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Professor Pig is an expert at financial planning, but did you know he’s a connoisseur in the kitchen too? He knows that careful planning, thoughtful recipes, strategic shopping, and preparation are the keys to success. Read on for simple ways to save money in the kitchen!
Saving money in the kitchen begins with careful planning. Start by identifying how much of your monthly budget can be allocated to groceries and commit to staying within that budget.
SmartyPigs opt for healthy, home-cooked meals because they are cost-effective. Create a weekly menu around seasonal produce and strategic use of more expensive ingredients like meat.
Planning meals around seasonal items and frequenting the local farmer’s markets is a great way to eat healthily and stay within your budget. Better yet, start a garden and cultivate your favorite herbs, greens, and vegetables!
A handful of nutritious and exciting meals don’t have to hog your entire budget. Organize a menu for a week or two at a time that includes meals with similar ingredients to reduce your grocery bill. Focus on basics like ground beef, potatoes, beans, pasta, and eggs for various economical meals. Stretch expensive ingredients like meat for more than one meal. For example, roast a chicken for one dinner, make a broth from the bones, and use any leftovers sandwiches!
Keep portion sizes reasonable and add fillers like potatoes, lentils, and beans to make the most of your meals. One-dish or skillet meals can deliver the nutrition of meat and vegetables in a simple and economical way. Meatless Mondays are a great way to reduce costs and improve your health! Don’t let anything go to waste. Save leftovers for the basis of another meal or put an entire serving in the freezer for a night that you’re not in the mood to cook.
Before you head to the store, take a thorough inventory. Make sure you’re using the food you have on hand. Check your grocery list against your refrigerator and pantry to ensure you aren’t buying duplicates.
When you hoof it over to the grocery, stick to your shopping list. Don’t let the tempting displays make you stray from your plan! If your store offers free curbside pickup, ordering online may be a better idea and help you stick to your list.
Root out the best deals for items on your list by looking for coupons in the in-store circular or online. Over the past year, many retailers have improved their apps and offer digital coupons and combo deals. Word to the wise: don’t buy something just because you see a coupon or discount. If it’s not on your list, it doesn’t fit into this week’s plan! Check out the weekly deals at more than one store to take advantage of all the sale prices.
Pigs have a great sense of smell and can sense a good deal! Look for larger economy packages of meat or cheese to save money. Generic or store brands are a great alternative: they are typically from the same factory and are more economical. Save even more money by chopping your fruits and vegetables at home and avoiding pre-packaged produce. Frozen fruits and vegetables an economical alternative and contain the same nutrients.
Once you have your menu planned and ingredients purchased, spend an afternoon preparing for the week ahead. Make it a family activity and get the piglets to help! Prepping ingredients or cooking portions in advance makes dinner easier all week long.
Fruit, vegetables, and meat all freeze well when done correctly. Start by washing and allowing the produce to dry thoroughly. You can freeze raw fruit without any preparation in a single layer on a cookie sheet. However, when it comes to vegetables, it is best to blanch or thoroughly cook them before freezing. Avoid putting hot food like meat or leftovers straight into the freezer. Ensure packages are sealed tightly and ensure everything is clearly labeled and well-organized to make finding things a breeze. Finally, keep an inventory of the ingredients or leftovers in your freezer so you can get meals on the table in record time while ensuring you make good use of the food you already have!
Hopefully, these simple tips made you squeal with joy! Be like Professor Pig and take your methods for exceptional financial planning into the kitchen to save money and reach your financial goals faster!