Hello, food lovers!
Spending too much of your pay on groceries and eating out? Feel like you’re wasting time and energy visiting the shops every night on your way home? Does this sound like you? If it does, then great you’re in the right place.
I’m here to help you get your ducks in a row so that you can not only save money on food but also get a little healthier along the way. It may sound too good to be true but read on for some super handy tips to get you started.
Order a Produce & Fruit Box
A great thing to do to get started is to order a fruit and vegetable box from a local and preferably organic farm or greengrocer. These are a great way to save money and time. In my experience, ordering a box like this has left me each week with an abundance of beautiful and fresh produce that is much cheaper than my local grocery store.
As a general rule, less time spent at the grocery store will mean less money spent overall. Think about how often you impulse buy when you’re at the store. It’s straightforward to do, isn’t it? We all do it, but if you remove yourself from that situation or at least reduce your time, thereby having your vegetables delivered to your home, you’ll end up saving money quickly.
Set Up a Meal Plan & Grocery List
The next thing to do is to get a meal planner and grocery list. These can come with a magnetic strip so you can have them on your fridge (my personal favorite) or you can get creative with a handwritten one on your chalk or whiteboard. Whatever your choice, this item is a necessity.
Pick a time to plan your meals and a day to do your grocery shop. If you shop just once a week with a scheduled list in hand, you’ll end up saving hugely on your groceries. Daily trips to the grocery store end with impulse buys, plus you never know what’s still in your fridge if you go shopping straight after work, so you’ll end up with wastage.
If you do end up going down the vegetable box delivery route, your meal planning should occur after you get your box. You often won’t know what delicious fruit and veg you’ll be getting so if you plan based on what you receive you’ll end up with less wastage, which means less money spent replacing unused items. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll increase your cooking skills as you’ll likely be cooking with a few unfamiliar items.
Prep, Cook, & Store Your Own Meals
Okay, so the next essential money-saving step is to prep your meals with one of these convention microwaves from Oven Shopper. Sure, this may sound daunting and time-consuming, but all you need to do is dedicate an hour or two on your weekend or day off to prepare a few things that you can take to work. I guarantee you’ll spend less money on lunches and coffees when you’re at work.
Recipes like a vegetable-heavy pasta bake made with your homemade sauce and whole grain pasta, or free-range roast chicken and vegetables that accompany a beautiful green salad, are just a few examples of easy meals with high yields; perfect for keeping you going for the week.
You can freeze these containers, so it’s perfect if you want to make a batch of soup and freeze it in portions for the end of the week if your chicken and salad runs out.
Want something super low effort? Preparing a few hams, cheese and tomato sandwiches, freezing them and toasting them up in the work sandwich press can be the perfect thing to stop you from indulging in a bought lunch.
Making your meals like this will not only be cheaper but healthier as you can control how much salt and sugar go into everything.
Additional Saving Tip
A reusable travel cup for coffee is not only good for the environment (not-so-fun fact: coffee cups can’t be recycled), but it’ll allow you to save your dollars if you prepare your coffee at home. Many of us have a Nespresso machine or some coffee maker, so make your own and bring it to work in a travel cup. It’ll be cheaper, and those horrendously long Starbucks queues will be a thing of the past.