If your food costs are getting out of control, you need to do something to bring them back to a level that will fit within your budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to save money in this area. These are our five of our favorite tips for saving money on your food budget.
1. Make your breakfast ahead of time. Cold cereal can get boring, but going out for bacon and eggs can get expensive. Instead of spending a lot of time in the morning making your own, use your muffin tin to create bacon and egg cups in bulk. Layer strips of bacon in the bottom of each cup, then crack an egg on the top. Bake the tin on 350 for about 15 minutes. You can freeze them and microwave them in the morning in seconds.
2. Use coupons. Look for coupons for stores such as 7 Eleven and other lesser-known grocery stores. Often, you can save a lot in places you normally wouldn’t shop. Smaller stores tend to offer really good deals on items they don't sell as frequently in order to attract new customers to their stores.
3. Make your baked goods last longer. This is especially important if you are living by yourself. Placing a piece of bread on top of a cake can help to absorb moisture in the air and prevents the cake from drying out. If you're not planning on eating your bread, buns, or cakes for a while, use your freezer instead of your fridge to store them. Freezers will preserve the moisture in your baked goods, while refrigerators tend to have high humidity, causing them to dry out. If you don't want to use your freezer, be sure to store your baked goods in a dry area. Refrigerators tend to have high humidity.
4. Learn to make your own healthy snacks. Dried fruit and items containing nuts are some of the most expensive products in the grocery store. Save money by making in-season dried fruit in your oven (use a heat setting of 150 degrees for six hours for most fruit). By nuts in bulk and make your own trail mix. It's often cheaper to buy a large bag of pecans or walnuts directly from a farmer's market then use a food processor to chop or grind them.
You might also want to consider making your own yogurt, butter, and other dairy products. Homemade versions tend to taste better and can be a lot cheaper than store bought ones.
5. Use paper towels to keep cut produce fresh. Save money by chopping items such as salad and tomatoes yourself. To keep these things fresh all week, wrap them in bowls with a lid and a paper towel. The towel will absorb excess moisture.