimed, feel free to pawn off drinks and ice on whoever's left empty-handed on the list. There's nothing wrong with a party where everyone pitches in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throw-an-awesome-potluck-dinner-with-these-6-easy-tricks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Throw an Awesome Potluck Dinner With These 6 Easy Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>10. Ask your guests about their food preferences</h2> <p>To avoid wasting food that people don't like or can't eat, get a sense of your guests' palates before planning your menu. If only one person likes lima beans, it's not the best side dish to serve if most of it will end up in the trash. Ask about any dietary restrictions and allergies while you're at it, too. Nobody will expect you to cater the entire meal to the vegetarian or gluten-free guest at the table, but it's appropriate to provide at least a few items that guest can and will enjoy.</p> <h2>11. Stretch the food dollars into leftovers</h2> <p>I'm not a super fan of leftovers (you're probably getting a good idea of how picky I am when it comes to food), so I do make a concerted effort to plan my quantities carefully and focus on foods that I don't mind having a second or third time. Since everyone is different, I won't tell you how to eat your leftovers if you so choose, but I will suggest that you mind the parts of the meal that usually hit the trash first, like the ham bone and turkey carcass. These are great for making soups and stocks; it's fairly easy to do with recipes you'll find online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-thanksgiving-leftovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">17 Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers</a>)</p> <h2>12. Bring only your budgeted cash to the supermarket</h2> <p>The best way to force yourself to stay on budget when shopping for your holiday meal is to leave all debit and credit cards at home and only bring the cash that you've set aside for the ingredients. This will stop impulse buys in their tracks, and you'll be forced to find the most inexpensive items and alternatives to ensure you have enough money to pay the bill. It will also help to use your calculator along the way. I saw my mom doing that on more than one trip to the supermarket when I was a kid and it stuck with me.&nbsp;</p> <h2>13. Establish a BYOB rule</h2> <p>I wouldn't ask my guests to bring a potluck dish <em>plus</em> their own booze. If you're taking on all the food, it's perfectly acceptable to ask your guests to bring what they'd like to drink and share. On the other hand, if guests are bringing dishes to complete the meal, reward them with adult beverages. Don't feel obligated to satisfy everyone's tastes though. Serve white and red wines and a light beer. If they're not happy with that selection, they can sip the soft drinks that you'll also provide until they're able to hit the neighborhood bar.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F13-ways-to-cut-costs-on-holiday-feasts&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F13%2520Ways%2520to%2520Cut%2520Costs%2520on%2520Holiday%2520Feasts.jpg&amp;description=13%20Ways%20to%20Cut%20Costs%20on%20Holiday%20Feasts"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/13%20Ways%20to%20Cut%20Costs%20on%20Holiday%20Feasts.jpg" alt="13 Ways to Cut Costs on Holiday Feasts" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-cut-costs-on-holiday-feasts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-you-can-cut-grocery-expenses-today">13 Ways You Can Cut Grocery Expenses Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping cut food costs feasts food costs grocery budget grocery costs grocery shopping holiday dinners holiday meals Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 2053313 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-459410387.jpg" alt="save money by tracking food waste" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How much food do wealthy nations waste? More than <a href="http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/" target="_blank">all of Sub-Saharan Africa produces</a>, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In the United States alone, from the farm to your kitchen, half of all produce ends up in the trash, according to a report by The Guardian.</p> <p>What does that waste mean for your household budget? If you're like the average family of four, you're literally <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/resources/wasted-how-america-losing-40-percent-its-food-farm-fork-landfill" target="_blank">throwing away $1,800 a year</a>, the National Resources Defense Council estimates.</p> <p>So a melon is a terrible thing to waste. We've heard it before. But what can we really do about it? Here are six ideas for taking action by quantifying food waste. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop?ref=seealso" target="_blank">You're Wasting 1/3 of the Food You Buy &mdash; Here's How to Stop</a>)</p> <h2>Weigh your waste</h2> <p>The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that households spend two weeks separating &quot;preventable food waste&quot; garbage from inedible scraps as part of its <a href="https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/documents/get_smart_ftgtw_2_1_2016_pubnumberadded_508.pdf" target="_blank">Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge</a>.</p> <p>At the end of each week, weigh and record the food you could have eaten but tossed instead. Then, spend three weeks using the EPA's tips to improve your planning, shopping, and storage practices. Finally, measure what you waste during the sixth week, and share the impressive progress you've (ideally) made on social media. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!</a>)</p> <h2>Get the app</h2> <p>So often in busy households food goes to waste because you forget it's there. The iOS app <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nowaste-food-inventory-list/id926211004?mt=8" target="_blank">No Waste</a> allows you to scan the barcodes of stuff in your fridge, enter expiration dates, and track everything you've got. If you don't mark a food item as &quot;eaten&quot; before its expiration date, the app marks that food as wasted. It keeps track of the percent of your food that you waste, and shows you a cute little tree that loses its green if your waste increases. It also allows you to compare your waste percentage with other app users, and gives you an estimate of how much money you're saving by eating the food you paid for.</p> <h2>Create a food diary</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.squawkfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Food-Waste-Diary.pdf" target="_blank">printable food waste diary</a> prompts you to record not just the amount of food wasted at each meal, but also the reason and estimated value. This should be helpful to put a weekly dollar figure on your waste and motivate you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad" target="_blank">consume foods that are about to go bad</a>.