Are you looking for ways to cut back on living expenses? The need to save money is real for many of us! I’ve been there myself…more than once! Everyone goes through tight times and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that tough times teach us to be better stewards of our money. We learn things in those times we wouldn’t learn any other way.
That being said, it’s never very easy. Many a time I’ve browsed the internet, searching for ideas that would help me save a bit here and a bit there. And today, I want to add my own personal experiences to your list. Here are the top 8 ways I’ve saved money in the kitchen.
8 Ways to Save Money
I practice each and every one of these skills in seasons of plenty and few. Why? Because they work and usually, contribute to not only the pocketbook but also my mental or physical health. These things work. And if they work for me, I’m willing to wager some of them can work for you!
Hang onto your apron and let’s go!
#1-Create a Monthly Grocery Budget
It’s difficult to save money in the kitchen if you don’t have a monthly (or even bi-weekly) grocery budget! Take 30 minutes to look over previous bank statements. Find your monthly grocery average. And then, create a frugal, but sustainable grocery budget.
This was the key thing that helped me stay on course! Pulling the allotted money from our bank account at the beginning of each month, I’d store it in a little tin container. And if I spent it too soon? I refused to draw out more! Instead, I’d create meals from supplies that were already in our home.
I have to say…there’s something unique about buying with cash. Watching your stash diminish makes you think before you buy. And the reward is real when you have savings at the end of the month. I encourage you to give it a try!
#3-Cook Simple, Wholesome Meals
If you don’t already cook most of your meals at home, I highly recommend making this change slowly, but steadily!
When it came to saving money through home cooking, I learned something important. I realized I needed to stop viewing food as a luxury and instead, begin seeing it as a necessity. I made a point of creating meals that were simple, hearty and wholesome.
If this mentality lowered my grocery costs, I bet it can do the same for you!
#4-Purchase In Bulk
If you want to save money in the kitchen, find a bulk food supplier in your area. Your local grocery store usually isn’t the best place to buy staple ingredients like rice, oil, beans and lentils, rolled oats, whole grains, natural sweeteners, etc. Most of the time, not even their best sales compare to the saving you’ll get with bulk food purchases.
So find yourself a supplier! And then? Go ahead and buy in bulk!
#5-Stock the Pantry
Once you’ve found a bulk food supplier, try to lay in at least 6 months worth of goods. Maybe even aim for a year! And then? Make a point of planning meals from what you have.
Keep record of your bulk food purchases and how quickly you use up each item. It’ll help you be more accurate next time you lay up supplies!
#6-Raise, Glean and Forage
Learning to DIY in the food department will save you so much money! Instead of paying someone else to raise your meat, herbs and vegetables, learn to raise a portion of these things yourself!
If you’re stuck in a living situation where you can’t grow fruit trees, nuts and berries, you might be able to glean these things from the good folks of your community. While we raise lots of our own food, I still glean apples, plums and grapes from friends and neighbors in our valley!
When you’re willing to work and want a cheap way to get your hands on healthy food, I recommend practicing these 3 things!
#7-Harvesting and Preserving Food In Season
Whether you raise it yourself, glean, forage or harvest from a local U-pick, make a point of putting up food when it’s in season (aka the cheapest). Between canning and freezing, root cellaring techniques, dehydrating and fermenting, you can significantly lower your grocery bill!
#8-Turn Saving Into a Game
Instead of spending everything you budgeted for in the grocery department, start making a game of it. See if you can get by on less. If you have money leftover at the end of the month, it means you won! You beat the ol’ budget!
I always chose to set that money aside for bulk food purchases the following year! Whether you forward it or put it into savings, it feels good!
So There You Have It!
I discovered I could make a difference in our finances by better managing the kitchen. While it isn’t easy, it certainly has it’s reward! And even though we’ve reached our financial goals and our budget is looser today, I still practice these 8 ways you can save money in the kitchen. Because they’re worth holding onto!