Cutting down on your spending is not quite as hard as people think it is, especially if you approach it from a clever and practical angle. Choosing to cut down on luxuries such as expensive clothes and going to restaurants is great, but there are other, less painful methods.
A lot of us don’t really think about how much money we are spending on food and groceries. In general, we like to keep the kitchen well-stocked and of course you never want to be short on food, but there’s a good chance that you don’t need quite as much as you are buying.
The kitchen can be an expensive place, and if you take a few steps to reduce your spending there, it could add up to a big difference. Let’s look at a few ways to save money:
1. Plan Meals in Advance
If you are doing your grocery shopping once a week, you could make up a plan of a number of different meals that you could prepare for that week, and then just by enough food to cover the means for said meals.
The way most people shop for groceries at the moment is they will just go into the store, get their essentials and then buy a bunch of stuff that they think they’ll like. This is a method which inevitably leads to waste.
Instead, have a shopping list based on the specific meals in your plan and then be strict about sticking to it, keeping in mind a budget of how much it should cost will help with that, and you can leave a little bit of extra room for snacks.
Read more about my 2-easy step meal planning recommendation.
2. Freeze Leftovers
I don’t think that anybody should ever have to force themselves to eat more than they need during a meal, but at the same time, if there is a lot left on your plate after you’re full then it’s better not to let it go to waste.
There are a lot of different kinds of food which it’s safe to freeze for a few weeks or even months. You can freeze various different kinds of cooked meat, you can freeze vegetables, soup pasta and rice.
How long each of these things lasts will depend on the food but a lot more stuff is safe to keep in the freezer than many people realize. This can help you to not have to spend so much because you can use leftovers for meals in the coming days.
3. Buy Lots of Beans
If you have yet to discover the magic of beans, then you are missing out on one of the most reliable and adaptable foods out there. Beans come in a huge variety of different forms. You’ve got black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and pinto beans.
Each of them can be utilized in different ways to make different meals, but they all have a few things in common, and those are mainly the health benefits. They’re high in protein and antioxidants and they’re good for your heart and your gut.
Beans are also notoriously inexpensive, and if you figure out how to use them in a variety of different meals then they can be a regular substitute for more pricey foods.
4. Cut Down on Kitchen Roll
Moving away from food a little bit here, kitchen roll is also something that we spend a bit too much money on. Most people probably go through an entire roll or two every single week, and while it’s not the most expensive thing in the world, that will add up.
You’d be better off investing in some high-quality, reusable washcloths. The downside is that you have to clean them instead of just throwing them out, but that extra time will be worth the money you save.
5. Check Clearance Shelves While Shopping
When you’re actually shopping, you should always keep an eye out for these kinds of sales. The clearance shelf will usually have food that is nearing its expiry date, and you can get that stuff for up to 70% off.
I can understand being put off by the fact that it’s food which isn’t as fresh, but it’s still worth looking, especially since you might find stuff which you can use that same day.
6. Start a Vegetable Garden
Not everybody is going to have the time for this, but it is not only a great way to cut down on costs but it also serves as a very fun and rewarding hobby that you can do some work on every single day.
A vegetable garden doesn’t necessarily mean having your entire backyard filled with a variety of different plants, this can literally be as simple as having just a few plants in a small makeshift greenhouse outside.
You can grow tomatoes, potatoes, peas, cucumbers, kale, and also some fruit too, maybe apples or oranges. It takes a bit of time for them to grow but in the long-term it’s much cheaper than buying.
7. Don’t Overdo it on Appliances
Only buy appliances that you actually think you’ll use, and if you have any right now that you don’t use, I would think about selling them. Everybody needs a kettle, a microwave and a blender, but if you have a food processor you never use, that’s just taking up space and was a waste of money.
If you see a juicer that you think you’d like to buy, think about how often you actually desire freshly squeezed orange juice. Same with a fancy coffee machine. Do you need it when instant coffee is perfectly sufficient? Don’t jump on trends or get fooled by advertising.
8. Have a Good Warranty Coverage
Appliances can break, and home warranties can cover the unexpected expenses. It all pays off in the long run and brings peace of mind.
Fans, toasters, ovens, security systems and other appliances normally break after a while, especially if you live in the area where the climate is subtropical and humid. It’s good that there’s a way to never need to worry about maintenance.
9. Go Meatless (At Least Sometimes)
Don’t get this twisted, going fully vegan would probably be more expensive than your current diet, but cutting down on meat even on some level can actually help you save. We talked about beans earlier being a great source of nutrition which isn’t that expensive.
And then if you grow your own food, that’s all going to be plant-based and we’ve also discussed how that’s less expensive. Maybe only buy enough meat to cover meals for three or four days a week and go plant-based for the other days.
10. Wash Dishes By Hand
This is somewhat of a smaller thing, but if you have a dishwasher it is probably contributing quite a bit to your overall electricity bill. Personally, I think dishwashers are one of the greatest inventions ever, but you could probably stand to reduce your usage just a bit.
Try to just use it every two days instead of every day and wash some of your dishes by hand. It’s a time-consuming process of course, but cleaning can also be quite therapeutic, and if you split the workload across the family it won’t seem so bad.
If you follow even just a few of these steps, you will start to see your spending in the kitchen start to steadily reduce. It’s definitely worth it, because not only will you cut down on your spending, but it will be helpful in reducing waste too.