Being on a budget doesn’t mean your taste buds have to suffer. A few tips and tricks can be really helpful in saving you money, and keeping your meals tasty. MyPlate offers 10 great tips. Check them out!
One of my favorite ways to save is to go back to the basics. Although convenience items might save you some time, convenience has a cost. With a little planning you can cut out some of those extra costs. It can be as simple as setting aside a little time each week for food prep. To illustrate how much money I could save, I compared a few food items from my local grocery store that are commonly eaten in my household.
A 3 pound bag of baby carrots costs $3.69. A 5 pound bag of regular carrots costs $2.99. I’ll save $0.70 by buying the regular carrots, plus walk way with 2 more pounds! Overall, it is a savings of $0.63 per pound.
A 13 ounce container of mixed fruit (strawberries, cantaloupe, and grapes), all cut up and ready to go, costs $5.00. If I bought the fruit separately, I would spend $6.21. Although I would be spending more, I would end up with 48 ounces of fruit rather than 13! That’s a savings of $4.08 per pound.
Broccoli & Cauliflower
A 12 ounce bag of broccoli and cauliflower florets is $1.99. Broccoli itself is $1.29 per pound and cauliflower is $1.99 per pound. I’ll spend more by buying a pound of each, but overall it will cost $1.01 less per pound.
The loaf of wheat bread my family prefers is on sale for $1.99. Not a bad price! If I were to buy all the ingredients to make my own wheat bread, I would spend $12.19. However, those ingredients would make 11 loaves of bread with some ingredients left over. In the long run, the homemade bread is a better buy with a savings of about $0.70 per loaf.
Let’s add it all up. Shopping for convenience I would spend $12.67 on the items listed above. I would end up with just under 4 pounds of veggies, less than 1 pound of fruit, and 1 loaf of bread. If I take the convenience out of it, I would spend $24.67 and end up with 7 pounds of veggies, 3 pounds of fruit, and 11 loaves of bread. It’s twice the money, but so much more food!
The flip side is the extra time I would need to make my food items more convenient. Thirty to forty-five minutes set aside each week would be plenty to wash, peel, and chop my fruit and veggies. Placed in a large storage container or divided up into individual portions, they become convenient to grab as needed.
Although homemade bread may take a bit to rise and bake, actually making the dough is quick and easy. Once the dough is made, you can complete other chores around the house, or even put your feet up and rest, while the bread rises and bakes.
Basic Whole Wheat Bread is a really simple and delicious bread recipe you can try. Baking has never been my forte and even I can’t mess up this recipe!Take some time this week to think about food items you generally buy. Ask yourself if the cost you are paying for convenience is really worth it. In the meantime, try a slice of Basic Whole Wheat and check out the other tips offered by MyPlate. Enjoy!