This is part of the Saving Money on Groceries series.
Saving money on groceries is much easier to accomplish when you have a decent collection of frugal, easy, tasty recipes. I’m going to start posting my favorite frugal recipes, but for now here are some basic tips and resources:
1. Establish your favorites and build on them. Make a working list of your favorite frugal recipes. What makes a recipe frugal? Not too labor-intensive (time is money, right?) and using cheap ingredients.
2. Experiment with recipes to make them more frugal or more from-scratch. Make a recipe vegetarian to cut cost, reduce the amount of meat, find a recipe for making your own instant pancake mix, and so on.
3. Stick to appropriate portion sizes. This is a tip a friend gave me a while ago and it was a big aha (slapping my forehead) moment. It helps reign in cost as well as your waistline. It also allows you to spend that bit more of money loading the plate up on veggies and fruits (we’re still working on that).
4. Freeze your food. Whether you make a big batch of whatever you’re cooking and freeze some, freeze ingredients in bulk, practice OMAC (once a month cooking), or just toss your scraps of leftover meat in a freezer baggie. This pays off. Look online for OMAC recipes and information on what freezes well and you’ll save yourself time and money.
These are my favorite resources for frugal recipes and general cooking tips:
- Ask your friends for their frugal recipes! They’ve already tried them and would likely love to pass them on.
- livingonadime.com (TONS of info and recipes. Also check out the e-books. Wait for a sale and snatch them up when you have some money to spare. Especially the Dining on a Dime ebook with the wealth of EASY and cheap meals).
- food.com – use the recipe sifter (button on top right) and filter by Preparation>>Inexpensive and whatever other filters look interesting.