With the declining economy, many families are looking into their budget to see whether or not there are areas where they can cut down.
While many people think of entertainment activities as the first step in cutting down on extra expenditures, it is often the grocery budget that eats up most of the weekly income. Here are some foods to steer clear of next time you’re at the super market trying to save some cash.
Flavored oatmeal packages offer a bit of variety in the same old oatmeal taste, but can be a huge waste in the grocery budget. Rather than purchasing prepackaged flavored oatmeal, opt for plain oats and add flavor on your own. For instance, you can add a sprinkle of brown sugar or a dash of cinnamon to make the same favorite flavors you find at the grocery store. Not only will you save on money, but you will forgo the added preservatives found in prepackaged oatmeal.
Pancake mix is thought of as a convenient option for busy parents in the morning, but it is often filled with artificial ingredients and unnecessary preservatives. With just a few extra minutes, you can mix up homemade pancakes and save on your grocery bill with a better tasting pancake.
It seems like there are boxed foods lining every aisle in the grocery store, whether it’s the powdered mashed potatoes or the boxed macaroni and cheese. While it may cut a few minutes off of your cooking time, boxed food can be made with better taste and nutritional value if made from real ingredients at home.
Chicken, beef or vegetable stock is used for a number of different recipes. However, purchasing canned or boxed stock can be a waste at the grocery store since it can be made with ease at home. Simply make your own stock and then freeze small containers for future use.
Many people purchase canned soup because it can be a go-to meal or snack on rainy days or when someone has a cold. However, oftentimes canned soup is filled with extra sodium and preservatives. Rather than purchasing canned soup that can be exposed to BPA from the can, it can be a better alternative to make a large batch of your own soup and then freeze small containers for future use. Crockpots are a great investment for this very reason, and can save time, too. Just throw the ingredients in in the morning and have dinner ready and waiting for you when you get home.
Baby food can be a huge expense, but many parents don’t realize that baby food can be made easily at home. Steam fruits and vegetables and use your food processor to create a consistency suitable for baby food. Using an ice tray, simply fill each slot with your baby food concoction and use a bottle warmer or microwave before each feeding.
Bread crumbs are used as a topping for a casserole, breading meats or a variety of other ways in commonly used recipes. Instead of wasting money on packaged bread crumbs, you can make your own bread crumbs with day-old bread and a food processor. Add your own herbs or cheese to make specialty bread crumbs to make your dishes a bit more special.
Pre-made sauces come in a variety of different forms, whether it’s sofrito for your Spanish dishes or pesto for your salmon or pasta. However, many sauces can be easily made at home and can be made in large batches to freeze for longevity.
Instead of purchasing expensive fresh herbs that come in small quantities at the grocery store, growing your own herbs in the garden or in small pots in the kitchen can be a huge cost saving measure at home.
Many people purchase flavored teas and juice to substitute for sugary sodas, but don’t really look into the labels. Instead of purchased flavored drinks that can be high in sugar, opt for making your own drinks at home. Whether it’s fresh squeezed lemonade, water infused with fruits or veggies like cucumbers or iced tea made from inexpensive tea bags, there are a number of ways to cut down on your grocery budget without sacrificing in drink variety.
When it comes to grocery shopping, it’s important to look at the different items offered in the aisles to see how you might be able to not only save money but create a healthier alternative to store bought items.