Using coupons in combination with sales and discounts can be an effective way to save money on groceries.
Organizing coupons like the extreme savers on TV isn’t necessary. All you need is a simple and efficient system.
You can use online coupon websites such as RetailMeNot or Coupons.com to discover coupons for products you frequently purchase or want to test out.
Using apps such as Ibotta or Checkout 51 can help you with grocery spending and receive cash back for your purchases.
You can also enroll in loyalty programs offered by your preferred grocery stores to receive exclusive coupons and deals.
You have the option to use mobile applications such as Flipp or ShopSavvy to compare prices and locate the most favorable deals at various retail stores.
3. Batch cook meals for the freezer
Cooking meals in large quantities at once, also known as batch cooking, is a practical technique for reducing grocery expenses and kitchen workload.
This refers to the process of cooking and storing a large batch of meals in advance for future consumption by freezing them.
By using bulk buying, purchasing seasonal produce, and taking advantage of sales, you can avoid the temptation of ordering takeout or eating out when you are feeling too busy or tired to cook.
To have meals on hand, cooking in large batches and freezing them is a good idea.
Soups, stews, casseroles, lasagnas, curries, chili, meatballs, burgers, burritos, and muffins are some of the best options to consider.
For easy meal prep, you can freeze cooked rice, beans, pasta, sauces, stocks, and bread.
For efficient batch cooking, ensure that you have sufficient freezer bags, containers, labels, and freezer space.
To find recipes and tips for batch cooking, you may also utilize resources such as Once a Month Meals or The Kitchen online.
4. Opt for meat-free meals
Reducing the amount of meat you buy can lead to significant savings on your grocery bill since it is usually one of the pricier items.
Incorporating more meat-free meals into your weekly menu does not require you to become a vegetarian or vegan.
It’s easy to make budget-friendly, nutritious, and tasty meals without meat.
Here are some examples of dishes you can make using vegetarian ingredients: lentil soup, bean chili, vegetable curry, tofu stir-fry, mushroom risotto, cheese quesadillas, spinach lasagna, eggplant parmesan, and vegetable frittata.
To replace meat in your favorite recipes, you have the option to use meat alternatives such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, jackfruit, or plant-based meats.
Dining at restaurants is a pleasurable and easy method to relish food and bond with people, but it can negatively affect your finances if done frequently or impulsively.
Discover some of the most effective methods for saving money while dining out without compromising your experience.
1. Become a mystery diner
Mystery dining is a way to dine out at restaurants for free while having fun and enjoying yourself.
To get started, simply register with a mystery dining company such as Mystery Dining by HGEM or Market Force, and request available assignments in your locality.
You will receive payment for visiting a restaurant, ordering a meal, and completing a survey about your experience.
Typically, you will receive a refund for the amount you paid for your meal. Occasionally, a small fee may also be provided.
You need to adhere to specific guidelines and criteria when selecting your meal and composing
You will need to pay for your meal at the time of purchase and then request reimbursement afterward.
2. Brew your own beer at home
Brewing your own beer at home can be a cost-saving option for those who enjoy beer and frequently eat out.
You don’t need a large amount of equipment or space. What you need are basic ingredients such as malt extract, hops, yeast, water, and sugar.
A kit for making homemade beer is available which includes all the necessary items.
Depending on the type and quality of beer you make, it is possible to brew your own beer at home for less than one pound per pint.
You have the option to personalize your beer according to your liking and choice.
Online and book resources are available to help you with homebrewing.
Useful books include How To Brew by John Palmer and The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian.
3. Use vouchers and discounts
Using vouchers and discounts is a great way to save money when dining out.
Online websites such as Groupon and VoucherCodes offer discounts and vouchers for a range of restaurants and cuisines.
You can also use apps like Too Good To Go or Karma to buy surplus food from restaurants at discounted prices.
You can also look for vouchers and discounts in newspapers, magazines, flyers, or loyalty cards that come with your purchases.