</p> <h2>Impose consequences</h2> <p>Whether you used a printable from, a smartphone app, or simply scrawled the amounts and values of your waste on a scrap of paper stuck to the fridge, what do you do with this data? Why not use it to (gently) punish yourself? Take the total value of this week's waste, and deduct it from next week's grocery budget. Chances are, the pain of passing up buying the steak you wanted might help you remember to use up that meatloaf next week.</p> <h2>Track it publicly</h2> <p>Recording your food waste alone in your kitchen is OK, but wouldn't it be more fun to inspire others by planning a <a href="https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/research/assignments/mission-no-waste-meal1" target="_blank">Watch Your Waste Meal</a>? In the days leading up to your event, you're supposed to track your waste and share photos of your discards, which a celebrity chef might use as inspiration for a new dish.</p> <h2>Take a picture, it'll last longer</h2> <p>Are you more of a visual learner? Then follow The Frugal Girl's example and photograph <a href="http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/category/food-waste/food-waste-photos/" target="_blank">every bit of food you waste</a>. If you really want to push yourself to improve, share it online like she does! But even a private gallery of moldy horrors should be enough to encourage yourself to save the kale.</p> <h2>Beyond your kitchen</h2> <p>Once you've got a handle on what you throw away at home, turn your attention to the millions of pounds of food that gets thrown away by businesses before you even get a crack at it.</p> <h3>Buy ugly</h3> <p>In California and Portland, <a href="https://www.imperfectproduce.com/" target="_blank">Imperfect Produce</a> delivers weekly boxes of vegetables and fruits that are not cosmetically perfect enough to be sold in stores but still fresh and wholesome.</p> <h3>Take-out the trash</h3> <p>Still in beta, the app <a href="https://foodforall.us/" target="_blank">Food for All</a> will allow you to purchase unsold food from restaurants at the end of the day, at discounts as steep as 80 percent. Lucky Bostonians get to try this super frugal service first.</p> <h3>Save a mint</h3> <p>If you work in or own a restaurant, try the app <a href="https://www.mintscraps.com/" target="_blank">MintScraps</a> to track and reduce food waste.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Keep%2520Food%2520Waste%2520From%2520Spoiling%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Keep%20Food%20Waste%20From%20Spoiling%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Keep%20Food%20Waste%20From%20Spoiling%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon&#039;s Whole Foods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That&#039;ll Make Your Life Easier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink food shopping food waste green living groceries grocery bill grocery budget saving money shopping tips Spending Money Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2024819 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_family_having_roast_chicken_dinner_at_table.jpg" alt="Happy family having roast chicken dinner at table" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feeding a large family is a challenge. You need plenty to eat for plenty of hungry people, and you'd like to accomplish that without draining all of your free time and money. As the mother of four hungry kids, I've learned a few strategies that work well for our family. I also called in an expert: my friend Jeff Page, father of eight and founder of Hectic Meals.</p> <h2>Plan your meals</h2> <p>You need to plan your meals in advance. Winging it on meals, especially with a large family, will cost you. You'll stress every day over that, &quot;What's for dinner?&quot; question, and end up depending on fast food, takeout, or multiple grocery store trips to feed hungry people. It's impractical and terrible for your budget. Jeff calls meal planning, &quot;a matter of self-preservation.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a>)</p> <p>Meal planning doesn't have to be complicated, though. It's usually easiest to plan a week's worth of meals at a time. Jeff recommends collecting your favorite recipes and using them on a regular rotation.</p> <h3>Get input from your family</h3> <p>You may be the meal planner, but you can get great ideas on favorite meals by polling the crowd. I've found that my kids are quite happy to eat the same basic thing for breakfast everyday, but they get tired of that kind of repetition for lunches.</p> <h3>Work with the seasons and the sales</h3> <p>If you pay attention to what's in season for produce, and what's on sale at your local grocery store, you can plan your menu around these items. You'll not only get fresher, better produce with this approach, but you'll also save money.</p> <h3>Combine new and old recipes</h3> <p>Depend on your tried-and-true favorites for the bulk of your meal planning, but add in some new and interesting recipes here and there. It's a good way to expand your family's eating repertoire without alienating your picky eaters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a>)</p> <h2>Buy and prepare food in bulk</h2> <p>If your family eats in high volume, buying and prepping your food in correspondingly high volume makes sense. Meal planning will help you determine what you need in advance, and buying in bulk will help you get it at the best price.</p> <h3>What to buy in bulk</h3> <p>Basic pantry items, such as baking ingredients and canned goods, are almost always a good idea for bulk purchases. The savings might not be huge, but since you can go through high quantities of these staples, you want to keep them on hand and buy them in large quantities when they go on sale. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a>)</p> <p>Another smart bulk purchase is your main protein source: meat, eggs, beans, dairy, etc. For Jeff's family, their biggest value has been in purchasing meat in the largest quantities possible, then freezing it for use as needed.</p> <p>Fresh produce can be a great bulk purchase, as well, if you're able to process or preserve it. Otherwise, you might watch it go to waste, which is the opposite of budget-friendly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <h3>How to prep your food in bulk</h3> <p>Whether you bring home 15 pounds of ground beef or a couple of overflowing boxes of ripe tomatoes, you need to do something with your bulk food to make it easily usable. Some bulk purchases are best treated with a partial prep. For example, if you bring home 10 pounds of fresh carrots, you can peel and slice them, divide into portions, freeze some for use in soups later and refrigerate the rest for easy snacking. You can buy chicken in bulk, chop and season it, then freeze.</p> <p>For the most efficient bulk food prep, Jeff recommends a high-quality <a href="http://amzn.to/2vm1htL" target="_blank">set of knives</a> and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers" target="_blank">vacuum sealer</a>. That way you can work your way quickly through a big pile of whatever's in season and ensure that it won't be frostbitten and gross by the time you eat it. Another great tool for bulk prep and preservation is a <a href="http://amzn.to/2xHgnqx" target="_blank">food dehydrator</a>; couple it with that vacuum sealer for maximum prep and storage efficiency.