The recession has us all tightening our belts and looking for ways to save money. One of the simplest and easiest ways to do this is by re-adjusting your grocery list.
Cheap food doesn’t mean that it’s the best food for you. On top of that, what many people don’t realize is that the “cheap food” is often not the cheapest or best option for their pocket book. If you are willing to take the time to cook, there are some very simple things that you can do.
One of the first places where you can make a huge dent in your budget is in buying meat. Chicken is one of the cheapest meats out there, and if you look for the bagged Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, or Frozen Drumsticks they will give you a great meat base for meals, while not dipping too drastically into your food budget.
If you need Beef, there are quite a few options. Keep an eye on the ads, watch for great sales and stock up. Consider buying stew meat. Contrary to popular belief, stew meat is not tough, and it makes excellent meals. Ground beef is another excellent option, but keep an eye on the fat content. The less fat content, the more meat will be left after cooking it. Look for something with a fat content of 10% or less.
Potatoes are a great starch. They are cheap, and stretch far. Bread is another easy starch. However, this is one area where you really have to be careful. Often the cheapest brands have a poor texture. Keep an eye on sales, and check to see if there is a bread factory outlet near you. You can also try your hand at making artisan bread. There are some very simple bread recipes online, and you will end up with better bread that is much better than what you can buy at the store.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are by far the best option for a tight budget. They stretch further than canned, and retain the flavor of fresh. Also check out the frozen fruit juices. Most bottled juices are made from concentrate, so you can save money by simply buying the frozen concentrate to start with, and mixing it with water at home.
When it comes to baking supplies, there really isn’t much of a difference between brands. Whatever is the cheapest will work just as well as the most expensive, and there won’t be a difference in the quality of the final product. Butter and margarine are a different story. This is one area where you truly do get what you pay for, and it’s not a good place to cut corners.
To sum everything up: keep an eye on the grocery adds, always check your prices before you settle on a certain brand, and remember that home made food from scratch not only tastes better, but it is also the cheapest option for your table.