Sunday, September 21, 2014

Money Saving Tips: How to Reduce Food Costs (Part 2)

Part 1 is HERE

#8 Keep a few frozen dinners on hand.  
I know this goes against "make as much as possible from scratch," but there are always those times when you do not want to or have time to defrost a pre-made dinner and you just feel out of options.  Having a couple of frozen dinners on hand is still cheaper than going out to eat.  I am partial to Walmart's finest frozen dinners.  They are pretty good (Chicken Korma is my personal favourite) and at $2.49 a pop in Canada it's not a bad deal when you're in a lurch.

# 9 Beware of beverages.
The cost of drinks (even non-alcoholic ones) adds up very fast.  In our house we drink milk, water (tap), tea, and sometimes orange juice.  I keep a bit of pop on hand for company or for when I want the odd Coca Cola with lime, but we don't buy it regularly.  Simply Lemonade and Pure Leaf Iced Tea are two drinks I love - but they are bought as a treat and not on my regular shopping list.  If you start tracking what you spend on drinks you will realize how quickly this stuff adds up.

#10 Get a Crock Pot
If you want to reduce the cost of groceries but for whatever reason you do not have time to cook a meal at night - invest in a Crock Pot and learn how to use it.  These are a time-saving, money saving, sanity saving wonder.  Working moms love the Crock Pot.

#11 Summer Storage
We eat a lot of fruit in our house, both fresh, in baking and in smoothies.  I pick a great deal of my own fruit in the summer and freeze it.  I also do a lot of canning.  Often this is definitely cheaper than buying frozen fruit in the store, however Costco does have pretty reasonable prices on frozen fruit so you need to know your prices and figure out what works best for you.

#12 Maximize Reward Points
There are many great reward programs out there.  I try to maximize my rewards when grocery shopping.  My two favourite reward programs are Shopper's Optimum and the BMO World Elite MasterCard (both of these are only in Canada).

BONUS:  Keep restaurant coupons in your car.  There will be those days where you just end up eating out,  It happens.  When I get coupons in the mail (especially from McDonald's because I secretly love their Signature McWraps as well as the McCaf√©) I immediately put them in my car.  This way, they are always with me and at least if I find myself in a drive-thru I know I am saving a bit of money.

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