Since Chris and I are both obsessed with food and cooking, we can easily spend over 500 euros a month just for groceries. So for the past few months, sometimes unsuccessfully, I’ve been trying to keep a budget of 50 euros a week. Here are a few easy ways to lower your grocery bills.
1. Go meatless
As far as price goes, tofu is the cheapest complete protein you can buy. Since meat is typically the most expensive part of dinner, switching meat for tofu or leaving it out all together will automatically lower your grocery bills. Something like lasagna can be meatless and be just as good!
2. Stretch meat
If you can’t see yourself eating tofu in your stir fry instead of chicken, an easy way to save money is to stretch meat by making recipes where you need very little. Soups, dumplings, potstickers, and noodle dishes are all dinner recipes that need just 50 grams of meat per person or less!
3. Use recipes with very few ingredients
Vegetables and carbohydrates are cheap, but recipes that have ten different ingredients or more will automatically be more expensive than recipes with five ingredients or less. Keep your dinners as simple as possible.
4. Utilize your freezer
One of the biggest wastes of money in the kitchen is food waste. To avoid throwing away vegetables because they have gone moldy, use frozen vegetables as often as possible. Me and Chris buy our carrots fresh, shred them with a mandolin, and then freeze them immediately. I add the shreds of carrots to soups and stir fry for the rest of the week. Saves on prep and money! In addition, if you have leftovers or you’ve found a freezable meat or cheese on sale, put it in your freezer. But LABEL it!!!! You will be much more likely to eat last week’s spaghetti than a mystery tupperware filled with God knows what.
5. Beware of items on sale
The grocery store’s job is to get us to buy things. One huge way they do that is through impulse purchasing. When we see something on sale, we immediately think we are saving money, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, it rarely is. That super fancy bacon that went on sale is probably still twice as expensive as the normal bacon you buy. And if you’re buying something on sale that wasn’t on your list, you are automatically spending more. If you buy something on sale, just check to make sure that it’s actually saving you money, and that you and your family will actually eat it.
6. Go to the grocery store once, then STAY AWAY
Plan your meals for the week, make a list, go once, then STAY AWAY. This is where I usually fail because Chris LOVES grocery shopping, so he will make any excuse to stop at the store on the way home. Then magically other items end up in his basket. Stops on the way home can add 20 dollars to our grocery bills easily.