</p> <h3>Go local</h3> <p>Check into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store" target="_blank">your local grocery options</a> for other bulk food purchases. You may find grocery co-ops, ethnic food stores, and local farmers markets can offer you great ingredients at a much better price than your regular grocery store.</p> <h3>Have a storage plan</h3> <p>Don't bring home the bacon (or any other food in bulk), unless you have a plan for how you will store it. You need to have adequate pantry or cabinet space for dry and canned goods, and adequate freezer space for other items.</p> <h2>Implement a meal schedule</h2> <p>You need a healthy amount of organization to keep a big-family kitchen from falling into chaos. When multiple people access the food and food spaces, basic rules can keep things clean, organized, and usable.</p> <p>The most important rule is to clean up after yourself. Even young children can learn to wash a dish after they use it. Yes, you will have to remind them of their ability to do so approximately 4,327 times before they will learn it, but stick with it. Eventually, they will remember. Or they'll move out. Either way, fewer dishes for you!</p> <h3>Get organized</h3> <p>For large families, it's very helpful to have a secondary refrigerator and/or freezer, perhaps in the garage or on the patio, for food storage. You can designate the kitchen refrigerator for this week's snacks and meal ingredients, and the other refrigerator can be used for less-often used items and ingredients you're storing for later use.</p> <p>A key part of food organization is finding a way to communicate it with the rest of your family. Use labels to mark where things should go, and bins or other storage items to keep things separated in the freezer or pantry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pantry-tricks-that-save-you-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big</a>)</p> <h3>How to schedule meals</h3> <p>A schedule and a list will help you get through the grocery shopping as quickly as possible. Jeff generates a list from his meal plan and, with that in hand, he's usually able to keep his weekly shopping trip under an hour.</p> <h3>Share the information</h3> <p>Print out your meal plan, so all the hungry members of your family can see at a glance what's for dinner. That might encourage them to quit asking you about it. In an alternate universe, it might encourage them to start making dinner. I have not found the entrance to this universe. If you do, let me know. Please.</p> <h3>Designate shelves</h3> <p>In the pantry, Jeff recommends labeling shelves so there's a designated area for particular items. This can make the putting away process faster for everyone after grocery shopping. We have a designated snack shelf, and when it's snack time, the kids know what they can have and help themselves.</p> <h2>Keep it simple</h2> <p>An endless variety of food costs money. My kids would like to have a pantry that looks like the snack aisle at Costco. I would rather pay the bills &mdash; all of them &mdash; because having that much variety would cost a small fortune. I keep three to five snack options on hand, along with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and that's enough for us.</p> <h3>Incorporate change every once in awhile</h3> <p>The same snacks or dishes over and over again can get boring for you and everyone in your family. You can rotate options, but you don't have to have all the options at one time. So, choose a few snack options this month, and different ones for next month.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Feed%2520a%2520Large%2520Family%2520on%2520a%2520Small%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Feed%20a%20Large%20Family%20on%20a%20Small%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Feed%20a%20Large%20Family%20on%20a%20Small%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Food and Drink dinner dinners feeding the family food shopping grocery budget grocery shopping meal planning Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Annie Mueller 2011824 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-532270670.jpg" alt="Woman finding affordable alternatives to the grocery store" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you sick of taking weekly trips to the grocery store? Maybe you'd like to try to save some money, buy fresher produce, support your local farmers, or even grow food yourself. Here are 10 affordable alternatives to that hectic and tiring grocery-grind.</p> <h2>1. Contact farmers directly</h2> <p>If you know a farmer or rancher, consider approaching them directly about buying their goods. Personally, I have found this method enables me to purchase certain cuts of meat, or other things I need at a discounted price. It's also nice to know the source of your food and be assured that it is truly organic or grass-fed. If you don't know someone, try calling your local agricultural extension, 4-H Club, or FFA (National FFA Organization) chapter.</p> <h2>2. CSA shares</h2> <p>CSA is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. When you become a member of a CSA, you purchase a share of vegetables, fruits, eggs, or other agricultural goods from a farmer (or several farmers) in your regional area, often for less than you'd normally spend in the grocery store.</p> <p>If you like a challenge and to learn about how to cook things, a CSA box is going to be right up your alley. I have cooked and eaten things I never would've tried. CSA boxes are a fun way to support local agriculture, save money, and learn how to cook new things.</p> <h2>3. Vegetable or fruit stands</h2> <p>During family road trips when I was a kid, my dad would take back roads in the California central valley in our family station wagon. Along the road, we'd stop at numerous fruit stands. We'd load up on peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, dates, and nuts. Everything was sold in bulk, in big flats, but at a huge discount from the grocery store. My mother would spend hot summer days canning, but what a treat when those jars of peaches came out, midwinter. I'll still hit the brakes for a fruit and vegetable stand, where I know I can get farm-fresh, locally grown produce.</p> <h2>4. Farmers markets</h2> <p>Farmers markets seem to be everywhere these days, and with good reason. Besides being a great place to stock up on fresh local food, they often offer food tents, music, plants, and crafts. Farmers markets have made shopping fun again.</p> <h2>5. Co-op grocery stores</h2> <p>You don't usually have to be a member of a grocery co-op to shop at one, but if you join, you will get a vote &mdash; and some input &mdash; on how the co-op is run. For a fairly nominal fee, you will become a member who can give input about the items purchased or carried by the store. While the prices may not be rock-bottom, you'll usually find high-quality organic and natural foods. During profitable years, you may receive a dividend. Co-ops tend to be very community-minded, and some have delis and household goods, as well.