By Carolanne M. Chavanne, CFP
Are you looking for ways to save money? Maybe you have decided that you will eat out less, and that’s great. But, how are you going to make sure that your at-home cooking is really saving you the money you are hoping for? Meal prepping is all the rage and for a good reason. Not only can prepping your meals at home ahead of time be more cost-effective, it can also save you time and promote a healthier, more balanced diet.1 Following these five foodie tips when meal prepping planning will help you remain in budget and eliminate a growing grocery bill.
1. Buy Produce That is in Season
Not only are seasonal fruits and vegetables tastier, but they are cheaper too! Your wallet will thank you for buying what is in season. Add some extra in-season veggies to protein meals such as chili to add some extra fiber (and taste).
2. Buy Staple Food Items in Bulk
Keeping your pantry stocked full of things you know you will frequently need to make meals is a great way to save money. Find a good sale on cans of beans or olive oil? Great! Stock up on as much as you think is necessary. Not only is it convenient for you to have things on hand, but it saves you money too.
3. Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market
Visiting your local farmer’s market is not only a fun activity, but it is also a great way to get locally grown produce at a great price. Consider making it a weekly event with your family to gather up all the produce you’ll need to make your meals for the week. Trust us, you’ll have a great time and also feel better about giving back to supporting your local farmers and community.
4. Search for The Best Price
Are you guilty of buying ingredients for your meals at the store that is the most convenient for you? We all are. But, taking the time to thoroughly research the most cost-effective place to buy groceries and ingredients for your meals will be a surefire way to help you save money. You will be proud of yourself for seeking out the best store to buy your ingredients when you see how much you saved!
5. Put Your Leftovers to Use
The best (and easiest) way to save money on meals is to take your leftovers and repurpose them to make a new meal. Whether this is taking your leftover mashed potatoes from the night before and frying them into potato patties, or making banana bread or muffins with some extra ripe bananas instead of throwing them away; you will always save money from using what you already have in your kitchen. Remember, nothing needs to be wasted! You can find a way to repurpose everything.
It’s important to remember that saving money with meal prepping can be fun! Find fun ways to save money on groceries with your family and enjoy the challenge of spending less on meals. These tips are a great place to start to help you keep more money in the bank!
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