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12 Ways to Save Money On Food

Updated on February 27, 2009

In today's economy, saving money can be a pretty nifty thing. For some, living frugally and saving money is a natural thing to do and something they've always done. For others, being frugal is an entirely new concept and some people have no idea where to begin. Well, if you're one of those people, start here. This is part one in a series of money saving tips -- for more tips on saving even more money, see the rest of Isabella Snow's Frugal Living Series.

1. Buy supermarket brand names.

Some people really don't like to do this, but I have actually found that sometimes the supermarket brand tastes the best! You might only save 20 cents per item, but that can add up if you buy a lot of groceries each month.

2. Make your own coffee.

Specialized coffee shops are really expensive. If you're one of those people who spends $15 a day in your local Starbucks, you would be better off buying a coffee maker and taking your own to work. Even if you bought gourmet coffee beans, you would still be saving tons money. A single cup coffee maker is so cheap that you could even keep one at home and one at the office -- and still save money compared to what you'd be spending at Starbucks! You don't even need to buy filters for some of them!

3. Buy a water filter.

If you drink lots of bottled water, stop wasting money on it (and the energy it takes to haul that stuff home) and buy a filter instead. These are very easy to use, they connect to your tap and they will pay for themselves very quickly.

4. Buy juice in canned concentrate form.

You don't need to buy big bulky bottles of Tropicana, the concentrate is perfectly good too. If you really feel like you need the bottle, keep it and re-fill it.

5. Use coupons.

Some people refuse to use coupons because they think it makes them look cheap. Look -- if milk costs $3 and you have a coupon for %50 off but don't use it, this is just like throwing 1.50 in the trashcan. Would you do that? I didn't think so. Use the coupons.

6. Buy online

If you buy your food online, you will save time and gas money!

7. Cook big meals and eat leftovers for a few days.

You can cook healthy meals for cheap, and if you cook them in large portions you can eat them all week. Obviously, you'll want to make sure whatever you cook is yummy enough to eat for several days, but it's definitely possible to do. There are certain beef stews that I could every day and never get bored of.

8. Get your produce from a local farmers market.

It will be more fresh, more healthy, less expensive -- and you'll be helping your neighbor keep his job.

9. Or grow your own!

Plant your own garden if you have the space in your yard. Some things can even be grown on your balcony or in your house. Tomatoes, for example, can be grown in a pot.

10. Take your lunch to work.

Stuff a sandwich, some veggie sticks and some pudding into a brown bag and watch how much money you save at work, now that you're not paying 5 bucks a day to eat in the canteen.

11. Dont buy your drinks from the vending machine

If you need to drink soda at work and your office doesn't provide drinks, bring a case of Coke or Pepsi to work. This will save you a small fortune, instead of putting dollar after dollar in the vending machine.

12. Re-use your ziplock bags and aluminum foil.

People where I live do this. I thought it was strange at first. Now I see how wasteful it is to just throw a ziplock bag out when it's only been used to hold a sandwich once. If there is nothing wrong with the bag, why throw it away? Fold it up and take it home. Aluminum foil is the same; if it's not messy, use it again.


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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      i knew a couple of older ladies who reused paper towels, you'd go in the kitchen and they'd be spead out to dry

    • profile image

      delta7 9 years ago


    • Muthusamy R profile image

      Muthusamy R 9 years ago from CHENNAI India

      Really Really useful

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Thank you Isabella for the great tips. My bills on food are really very high. Will take your tips as a guideline to cut them out.