</p> <h2>6. Ethnic food stores</h2> <p>A Chinese exchange student, missing food from home, took me to our local ethnic grocery. Not only was it fun to have her explain the interesting selection of foods, but I was shocked to see those same foods at my regular grocery store at a considerably higher price. Similarly, when I make Mexican food, I head to one of those specialty stores to get ingredients. You may also be able to locate hard-to-find spices there.</p> <h2>7. Online Delivery</h2> <p>Online grocery delivery was something I pooh-poohed until our daughter moved to Brooklyn. I've stopped teasing her about it after she emailed me copies of her lists so that I could see the prices. Surprisingly, it's not unreasonable. Yes, she does pay an add-on price for delivery, but I pay for gas to drive to the market, so the difference is a lot closer than I assumed. With online delivery, you also avoid the lines and parking hassles. If you want to try it, do some comparisons between services to see which delivery policies best suit your lifestyle. Also be aware that ordering at &quot;peak times&quot; may result in not being able to get everything you need. Services such as <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1025473&amp;u=255320&amp;m=54592&amp;urllink=&amp;afftrack=" target="_blank">FreshDirect</a> even offer special deals and savings on specific items from week to week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>8. Trade</h2> <p>I have too many bananas, and my neighbor needs to get rid of avocados. (I get the better end of that deal, honestly.) It's great to be able to trade produce. Do you have an overactive orchard, or did you plant too many hills of zucchini? See if you can trade produce with a neighbor.</p> <h2>9. Discount outlets</h2> <p>Some outlet stores carry things that just didn't sell, but are still perfectly edible. Maybe the packaging was just too strange, or the label was off-putting. One of our friends carried a corkscrew and would just try some wines out in the parking lot of the local wine outlet after purchase. If they were good, she'd go back in and buy a case.</p> <p>There are no bells and whistles in outlet stores, so come with an open mind. It's not Whole Foods. There are some amazing bargains at outlet stores, which can offer goods sometimes at 50-80 percent less than grocery stores. Cereal is usually a good buy, as are frozen foods. And don't forget a corkscrew.</p> <h2>10. Your own garden</h2> <p>I don't have the greenest thumb in the household, but I can handle growing green beans, carrots, beets, and tomatoes. Even if my carrots are misshapen, they are delicious. To get the best results, check out your soil. We took a soil sample to our local college's agriculture department, where they analyzed it and told us what to add (your local co-op extension may offer this service, too). Even a small garden plot is a very rewarding thing. Plus, the fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise are essential to your overall health. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-valuable-things-to-plant-in-your-garden-this-spring?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Most Valuable Things to Plant in Your Garden This Spring</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping farmers market food shopping groceries delivered grocery budget grocery shopping grocery store saving money on food Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1934679 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_505801836_0.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to try hot new food trends the frugal way" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems there&rsquo;s always a new health food trend going on, and companies are quick to capitalize by conveniently packaging and offering them on store shelves for us to try. Unfortunately, trying what's new and different isn't always affordable. You're in luck, though. Here are the trends, and how you can enjoy them on the cheap.</p> <h2>1. Wellness beverages</h2> <p>The chilled beverage sections at your grocery store are probably teeming with new tonics and juices. Many of them include ingredients like turmeric, vinegar, and maca. There are even beverages that contain medicinal mushrooms! While this is all very interesting and even quite tasty, these drinks come at a premium &mdash; costing anywhere from $5&ndash;$14 per bottle.</p> <p>I make my own vinegar-infused beverage at home. It actually tastes a lot like kombucha, just at a fraction of the cost. First, I crack open a can of my favorite sparkling water from Aldi, usually lemon or lime. Then I pour it over a tablespoon of Aldi's organic apple cider vinegar. Mix and enjoy.</p> <h2>2. Oily byproducts</h2> <p>A company called Eco Olea has made a variety of house cleaners using the water that's left over after making olive oil. Another company is using the liquid from cooking chickpeas to make vegan mayonnaise. Incorporating byproducts into new products is definitely on the rise, and it's great to see that less is going to waste.</p> <p>How can you try this trend at home? Stop before you toss the liquid you drained from that can of chickpeas. That gooey stuff is called <em>aquafaba</em>, and there are many good things you can make with it. Try this vegan&nbsp;<a href="http://vanillacrunnch.com/aquafaba-chocolate-mousse-3-ingredients-vegan-and-glutenfree/" target="_blank">chocolate pudding</a> made from aquafaba. Sounds strange, but when you combine it with dark chocolate, maple syrup, and vanilla extract? Delicious.</p> <h2>3. All things coconut</h2> <p>You've probably tried coconut water and coconut oil to see what all the fuss is about. This year, the coconut is expanding its horizons. You can buy coconut flour, coconut chips for baking, and a whole host of other products. While <a href="http://amzn.to/2os53cS" target="_blank">coconut flour</a> costs about $3 a pound, prepackaged foods made with this ingredient are even steeper.</p> <p>Here's an easy recipe for homemade&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wholesomeyum.com/recipes/coconut-tortillas/" target="_blank">coconut flour tortillas</a>. You need just three ingredients: coconut flour, eggs, and nondairy milk. It only requires a half cup of flour. Whisk the ingredients together. Then heat a skillet and cook it like a very thin pancake, flip, and fill with your favorite hummus or whatever else you like wrapped up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h2>4. Purple foods</h2> <p>You may have heard that you should eat the rainbow &mdash; vibrant, fresh veggies that come in all colors. In 2017, the color everyone seems to be focusing on is purple. You can find purple cauliflower, purple potato chips, purple corn, purple asparagus, and much more at your local grocery store.</p> <p>If you want to try this one at home, try making this gorgeous&nbsp;<a href="http://prettypies.com/recipe/purple-sweet-potato-pie/" target="_blank">purple sweet potato pie</a>. If you don&rsquo;t want to deal with the almonds and dates for the crust, you can always stick with a traditional pie crust out of flour and butter. It will still look gorgeous.