How to Save Money and Stretch Your Food Budget
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How to Save Money and Stretch Your Food Budget

save money on weekly food bills

With the economy in the state that it's in, it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to eat a healthy diet while staying within their weekly food budget. Knowing how to shop and what to shop for can ease the strain of a struggling economy and make the most of your weekly food budget.


The first rule to saving money on groceries is to stock up on non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables, pasta sauces, beans, evaporated milk, canned fish and condiments. These items have a very long shelf life, so they are perfect to stock up on, and buying cans in bulk and staying stocked up means not having to pay full price when you need them. For example if your family uses two cans of baked beans each week at $0.89 each, make it a habit to buy several when you see them on sale for $0.49 - $0.59 each. That is only 30 - 40 cents per week savings, but it adds up to between $41.60 - $52.00 per year. Just for baked beans. Imagine the total savings per year if all of your canned goods were purchased at reduced prices.

Stocking up on meats and produce that is on sale is a good idea, too, as long as it is stored properly once you get it home.

  • Hot dogs and  packaged cold cuts will stay fresh until they reach their expiration date if you don`t open them. After they are opened, store in an airtight baggy and use as soon as possible.
  • Roasts, steaks, chops and ground meats should be removed from their store packaging, re-wrapped and frozen immediately.
  • Before freezing vegetables, always blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds, then put them directly into very cold water. Frozen vegetables that are not blanched will often break down because their natural juices freeze and cause ice crystals to form. Blanching prevents this problem.
  • Always cut the tops from all root vegetables off before storing. Leaving them on will allow the tops to continue to draw valuable nutrients from the edible roots.
  • Raw fruits tend to lose their vitamins when kept at room temperature, but tropical fruits can spoil very quickly when they are stored in the cold.


The second rule to saving money on groceries is to avoid so-called convenience foods. Spending too much money on food is not convenient. You pay for excess packaging and the products are usually far more expensive than their traditional counterparts. For example a 300 gram bag of cheese can cost as much as $6.00 and a 500 gram bar usually costs about $4.00. It is not a lot of work to get the bar and shred it into a zip-lock bag. Other convenience foods to avoid are TV dinners, single-serve juice boxes and pre-chopped fruits and vegetables.

It is important to remember that the grocery store is not the only place to cut the cost of food. What you do with the food can be a big money saver too. Chicken breasts with the bone in cost about half what boneless, skinless breast cost. Take the meat off of the bone yourself and use the bones for a delicious soup base for another meal. You will have paid half the amount and gotten two meals instead of one. Use your imagination and save!

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Comments (1)

Great advice and article!