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Dinner is an important meal, and it is usually the largest one of the day. As a result, preparing dinner for the family can get expensive. If you are interested in saving money while still providing quality food for your family, you should take a look at these seven money saving tips.
You will want to plan your meals a week at a time. This means on Sunday or Monday, you take some time to sketch out what you will be cooking each night of the week.
This way you can make one shopping trip a week (or every two weeks if you can), and that will help you save money because you’re less likely to make impulse buys (because you’re in the store less often) or to overbuy (because you know what you’re cooking).
Miss T: We do this very process once every two weeks. We pick 30 minute or less recipes that we can cook during the week and we schedule them in the calendar. We write down what ingredients we need and this plans out our grocery shop. It has become a very efficient process and our wallets and health have thanked us.
Meat can get expensive, but there are ways to reduce costs and still keep the protein in your diet. For example, you can choose inexpensive cuts of meat, such as a ground beef instead of a filet. You can also go with chicken, and you can even buy whole chickens, which can be deboned, and cooked. You can even use the bones to make homemade chicken stock.
You can also try out some inexpensive fish like tilapia every once in a while.
When it comes to vegetables, you will want to buy things that are in season. Even though your grocery store will have just about everything all the time, some vegetable prices vary throughout the year. You can look up the vegetable seasons for your area of the country and try to buy those vegetables when you can.
If you want try canning vegetables, tomatoes are especially easy. Canned vegetables can be used when the vegetables are not available or when they are not in season (and more expensive).
Make Vegetarian Dishes
Vegetarian dishes are often less expensive than meat based dishes simply because vegetables are less expensive than meat. To cut costs, you should try to work a vegetarian dish into your dinner schedule once or twice a week.
You can make dishes like vegetable fajitas or primavera pasta. For more, great vegetarian dish ideas, check out this site – http://vegetarian.betterrecipes.com/vegetariandinnerrecipes.html
Miss T: Apart from the health benefits we have reduced our food bill by 25% or more as a result of going vegetarian.
Rice, Beans, and Pasta
These three items are staples that you can buy in bulk and add in to a number of dinner recipes. They are inexpensive and healthy, and when you buy them in bulk you can save even more money.
Tip – You will want to buy dried beans instead of canned ones because they are much less expensive. They are also lower in sodium and you can cook them in a crock pot which frees up your time.
Cut Out Soda and other Processed Drinks
Soda and other processed drinks can be expensive if you buy a lot of them. Instead, you can buy tea in bulk, including hot teas and iced tea. Also, water and milk are cheaper and healthier than soda.
Make Homemade Desserts
Instead of buying premade items, you can make desserts once a week (or more or less). You can also try making things that will last a few days like cakes or cookies so that you do not have to bake as often. Ingredients for these items are much cheaper (and even healthier) than the premade desserts.