</p> <h2>5. Healthier pastas</h2> <p>You can find pasta made from chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa on shelves at the store. If you take a walk around the produce section, you may even see some varieties of spiralized vegetable &quot;pastas&quot; that are healthy alternatives to the traditional noodles we all know and love. I'm especially flabbergasted by the price of the spiralized noodles because produce can be quite cheap when it's in season.</p> <p>The up-charge is all about the noodle-making process. And that's an easy at-home thing you can do yourself. Invest in a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2oP1PSm" target="_blank">spiralizer</a>, and you'll be set with beet and zucchini noodles for life.</p> <h2>6. Unique condiments</h2> <p>My husband and I are addicted to interesting condiments. But I can't say it's good for our wallets. These days, you can find anything from ghee with pink Himalayan sea salt to pomegranate molasses to chipotle adobo sauce. One way I like to save on these splurges is to check out what our local Home Goods (a discount store) has on the shelves. I can often find condiments a few dollars cheaper than they might be at the grocery store.</p> <p>Making your own cool condiments is another option. Buying ghee at the store can cost around $1.20 an ounce. You can make it at home for around 67 cents an ounce. Just get eight ounces of a good-quality organic butter and heat it over low heat in a medium saucepan. Continue cooking until the milk solids turn brown and fall to the bottom of your pan, around 10 minutes. Then pour through cheesecloth into a glass jar for safekeeping. This makes five ounces of ghee.</p> <h2>7. Meal kits</h2> <p>Eating out can be expensive. But making everything from scratch can be time-consuming and messy. Many people are turning to meal kits you can easily toss in the oven. You can find some awesome vegetable mixes in the freezer section that won't break the bank. Others include pasta and even meat for a no-fuss meal. Just check your prices carefully and take advantage of coupons and store sales when you can.</p> <p>You may also want to try make your own meal kits. Sure, the process takes some effort &mdash; but it will save you time and money in the long run. I actually tried this method out last month when I made a bunch of &quot;dump meals&quot; to stash in my freezer. I'm hooked. It's seriously as easy and opening cans, chopping stuff, and tossing it in a bag to freeze for later cooking in the Crock-Pot.</p> <h2>8. Japanese food</h2> <p>Japanese foods are becoming more popular, as well. But move over sushi, the trend this year is going beyond the roll. Check out ingredients like miso, seaweed, and mirin. Have you ever heard of Japanese-style pickles? I hadn't either, and now I'm utterly intrigued.</p> <p>My own family regularly eats udon noodles with our stir-fries. This ends up being cheaper than buying Japanese takeout because we get a huge bag of stir-fry veggies in the freezer section and buy tofu in bulk. We also like incorporating miso into our meals &mdash; a little goes a long way. Try a miso-tahini dressing on anything from roasted sweet potatoes to salads. Combine a quarter cup tahini with just one tablespoon miso. Then add in lemon juice, warm water, and cracked pepper. You'll enjoy the flavor every day!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Food food shopping food trends groceries grocery budget grocery shopping saving money Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1931161 at https://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_000086102447.jpg" alt="Woman learning tips to save big at the grocery store" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You go to the grocery store. You have a list in hand. Then, you stray from the list for just one item, and somehow you end up bringing home a bunch of food you didn't plan on buying, leaving your grocery budget completely obliterated. This happens to all of us, and it happens often.</p> <p>And no matter how much you plan ahead and try to stay on track, you can easily be lured into extra spending with 10 for $10 deals and delicious deli specials. The problem is that we need food to survive, so buying additional snacks and meals is way easier to justify in your mind than clothes or shoes. You can resist the urge to buy a new pair of shoes you don't need, but you will always need to put food in your belly.</p> <p>So to combat this tricky spending trap, here are the 81 best tips for saving big at the grocery store that we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_fresh_strawberries_000067876803.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; You love fresh produce, but do you really need all your favorites 365 days a year? Nope. Stay away from foods that aren't in season and you can protect your food budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores?ref=fbf">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a> &mdash; These stores are actively trying to ensure you make healthy food choices every time you shop. And sure, you can't guarantee that you'll never make an impulse buy at the register ever again, but wouldn't you rather that impulse buy be something good for you, as opposed to junk food? Me too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch?ref=fbf">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a> &mdash; You need food but you're low on funds. Now what? Here are five clever ways to get what you need while staying within your means.</p> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_confused_groceries_000061844584.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that there is one, and becoming aware of the triggers that lead to the problem. These are the grocery budget saboteurs that are keeping you from staying on track. Now you know.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips?ref=fbf">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a> &mdash; These tips will take your shopping strategy to the next level, and will help you resist those all-too-tempting food deals that are not on your list and outside of your budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it?ref=fbf">10 Organic Grocery Items That Aren't Worth It</a> &mdash; The &quot;organic&quot; label is a popular one to seek when food shopping. But some things don't need to be &quot;organic&quot; to be good for you. Skip these organic items and save big.</p> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_food_shopping_000016896623.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys?ref=fbf">Negotiate Better Prices on These 6 Grocery Store Buys</a> &mdash; Good news! That price tag isn't set in stone. There are several items in your local grocery store that can be negotiated. So get haggling and save some major cash.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know?ref=fbf">10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know</a> &mdash; These master hacks will show you how to get the best possible foods for your money, without spending more than need to.