If you’re interested in saving money, the first changes you make should be at home. There are a million and one things that you can do to cut back on your expenses, but if you really want to make the most effective changes, you should look not only on cutting back on obvious extravagances, but also at saving money on your everyday essentials. Food is something that you aren’t going to be able to cut back on when your bank balance is looking a little low, so finding ways to save money on your weekly shopping trip should be at the top of your list of things to do.
One of the best ways to save money on your food shopping is to start cooking from scratch rather than buying ready meals. A lot of people think this will actually end up costing more money, but I’ve recently found that I can save about $20 every week by doing it.
I’m vegetarian, but I regularly buy in meat from my local butcher for my boyfriend’s meals (he refuses to go veggie), so I know how expensive it can be. But when it comes to buying meat, the main thing to remember is value for money.
A lot of the meat you get in ready meals isn’t that great – I’m constantly listening to my boyfriend complain about how fatty the bacon is in the ready made pasta carbonara he likes. If you buy your meat from a butcher, either the supermarket one or a local one, you’ll get to see exactly how much meat you’re getting and can even split it up and freeze one half for later. I do this whenever my butcher has a deal on – he usually sells certain meats at low prices and I’ll buy lots of it to keep in my freezer.
When it comes to vegetables, buying your ingredients separately really is cheaper, especially if you buy in season. Buying veg that’s out of season will always cost you more, because it’ll need to be grown in a special environment that costs the grower more in energy, or it will have been flown in from another country, so the prices are higher to account for the travel costs.
Not only that, you can get the proper nutritional benefit of your veg by buying stuff that’s supposed to be grown at this time of year. The vegetables get these nutrients from the ground, and different ones are released into the soil throughout the year. Fresh, seasonal veg is what nature intended, and you can always freeze what you don’t think you’ll be able to finish in one week. Do you buy fresh, seasonal produce or rely on ready meals ?
About the author: Guest post written by Charlotte Watson on behalf of Payday Express