As a personal chef and caterer, I basically live in the grocery store. I mean it's my second most visited place each week outside of the gym. As inflation makes the cost of everything a bit more expensive, we all can benefit by saving money on things we must do every day. Eating is one of those things. Grocery shopping can be a chore but I would like to offer a few suggestions to help you save money. While I am not the biggest fan of couponing because I rarely have time, things such as couponing are definitely a way to rack up discounts at the checkout line. There are a couple of factors that will need to be taken into consideration such as how many people are in your household and how often you actually use certain items, but here are a couple of my money-saving tips I like to use as a standard.
1. Buy Whole Meats & Seafood
You may not know this, but you actually save much more money by buying your meats and seafood whole rather than by the portion. Especially if you prefer to eat them fresh and your household size is more than 3 people. Even if it's less, you can always marinate and freeze any unused portions. Fish cost less per pound when bought whole. The difference in buying fillets versus the whole salmon is not only 30% cheaper but also a more sustainable way of cooking and eating. The same can be said for meats such as chicken. A pack of chicken breast which may contain 2-3 pieces can cost anywhere between $4 to $8. A whole chicken can range from $5 to $10 depending upon the brand and whether you're buying organic. However, a whole chicken will yield more pieces. If your recipe can manage white and dark meat then you are definitely going to save. Here's an example. You can buy a whole chicken and break it down into 2 breasts, thighs, wings, legs, and tenders. You can make chicken salad with the thighs for a snack. Use the tenders and breasts to make chicken tenders (cut the breast up). Marinate and store the wings and legs or bake or fry them for a four-piece meal. One whole chicken has just been used to make 3 different meals.
2. Buy dry goods in bulk and prep some in bulk to repurpose during the week.
Rice is a great bulk item to buy. One day it can be used as a side and on another day it can be used as the main entree. For example, cook a full pot of rice on day one. Use it as a side with the chicken tenders from the whole chicken the next day add some frozen vegetables and chopped chicken to make a fried rice dish as the main entree. On day 3, the rice can be added to a soup or a casserole for another entree. Either way, you are saving money and using one ingredient multiple ways for several days which will definitely save you time and make planning meals easier.
I like to use these methods of grocery shopping and more to shop for clients and for my own family. When I am cooking for my family I like to make things as easy as possible. Another tip I would like to share is to make sure to buy foods you and your family actually like to eat. Sometimes we want to try new food or recipes, but during times like these when money can be tight, stick to the basics. There is no need to waste money on foods that are going to the trash. Eat healthy and shop smart. Share some of your money-saving tips for grocery shopping.