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars?ref=fbf">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a> &mdash; Just because you don't have a full house doesn't mean you can't do some smart bulk buying. Stretch your grocery bucks as far as they'll go with these easy tricks.</p> <p><em>How do you avoid overspending at the grocery store? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-62-creative-uses-for-your-favorite-condiments">Flashback Friday: 62 Creative Uses for Your Favorite Condiments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Food and Drink fbf fitness flashback friday frugal food grocery budget grocery shopping grocery store Health Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1683036 at https://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_confused_groceries_000061844584.jpg" alt="Man learning ways he&#039;s sabotaging his grocery budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Food is something we need in order to survive, and like all good things, it doesn't always come cheap. When you live on a budget, as most of us do, many expenses are &quot;fixed&quot; expenses &mdash; your mortgage or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. So where is there flexibility to save? In your grocery budget, believe it or not. If you work at it, you can not only stay within a grocery budget, but you can also save a lot of money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso">Credit Cards with Bonus Rewards for Grocery Purchases</a>)</p> <p>Here's why you keep sabotaging your grocery budget, and how to avoid the overspending trap we all tend to fall into.</p> <h2>1.You Don't Do Meal Planning</h2> <p>There are dozens of websites and apps that will do this for you, but all you really need is a pen and a piece of paper. Map out each day of the week, and write next to it what you plan to eat that day. From that list, make a grocery list. The advantages of planning your meals are plentiful:</p> <ul> <li>You can shop once per week.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can check the grocery ads for what is on sale, and cut coupons.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You will stay out of stores and restaurants (and away from temptation).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You will be eating healthier meals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you let your family chime in, you will have less food waste, if they get to eat what they like.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You'll make an effort to bring more variety into your diet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can quickly track your spending week to week.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Meal planning makes life easier, and reduces stress.</li> </ul> <h2>2. You Don't Cook</h2> <p>Maybe you don't <em>like</em> to cook, or you don't know <em>how</em>. For those of you who don't like to cook, there are a couple of solutions. First, you can do batch cooking of a couple of things and eat them all week. Another idea is to trade the cooking chore for some other household chore. In our household, I cook, which I love; and my husband does the laundry, which I despise.</p> <p>If you don't know <em>how</em> to cook, you can certainly learn through classes, YouTube, reading cookbooks, or just asking someone to show you how.</p> <h2>3. You Don't Do Batch Cooking</h2> <p>Years ago, I was in a &quot;casserole club&quot; where we would all make casseroles and exchange them, and then be done for the week. It meant spending a good part of Sunday cooking and delivering, but cooking once per week was great, at the time. Lately, some of my younger coworkers have taken this idea and are doing healthy batch-cooking. (I have been jealous of the breakfast burritos filled with peppers, quinoa, egg whites, and spinach.)</p> <p>Batch cooking has benefits such as saving money, wasting less food, and being able to relax more. Try making a lasagne and freezing half. It's so nice, after a long day, to just pull something out of the freezer to reheat. Chili and Jambalaya also freeze really well.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Like Eating Leftovers</h2> <p>Maybe that's because you get bored easily, and like more variety. The trick is to transform the leftovers into something interesting. Try out apps and programs like <a href="https://www.bigoven.com/recipes/leftover">bigoven</a>, where you enter what leftovers you have, and voila, you get suggestions for &quot;new&quot; meals.</p> <h2>5. You Are Buying Trendy Stuff</h2> <p>Oh, look, a section of your grocery that has all gluten-free items! Unless you have been medically diagnosed as having celiac disease, you shouldn't assume you have it. And these items labeled as &quot;paleo-friendly&quot;... what does that even mean?</p> <p>And watch for <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/09/27/10-most-overpriced-products-you-should-avoid/">store markups</a>. The biggest markup is bottled water, at up to 4,000%. Fancy coffee is a 300% markup. Pre-cut fruits and vegetables have a 40% markup. I love those in-store bakeries, but after learning about their 100% markup, I dragged my breadmaker back out of storage.</p> <h2>6. You Buy Lunches Out</h2> <p>I have coworkers who eat out every day. Let's look at that cost:</p> <p>If you're spending $5 a day (average) x 5 days per week = $25 a week x 4 = $100 per month, x 12 = <strong>$1,200</strong> a year. According to <em>Forbes, </em>most Americans go out for lunch on average twice a week and spend $10 each time. Do you fit the average? Would you rather spend that money, or a least a portion of it, on something else?</p> <p>Instead, try to pack a traditional &quot;brown-bag&quot; lunch as often as possible. Make an effort, though, to pack foods you really like, or you'll take one look at your peanut butter and toss it in favor of going out.</p> <h2>7. You Refuse to Use Coupons</h2> <p>Confession: I don't enjoy using coupons. They usually get lost in my purse, and I really have to force myself to wade through the grocery circulars. My trick? On Twitter, I followed a local coupon-cutting maniac. She tweets the best specials at local stores and I just go get them based on her very solid recommendations.</p> <h2>8. You Are Spending Too Much on Fruit</h2> <p>According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the most expensive way to buy fruit is fresh. That is followed by frozen, then canned, and finally dried. Fresh can be a good deal, so long as it is in season. Unseasonal fruit is a budget-wrecker. Grocers know this, and about the time we're sick of winter apples, pears, and oranges, they roll out some strawberries.</p> <p>By buying unseasonal fruit, you're also being a lousy locavore. That produce had to be shipped from far away. If you prefer summer fruits to winter fruits, try these strategies:</p> <ul> <li>During the summer, prep and freeze some of your favorites (berries do very well in the freezer).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn to can (home-canned peaches in January will be very welcome) or invest in a dehydrator (mine even makes fruit roll-ups).