Whether it’s the rising cost of energy bills, filling up your car or paying for your weekly groceries, navigating the cost of living crisis that many of us are experiencing around the world can feel challenging.
According to the World Economic Forum, some financial forecasts predict that the U.S. is on the verge of a cost of living crisis due to rapid inflation, as food prices have increased by an average of 9.4% in the 12 months to April 2022. This marks the largest yearly rise in 40 years.
As more and more households struggle to make ends meet it can be difficult to know how to pay for essentials such as your mortgage or school supplies for your children. To help you handle these unpredictable times, we have set out some useful tips to help you begin saving money by cooking at home.
Don’t Waste Food
One of the ways to actually enjoy budgeting is by cooking more meals at home. If you are used to ordering in or dining out you can make substantial savings by cooking healthy, wholesome and nourishing meals at home while expanding your culinary repertoire.
Statistics show that the average U.S. household wastes 30% to 40% of their food with an total annual cost of wasted food estimated to be $240 billion or $1,866 per household. By being more mindful of your shopping habits and buying groceries according to your family’s needs can help you to cut down on your expenses.
To avoid unnecessary food waste, it can help to plan your meals in advance each week and only buy the ingredients you will need to prepare them. You can also cook up large batches of the dishes you cook and refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for another day.
You can often save money by stocking up your pantry with food items that can be easily stored. Food wholesalers offer discounted prices on many store cupboard items such as
- Rice and grains. Read here for some rice pudding recipes.
- Canned and jarred goods
- Noodles and pasta
- Lentils and beans
Take Advantage of Coupons and Discounts
When doing your weekly grocery shop keep an eye out for any special offers, deals and discounts on fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables as well as items to stock up your pantry. If you are not used to spotting a bargain here are some of the deals to look for:
- Buy one, get one free
- Percentage sales such as 50% off or 25% off
- Two for the price of one
- Multi-buy promotions such as ‘Buy 2 Get 1 Free’
Another money-saving tip is to trade in your branded name food products for generic supermarket ones which are almost always cheaper. In an effort to retain customers, many supermarkets also offer loyalty schemes where customers can earn points on each purchase which are redeemable for cash, as well as receive coupons that give money off items in the store.
Whether you’re enjoying your outdoor kitchen in the summer months, or gathering around the dining table in the winter, you can now make mealtimes special while saving money by cooking at home.