How to cut food costs


Budget getting out of control? Take a look at these ideas for saving money on groceries, while at the same time helping your health.
1. Learn to cook. It’s easy! Healthful meals are very basic and simple to prepare, with a few general principles to guide you. And there’s lots of online help these days, with step-by-step recipes, tips, and more.
2. Take fewer trips to the grocery store. We all do “impulse buying” at the market, spending an average of $10 extra per trip. So if you shop once per week, instead of three times, that will save about $20 per week right there – or $80+ per month.
3. Break up the restaurant routine. Go out for dinner once a week, instead of three times. If your meals average $20 per time, you will save $160 per month.
4. Pack your own lunch for work. By spending about $3 per lunch instead of the $6 average that “buying out” costs, you will save at least $60 per month.
5. Buy healthful foods cheaper.
– We always recommend the local farmers’ market for organic or “no-chemicals” produce. Ask questions about the farming practices, and choose your vendors carefully.
– Vitamin City in north Long Beach usually has lower prices than other health food stores or markets.
– When you can, buy in bulk any items that you will totally use up.
6. Make leftovers count. Most Americans waste about 14% of their food purchases of meat, fruit, vegetables, and grain products. That alone adds up to an average of at least $600 per year per family! Tips to avoid this:

– Make sure to purchase only what you will use

– Refrigerate your leftovers as soon as they are lukewarm, and use them within couple of days as a casserole or hash (They will normally keep well for up to a week, but it’s easy to forget about them!) Re-heat gently.

– Don’t get hung up on “use by” dates. Those are placed by the food producers, and they do a great job of guaranteeing repeat business! Most canned or packaged foods are fine after those dates.
7. Re-visit the snack issue. Making your own snacks, drinking water more often, and cutting down on the number of times you “munch” every day will all give you mega-savings!
Saving money AND eating more healthfully – it’s a win-win situation!
We’d love to know your favorite money-saving tips. Write us back to share your suggestions, or call us at (562) 861-3896.

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