</li> </ul> <h2>9. You Like to Shop at Nice Stores</h2> <p>I appreciate the soft lighting, wooden floors, and attractive displays of produce, cheeses, and wines at nice and somewhat <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-money-at-whole-foods">luxurious grocery stores</a>. You can buy coffee and sip while you shop. They have olive and sushi bars. It's pleasant! Who wouldn't want to shop at a store like that?</p> <p>Unfortunately, you are paying about 20% extra for that ambiance. If you are a family of four, paying around $800 per month for groceries, that extra 20% takes you up to $960. Compare prices of items on your list at a store with harsh lighting, linoleum, no coffee and very few &quot;upscale&quot; products. You are bound to be surprised at how much less those products are.</p> <p><em>How do you save money on your grocery budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-grocery-store-habits-that-are-making-you-broke">7 Grocery Store Habits That Are Making You Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink Shopping food budget fresh food grocery budget grocery shopping healthy eating Mon, 21 Dec 2015 10:01:02 +0000 Marla Walters 1623599 at https://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill https://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6039471081_b1db66ac14_z.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="190" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After housing and transportation costs, food consumes more of the average household's budget than anything else. I've already looked at ways to cut <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-become-a-landlord-instead-of-selling-your-home" target="_blank">housing</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-hidden-advantages-to-getting-rid-of-your-car" target="_blank">transportation</a>. Now let's look at a few ways trim our food budget &mdash; and do it without tightening our belts. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to&nbsp;Grocery&nbsp;Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set a Budget, and Stick to It</h3> <p>These are the first and last words in cutting your grocery bill. It's all about goal-setting. You will never succeed unless you define what you are trying to do.</p> <p>The easiest way to start out with a grocery budget is to save a couple weeks' worth of receipts, calculate how much you usually spend on average, then subtract 10% from that amount. If you easily achieve that, you can go ahead and lower your budget even more.</p> <h3>2. Don't Shop the Same Store Every Week</h3> <p>Shopping multiple stores is key to paying less for groceries, but it's a strategy that many people balk at because it sounds time consuming. Here's the workaround &mdash; you don't have to shop at three stores <em>every</em> week, wasting gas and time running from store to store. Instead, be strategic. When your circulars arrive, find the best deals in the stores nearest you, then choose which store will help you save the most this week.</p> <h3>3. Use Coupons</h3> <p>From personal experience, I can tell you that coupons are worth the time they take to clip, print out, or, increasingly, load to a store card. <a href="http://www.dominicks.com/ShopStores/Offers-Landing-IMG.page?" target="_blank">Safeway's Just for U</a> digital coupon program alone promises about 20% savings, and after using the program regularly I have found that it usually saves me more than 20%. Think of it this way &mdash; if you use just five $1 coupons per week on items you would have bought anyway, you'll save more than $250 per year.</p> <h3>4. Buy Clearance Items</h3> <p>Some grocery stores regularly put soon-to-expire meat in a special clearance bin, marked 30% or 50% off. Other good items to find marked down are deli items, dairy products, and at some lower-end stores, produce. Personally, I have never had a quality problem with such foods, since I always use them or freeze them immediately. But remember, if you buy something that does not taste good, any decent grocery store will give you a refund or replace it, even if the product was on clearance.</p> <p>Bolder shoppers don't just look for products marked &quot;clearance&quot; &mdash; they ask the butcher or other employees if they can have a discount on something that's soon to expire.</p> <h3>5. Look for Alternative Grocery Stores</h3> <p>Don't walk past a small neighborhood grocery, ethnic store, or dented-can store without checking it out. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market">Ethnic and neighborhood groceries</a> often have excellent deals on meat and produce, while the dented-can outlets and even drugstores can offer deep discounts on canned and boxed goods.</p> <h3>6. Try Amazon</h3> <p>Sometimes Amazon's prices for canned foods, cereal, and other pantry items are sky-high, but sometimes they offer steep price drops and coupon codes. <a href="http://wantnot.net/" target="_blank">Wantnot.net</a> is a good blog for getting alerts on great Amazon deals.</p> <h3>7. Participate in Meatless Monday</h3> <p>Meat is often the most expensive component of a meal. If you are used to serving meat at every dinner, try <a href="http://www.meatlessmonday.com/" target="_blank">going meatless just once a week</a> and see how much you save. You may find you want to add Tofu Tuesday or Steak-Free Saturday to your schedule as well!</p> <h3>8. Stop Wasting Food</h3> <p><a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec12/food_09-07.html" target="_blank">Forty percent of all food produced in the United States is thrown away</a>. That's a whopping 20 pounds of junked food per American.</p> <p>You may not be able to control the amount of food that is thrown away at the farm and grocery store, but in your home, you can put a stop to the waste by making sure to use ingredients before they go bad, and by not putting too much food on your plate. One handy tip is to make a weekly meal of a soup or stew that can serve as a catch-all for any bits and ends of ingredients used throughout the week &mdash; you may end up with some surprisingly delicious concoctions.</p> <h3>9. Make Economical Substitutions</h3> <p>Make pesto with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. Replace expensive or out-of-season vegetables in recipes with the always-cheap carrots or cabbage. Substitute frozen berries for fresh. One substitution that doesn't usually save money anymore is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nonfat-dry-milk-no-longer-a-frugal-alternative" target="_blank">swapping powdered milk for fluid milk</a> &mdash; nowadays the powdered stuff usually costs more!</p> <h3>10. Stretch the Meat</h3> <p>Instead of serving whole pieces of meat like steaks or chops, serve casseroles, stews, and other dishes with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meat-money-grocery-saving-tips-for-carnivores" target="_blank">chopped, crumbled, or shredded meat</a>. That way you can make it stretch and use it more as a flavoring than as a main source of nutrition.</p> <h3>11. Stop Over-Eating</h3> <p>Do you ever make a double batch at dinner so you'll have leftovers to pack in lunches, only to realize that the family all had seconds and there's nothing left? If you're tempted to eat more than you need, try packing away half the food <em>before</em> you put it on the table or putting half servings on your plate. If you're trying to lose weight, this strategy can kill two birds with one stone.