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|Roy Sperr Jason Walters and Shawn Hunter
Equity Source Mortgage, Inc.
Phone: Roy (763) 657-2012
Phone: Shawn (763) 657-2017
8 Ways to Spend Less on Food
Add it up. The first step in solving any budget issue is to track your expenses for at least a month to find out where you're spending. Make things easy with a budgeting app or use the same credit or debit card for all food purchases, and then check your statement at the end of the month. If your budget is out of balance, eating out or buying prepared foods (or pricey ingredients) are usually the culprit.
Plan with your pantry. Eating food already sitting in your cabinet is a great way to save money right away. Staples and dry goods like rice, beans, pastas and canned goods can form the basis for a balanced dish. Then look for local sale items for meat and fresh vegetables to round out the meal.
Purchase quality containers. Packing lunches for school or work will save your family money but requires containers that have a tight seal, can be heated safely in the microwave and are reusable.
Pass on prepackaged portions. Individual serving-size items like yogurt, cheese sticks, snack meals and chip bags are convenient but pricey. Buy bigger items and portion them yourself using those new reusable containers!
Stockpile on sales. Smart shoppers stretch their budgets by leveraging sale items, closeouts and coupons. If you've got room to store extra food, buying more can be a smart move. Sales often run on 12-week cycles, so buy a three-month supply to last until the next sale of similar items.
Use your freezer. Rather than buying meat each week, save more per pound buying a half-hog or a quarter-cow and freezing the meat. Check with butcher shops and local farms to find out where the deals are.
Join a CSA share. Buy local, seasonal food directly from growers through Community Supported Agriculture or CSA share. You'll pay a lump sum at the beginning of the season, however, the cost is often less than you'd pay for produce at a farmer's market or grocery store. Plus, you'll get a box of the freshest, seasonal fruits and veggies each week.
Prep on Sunday. Avoid the last-minute drive-through lunch or dinner by preparing food in advance for your busy week. Hard-boiled eggs, rice, pasta and chicken are easy to make ahead, refrigerate and then use to pull together a meal in less time.
Try implementing a few of these tips now, and you'll be amazed at how much you can save!
Sources: Forbes, Money Talks News
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