Eating dinner at home with your family is a great way to unwind after a long day at work or school. It gives you time to decompress with the people you love and is even known to be beneficial in helping teens get through their most hormonal years.
Not only are home-cooked meals often healthier than going out to eat, but they’re less expensive as well. However, it may not feel like that when you see the final total of all your groceries at the cash register. So to help you feel better about eating dinner at home with your family each night, here are three tips to help you save money on your monthly food budget.
Purchase The Cheapest Produce
A healthy and inexpensive way to get ingredients for your family’s meals is to stay close to the produce section. But depending on the season and where you live in the country, certain types of produce can get pretty pricey. To offset these costs, Geoff Williams, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends utilizing the most cost-efficient fruits and vegetables, like carrots, bananas, kale, and sweet potatoes. In fact, all though common sense may suggest otherwise, purchasing frozen fruits and vegetables is also a great option if you want to save money while eating healthy food.
Skip The Cans of Beans
Beans are a great choice for a healthy, nutritious food to serve during meals that are also relatively inexpensive. But according to Hilary Meyer, a contributor to EatingWell.com, most people aren’t purchasing their beans in the most cost effective way. While buying a can of beans is pretty inexpensive, you can save even more money if you skip the cans and buy dry beans instead. This is also a good way to better control the amount of beans you’re using for each meal and helps you to have a lower number of cans of which to dispose.
Rethink Your Idea of “Dinner”
When many people think of eating dinner at home with their family, they conjure up mental images circa 1950 of a mother bringing out heaping plates full of various sides to accompany a glorious main dish. While these meals are nice to partake in sometimes, DaveRamsey.com shares that you could save yourself a lot of money and stress by reimaging the way you think about dinner.
It’s totally fine to keep dinner simple with meals like omelets, BLTs or even just a salad. Not only will this save you the cost of purchasing multiple serving sizes of meat for each dinner along with one or two sides, but it will also make preparing dinner a lot more enjoyable for your already overscheduled family.
If you’ve been looking for ways to shrink your monthly bill for food, consider using some of the tips mentioned above next month while grocery shopping.