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5 Small Ways to Save on Food Costs

Posted By Jessica Fisher On June 5, 2014 @ 8:51 pm In Budget Living,Frugal Friday | 31 Comments

5 Small Ways to Save on Food Costs

We’re trimming the sails this month. We got another hit from the Money Pit aka our rental property in Missouri. The previous tenants trashed the place and now we’re unloading thousands of dollars in repairs on a house we don’t want in a town where we don’t live.

So, it’s beans and rice for this house — and all kinds of other ways, big or small, to cut costs. Here are five ways that I’m saving money in the kitchen:

1. Cook simpler meals at home.

Wherever possible, I’m trying to avoid eating out. Kids’ birthdays get a pass as do certain days when craziness trumps all else. But, for my birthday, we cooked and ate at home. When not cooking for the cookbook, I’m trying to prepare simpler meals with fewer ingredients. 

5 Small Ways to Save on Food Costs

2. Purchase spices in small plastic bags or in bulk.

Most of the time I buy large containers of spices at Costco. But, Costco doesn’t always have big containers of the spices I want. Since I need them really fresh for recipe testing, I fell into the practice of buying small jars. At some grocery stores these run $5 to 10, but at Sprouts they are a bargain at about $3.50.

This week when I needed to replenish a couple different ones, I found the small packets of spices for $1.25ish. Boom. Saved a couple bucks right there.

5 Small Ways to Save on Food Costs

3. Pack milk and cereal for lunch.

FishPapa has been grabbing lunch out for about a year or so now. He never spends a ton — but it’s that little bright spot in a crazy day of work. Lately to curb costs, he’s been buying a half gallon of milk and packing a few boxes of cereal to take to work. Supplemented with fresh fruit, he’s got a mid-day meal that costs about a buck a serving, if that.

Cereal is one of his comfort foods, so he doesn’t mind it, and co-workers have joined him so it’s serving as a community builder, too.

5 Small Ways to Save on Food Costs

4. Buy in bulk from Amazon.

Recently, I found out that I could get some regular grocery purchases for cheaper on Amazon [4] — with free shipping. I ordered a case of rice cakes and am rationing them so we don’t eat the whole box in a week. We’re saving a few bucks and it’s one less thing for me to go buy.

5 Small Ways to Save on Food Costs

5. Back to beans.

Beans and rice make a great meal. Cooking beans from dried [5] instead of buying cans is much cheaper. Beans are back on the table, boys!

These aren’t the most brilliant ways to save, nor are they saving us thousands, but every little bit helps. 

5 Small Ways to Save on Food Costs

This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

How have YOU saved money recently?

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[4] regular grocery purchases for cheaper on Amazon: http://lifeasmom.com/2014/01/grocery-shopping-on-amazon.html

[5] Cooking beans from dried: http://goodcheapeats.com/2014/03/healthier-refried-beans/

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