The chaos of 2020 has probably left a lot of people very short on savings. Firms like B3 Cash Solutions can be a lifeline for anyone who needs credit in a hurry. Ideally, however, access to credit should be a backup to personal savings. With that in mind, here are four tips on how to lower your food bill.
Inventory everything in your kitchen
Food waste is a major problem for the planet and for your finances. The way to eliminate it is to make sure that you’re only buying what you really need (or really want) and using it up completely. Start by finding out what you actually have now. Get rid of any food which has already gone out of date and commit to using up any food which is near its expiry date.
Meal plan flexibly
Meal planning is a great way not just to eliminate food waste, but to make preparing meals a whole lot easier. The trick is to do it in a way that gives you a bit of flexibility. Accept the fact that there are going to be days when you just don’t want to eat what you had planned to eat. Avoid putting yourself in a situation where you have to swallow it down or waste it.
The trick to making this work is having a balance of ready-prepared full meals and basics you can use flexibly. You can often prepare these together. For example, you could make some pastry, keep some of it plain and use some of it to make a pie. If you just want something to heat and eat quickly, eat the pie. If you don’t fancy it, use the pastry to make something else.
Whenever possible, divide meals into portions before you put them in the freezer. That way you’ll only defrost what you need when you need it. This not only saves food waste, but it also speeds up the reheating time and hence uses less energy.
Cut back on red meat
Red meat is one of the most expensive foods you can buy. The more you can cut back on it, the more you can reduce your food bill. Poultry and fish are economical alternatives with many of the same nutritional benefits. You can also look for cheaper cuts of meat. These are generally tougher and need “low and slow” cooking so slow cookers are ideal for them.
You might also want to try cutting out meat from some meals and using dairy or plant-based protein instead. Beans, pulses, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all great sources of protein. If this is a step too far, then consider mixing meat with plant-based protein. For example, use regular mince with beans and/or lentils to get the taste of meat at a lower cost.
Invest in a water carbonator
Water carbonators basically add fizz to regular water. Their prices vary widely, so do your research before you buy. Also, keep in mind that there will be the ongoing cost of the gas canister. Check how much this will be before you decide which brand offers the best overall value.
If you love fizzy drinks in summer, using a water carbonator can really help to lower the cost of enjoying them. What’s more, it lets you have much more variety and cuts back on packaging.