</p> <h3>12. Look for Buy One, Get One Free Sales</h3> <p>These are often the best deals in the supermarket, offering a 50% discount on two products. Most other discounts are only 10 to 20%. If your store allows you to use two coupons on BOGO pairs, you can save even more. The ultimate savings is when they let you pair a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale and take home two items for free!</p> <h3>13. Use the Cash Envelope System</h3> <p>If you find you're spending more than you want at the grocery store, many budget gurus recommend the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system" target="_blank">envelope system</a>. At the beginning of the week or month, put the amount of cash you plan to spend on groceries in the envelope, and ONLY take that cash to the store. No credit or debit cards. If you can, include a little extra in your budget to allow you to take advantage of great, unexpected deals like clearance items.</p> <h3>14. Use a Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p>There are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit cards that offer rewards on grocery purchases</a>. These cards give cash back or points for purchases made at most supermarkets. As long as you pay off your balances in full each month, there's no reason you shouldn't use a rewards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit card for your everyday purchases</a>, to put some money back in your pocket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Save Over $1,000 Each Year Using Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>15. Sign Up for a Regular Produce Delivery</h3> <p>This may seem counterintuitive since many of the community-supported agriculture produce boxes are organic and more costly. But you may find that receiving a regular delivery of produce forces you to cook more veggie-based meals and cuts your spending on meat.</p> <h3>16. Chop Your Own Veggies</h3> <p>If it takes you four minutes to chop an onion, is it really worth it to pay for a tub of pre-chopped veggies? Only if you make a really great hourly wage.</p> <h3>17. Don't Depend on Your Groceries for Your Self Image</h3> <p>Are you shopping at Whole Foods because you really feel it offers the most nutritious and delicious food, or because you feel like you've achieved the status of someone who shops there? Guess what? Just like smart millionaires drive cars with lots of miles on them, smart upper-income families clip coupons (they're the highest-using group!) and buy nutritious, inexpensive foods.</p> <h3>18. Find Out Which Organic Items Really Matter</h3> <p>If you're concerned about pesticide residue on your produce, it pays to check out the <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/" target="_blank">Environmental Working Group's list of which foods are most likely to be contaminated</a>. Thanks to this list, I know that springing for organic potatoes and apples is worthwhile, but I don't pay more for organic onions.</p> <h3>19. Investigate Buying Clubs</h3> <p>Does your neighborhood or church have a bulk buying club you can join? This is sometimes a good option, especially for people who want to shop for organic food or non-toxic household products.</p> <h3>20. Make Your Own Bread</h3> <p>One of the easiest things to make from scratch is bread, especially if you have a bread machine. Not only do the <a href="http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2010/08/wednesday-baking-does-homemade-bread-save-money/" target="_blank">ingredients cost less than a store-bought loaf</a>, but a fresh, homemade loaf of bread also brings more enjoyment to a meal than a bag of factory-produced slices.</p> <p>But what about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bread-machines">the cost of the bread machine</a>? No problem. I have picked up several perfectly functional models over the years for less than $5 each at thrift stores. Not convinced? With a &quot;no-knead&quot; recipe, you don't even <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html" target="_blank">need a bread machine</a>.</p> <h3>21. Try Costco &mdash; With Caution</h3> <p>Costco can be a boon to your budget or a major stumbling block, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco" target="_blank">depending on how you work it</a>. It's a great place to get budget wines, if that's on your list. Personally, I don't have a Costco membership at the moment, but I do appreciate it when a friend with a membership picks up something for me like a large package of flour or baking soda. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco's New Credit Card Gives More Cash Back to Shoppers</a>)</p> <h3>22. Drink Water</h3> <p>Not only is it almost free and healthy, but, unlike a certain popular carbonated beverage, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/12/coca-cola-soda-death/1912491/" target="_blank">two gallons a day won't kill you</a>.</p> <h3>23. Look at What the Rest of the World Eats</h3> <p>Next time you're heading to the grocery store, first look at these pictures of a<a href="http://blogs.oxfam.ca/blogs/grow/7-photos-reveal-what-families-eat-in-one-week"> week's worth of food for families around the world</a>, taken by Oxfam. It just might help you realize you don't need to pile the cart high to enjoy nutritious meals.</p> <h3>24. Layer Your Discounts</h3> <p>It's not just about finding sale prices and coupons. These days, grocery stores also offer occasional basket coupons in their ads or by email, allowing customers to save $50 off a $50 purchase, or so. Then there are the benefits that come after you buy, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advanced-grocery-deals-catalinas" target="_blank">Catalina coupons</a>, which print out after you pay and can take $1, $5, or more off your next purchase when you buy select items. Some stores, especially Target, are also offering store gift cards if you purchase certain items.</p> <p>If you really want to save, combine a coupon, a sale price, a Catalina offer, and a basket coupon all in one trip.</p> <h3>25. Skim the Best Deals Off the Top</h3> <p>Every store offers a limited number of &quot;loss leaders&quot; each week. &quot;Loss leaders&quot; are the deals so good the store may be losing money on them. Their plan is to use these discounts to draw you into the store, where you will proceed to pay full price for lots of other stuff. You can thwart their plan by stocking up on the loss leaders without buying the full-priced stuff. The key is to stock up on whatever's on sale each week, and then next week you can draw on your stockpile in the freezer and pantry to avoid having to buy those things at full price.</p> <p><em>How are you saving money on your grocery bill?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Trader Joes vs. Costco: What&#039;s a Better Place to Shop?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping affordable food Bulk buying grocery budget lower grocery bill Thu, 07 Mar 2013 11:24:32 +0000 Carrie Kirby 967858 at https://www.wisebread.com