8 Ways to Save Money on Food
Americans love to eat, whether it’s a home-cooked meal or a night at out a restaurant. It’s easier to stop at a restaurant or fast food joint than it is to cook, but it doesn’t always save you money. Here are some tips to save the most money on food, whether it’s cooking at home or dining at a restaurant.
8. Buy in bulk
If you decide to eat in, buy nonperishable items like canned foods and cereal in larger quantities. Most grocery stores offer you a discount when you purchase large amounts of the same item. If you have the freezer space, buy meats and even produce in bulk to save even more.
7. Use Coupons
I know this sounds redundant, as this has been a suggestion give to consumers for the past century, but it saves you money. You can shop the newspaper ads on Sunday or find coupons in your local grocery store. Grocery stores offer weekly savings to customers for buying certain items. You can save a dollar on one item or even by multiple items and get a few items free. Some grocery stores, like HEB offer a Meal Deal, where you get side items free when purchasing meat.
6. Buy Generic
Buying generic will almost always save you money, even with coupons for brand items. If you aren’t brand loyal, choose the product with the best price. Most generic items are of equal or sometimes better quality than their brand counterpart.
5. In-Season Produce
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables while they are in season to save money. Check out our Best Time to Buy guides for a list of in-season fruits and vegetables.
4. Mark Downs
Look for products that are going to expire and have been marked down. Looking for products like salad and perishable items that are near their expiration date can save you money. Be sure to look for the red label with the markdown price and if there is not one and the date is nearing, ask your cashier for a discount.
3. Only Buy on Special
Whether you’re dining out or cooking at home, buy items that are on special. Keeping an eye out for bargains, whether it’s at a grocery store or restaurant, will always save you money.
2. Schedule Smart
Schedule days when to dine in and when to eat out based on sales and specials. Many restaurants offer happy hours and weekday specials so find out when the best deals are and schedule around them to save the most money. Cook at home on weekends when there are fewer specials.
1. Ask Around
Talk with your friends and family about their eating habits. Finding out what others are doing to save money can help you save. Being able to gain support from others will assist you with achieving your goals. By merely asking questions and being curious about their eating habits, it can lead to a change in yours.