Are you trying to cut down debt by saving money on food? Maybe you’re stockpiling for a down payment and realizing all those takeout bills are really adding up. No matter the reason, most people can benefit from a few simple food and dining overhauls to save money and feel better about eating habits. Here are some of our favourites:
Eat at home and cook from scratch. This one seems obvious, but preparing your own meals and cooking from scratch (like making chicken soup instead of buying it in a can) can cut down your meal expenses significantly. Buy a cookbook or find some recipes online and enjoy the experience of trying new things. If preparing meals from scratch is too much to handle on a daily basis, designate one night a week as takeout night and use the rest of your week to make your own meals.
Limit meat and dairy. Plant-based meals are not just better for the environment, but they also tend to be cheaper. Swapping out your soft cheese and sirloin steaks can make a big difference when it comes to your grocery bill.
Use everything. As human beings, we can be pretty wasteful. But using a whole chicken (roasting, using leftovers for sandwiches and making stock from the carcass) is a much more mindful and budget-friendly way of consuming food. It also goes without saying that when you’re on a budget, leftovers are your friend.
Be frugal about going out. If you find that you just can’t cut out the odd restaurant trip, there are still ways to be savvy when it comes to budgeting. For example, take advantage of happy hour and head out for a cocktail before making dinner at home. Instead of paying for delivery, order ahead and pick up your food on your way home from work.
Saving money on food and dining doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself. With a different mindset and strategy, you can still enjoy delicious food, a nutritious diet and even a night out once in a while.