- Personal Finance
lower your grocery bills and make the food last longer
So you want to eat and eat healthy but....you just can't afford it....I hear ya! Now is the time to lower your bills!!! If you live here in north America then you know as well as I do the rising cost of just about everything, including food. Like many families I have several mouths to feed and it's not cheap, so I decided to share some of my grocery and food saving tips.
The first bit of advice I would offer is too find a farmers market, I know you may not live near a farm, maybe you've never even seen a farm, but even in the biggest city there are fresh food markets. If these markets aren't near your home try to make an effort to get to one at least once a month. Make a day of it, you can split the gas cost with the other parents and friends who might want to get some fresh food too. Working together with help lower your food bill.
When you are buying fruits and vegetables, be sure to get what is in season, the food will taste better and usually cost less. If you can try to buy your fruit a and vegetables in bulk, instead of buying two small bags of 10lb potatoes buy a 50lb bag. Why buy a tiny bag of apples when you can get a bushel for only a few buck more, and so on you could buy everything in bulk even dry goods and meats. My grandparents and I spilt a half cow every year, we paid around two hundred bucks each and have beef for the next six months, I am talking stewing beef, steaks, roasts and more. I realize not everyone will have room for so much meat but if you can store it somewhere else it is worth it, it will save you time and money, and will lower your food bills.
So you're probably thinking, what the heck am I going to do with fifty pounds of potatoes or a bushel of apple, well everything can be precooked and / or froze and preserved on a shelf; look if you want to save money and live healthier you have to put a little effort into it. Learn how to preserve and cook in bulk, my family loves a good hamburger so with all that ground beef I make tones of patties and freezes them, same with vegetables for stir-fry's I chop everything up in bit sized pieces and freeze them. We also drink a lot of smoothies, so I do the same with the fruits as I do with the vegetables, I chop them and freeze them, so even in the mid of winter we can have a fresh fruit smoothy. You see there are so many options. And all will save you money and time in the end.
Another great way to save on your grocery bills is to grow your own food, even in the winter. As long as you have some light and your home stays a decent temperature you can grow all kind of stuff indoors. Grow herbs in a kitchen window, have cucumbers and tomatoes growing from hanging baskets in the living room, if you have a large home with lots of windows invest in some fruit trees, lemons, oranges why not... Don't be afraid to experiment. And as any who's ever had a garden knows the food taste so much better when you've grown it yourself.
Save some bucks on your bills by using coupons, coupons can save you a bundle believe me and if you can't find coupons in your fliers or news paper go online, try http://www.couponmom.com/ or http://www.eversave.com/ . This site will definatly help you lower you food bills. And may last and final tip is to shop where the sales are. I float between three grocery stores depending which store has the best deals. Remember shop smart, shop in bulk, shop with friends and save, save and save.