Grocery shopping, food preparation, and going out to eat are all part of our daily lives and can significantly impact a budget. We’ve compiled a list of tips that won’t make you sacrifice delicious meals or significantly alter your lifestyle, but will help you rethink how you prepare your meals each week.

  1. Double the recipe to save time and money. The next time you decide to make a lasagna or your favorite recipe, double it up and freeze the leftovers for another day when you are too busy to cook. You will be able to use the ingredients in your home more efficiently and you’ll have less waste.
  2. Substitute meat for other forms of protein. Meat can be pricey, so substitute meat for other forms of protein such as peanut butter, eggs, and beans.
  3. When you do buy meat, buy it in bulk. A whole rotisserie chicken can go a long way. If you pull it apart, you can make multiple meals such as chicken pot pie, chicken noodle soup, and chicken salad for lunch. If you buy beef in bulk, just divide it into reasonable portions and freeze it for future use.
  4. Pack your lunch. On average, going out to lunch costs around $10 a day while making your lunch at home could cost you as little as $3 a day. You could be saving more than $1,800 a year by packing your own lunch, which could make a great emergency fund. You won’t regret eating in when a kitchen appliance decides to break down or the furnace needs repairs because you will be financially prepared.
  5. Buy frozen veggies and fruits. This is a great way to avoid wasting fruits and vegetables that go bad so quickly. Another option is to purchase fruits and veggies in bulk when they are in season and freeze them for the winter time when fruit can be costly.
  6. Shop by unit price. When you are comparing the same products in the grocery store, make sure you are looking at the cost per unit of each item. This will tell you which product is the better deal when the weights of two similar products differ.
  7. Plan your meals in advance and stick to a grocery list when shopping. You hear this over and over, but it’s because it really helps people save! When you stick to your grocery list, you buy less and spend less – it’s really that simple.

Give these simple solutions a try to see how they can significantly help your budget.