To get exclusive offers and promotions, consider signing up for newsletters or following the social media accounts of your favorite restaurants.
4. Eat out during off-peak hours
To save more money while eating out, you can try going during off-peak hours when restaurants charge lower prices and offer more discounts.
You may also want to search for promotions such as happy hour specials, lunch deals, early bird menus, or buffet options that offer more food at lower prices.
5. Use vouchers and discounts
Another effective method of saving money when dining out is by utilizing vouchers and discounts.
Online websites such as Groupon or VoucherCodes provide discount coupons for a range of restaurants and cuisines.
To purchase leftover food from restaurants at reduced rates, you can utilize apps like Too Good To Go or Karma.
Newspapers, magazines, flyers, and loyalty cards that come with your purchases are great sources to find vouchers and discounts.
To receive exclusive offers and promotions, consider subscribing to newsletters or following the social media accounts of your preferred restaurants.
6. Eat out with other frugal foodies
A straightforward way to save money while dining out is to team up with fellow budget-conscious food enthusiasts.
According to Maya Krampf, the creator of the recipe website Wholesome Yum, sharing organic food with your frugal foodie friends is a good idea.
“Sharing allows you to try more things and still keep cost in mind,” she says.
Sharing appetizers, entrees, desserts, or drinks with your friends is a great way to enjoy a variety of dishes without spending too much money.
To get more value for your money, consider using group discounts or ordering family-style meals.
7. Get rewarded for dining out
One smart way to save money on eating out is by receiving rewards for dining out.
One way to still earn cash back rewards for dining out at select restaurants is by using apps such as Swagbucks or Rakuten that offer cash back or points.
You can read our comprehensive review of Rakuten and Swagbucks and get a $30 bonus.
You can also use apps like OpenTable or Seated that give you rewards for making reservations or dining at certain times.
You can also use credit cards that offer cash back or rewards for dining out, such as the Discover it Cash Back card or the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.
These cards can help you earn money or points that you can redeem for gift cards, travel, or other perks.
Eating well doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
By following these tips and tricks, you can save money on food and still enjoy delicious and nutritious meals at home or out.
Whether you’re shopping for groceries, cooking at home, or dining out, you can slash your food costs and still eat well.
Eating out smartly and often without wasting money is possible with a bit of creativity, resourcefulness, and commitment. So have fun while saving money on food!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I save money on food without compromising on quality or nutrition?
A: One way to save and spend money less on food is by planning your meals, using coupons and discounts, batch-cooking meals for the freezer, choosing meat-free meals, taking advantage of supermarket deals, making meals with leftovers, trying different supermarkets and brands, becoming a mystery diner, brewing your own beer at home, dining out during off-peak hours, using vouchers and discounts, eating out with other frugal foodies, and earning rewards when dining out.
Q: What are some of the cheapest foods to buy at the grocery store?
A: The local grocery store has several low-cost food options that you can buy.
These include eggs, peanut butter, chicken thighs, canned tuna, ground turkey, long-lasting vegetables, affordable fruits, oats, brown rice, beans, pasta, canned tomatoes, tortillas, bread, and cheese blocks.
Q: What are some of the best ways to use up leftovers and reduce food waste?
A: To avoid wasting food, you can repurpose leftovers in various ways such as making omelets, soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, pies, casseroles, or fried rice.
Moreover, you can add cheese, eggs, sauces, herbs, spices, or other condiments to elevate the taste and consistency of your leftovers. Consider freezing the leftovers for future use or taking them with you for lunch the next day.
Q: What are some of the best apps and websites to find vouchers and discounts for eating out?
A: You can use apps like Groupon, Too Good To Go, Karma, and Seated, as well as websites like VoucherCodes, Swagbucks, Rakuten, and OpenTable to find vouchers and discounts for dining out.
Meet Angela, one of our writers focusing on AI technology. She is an experienced journalist and researcher with a passion for all things AI.
With a deep understanding of the industry, Angela uses her expertise to produce informative and engaging articles, reports, and analyses on the latest developments in AI.