One of the largest parts of your budget, the weekly groceries, are also the hardest to trim down. That’s because everyone needs to eat and no one likes to eat poorly. Fortunately, being low on cash doesn’t have to mean a daily diet of hot dogs. If you’re smart with your shopping, you can save money and still eat great.

Delicious and Healthy Ways to Save on Your Monthly Food Costs

Eat Less Meat

Meat is the most expensive part of most meals. By going vegetarian for a few days a week, you can have hundreds a year. Eating vegetarian more often is also better for your health and the environment.

Worried about a lack of flavor? You can add tons of bold flavors by using more spices, herbs, and vinegar. The earthy, bright, and acidic flavors in this Southwest bowl are a perfect example.

Worried about protein levels? Eggs, tofu, and beans are affordable sources of protein. Try a frittata for a quick and easy high-protein egg meal.

Eat in Season

You can cut a ton of money off your regular food costs by making sure you keep to a seasonal menu. This means sticking to what is currently being harvested in the US. Although many out-of-season fruits and veggies are available all year, they’re often imported raising the costs significantly.

Out-of-season produce is usually of a lower quality, meaning eating in season also tastes better. This website makes it easy to track what’s in season right now. Some delicious spring choices include artichokes, asparagus, collard greens, apricots, and pineapple.

Afraid you’ll miss some of your favorite seasonal foods? The freezer is your friend. Speaking of which…

Freeze

Save yourself money now and work later by making bulk batches of recipes and tossing some in the freezer. Chili con carne and other soups and stews take very well to the freezer. You can also make meatballs ahead for a no-fuss pasta night.

Never Let Leftovers Go to Waste

Not all leftovers freeze well. That doesn’t mean they should go in the trash. There are plenty of ways you can breathe new life into yesterday’s meals. This Greek chicken salad recipe can help you save leftover roasted or grilled chicken. Day-old rice can be fried up for a hearty fried rice. Leftover corned beef and other salty meats make excellent hash. Get creative with it and make old meals new again.

Shop for Pantry Foods Online

You don’t have to get everything you eat at the grocery store. Nonperishable and pantry ingredients can be ordered online, often for significantly lower prices. Try looking for your favorite spices, dried herbs, sauces, snacks, and more on Amazon.

Look at the Unit Price

Buying in bulk is usually the way to go, but sometimes the biggest container isn’t the best value. You should always compare prices as you shop, but what if different brands sell the same food in different sizes? Instead of pulling out your calculator, you can just check the unit price. This price will tell you how much each item costs per unit (usually per ounce) for a truer comparison.

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