Cooking at home is a great way to save money and know exactly what ingredient goes in each meal you consume. But if you are struggling with affording each ingredient, it can be even more frustrating. Here are some tips for saving money while also cooking all your meals from home.
Buy What You Need
If you want to save money and cook most of your meals at home, get into the habit of only buying what you need. This might change over time when you start stocking up, but for now, don’t get the biggest bottle just because it’s cheaper. In the long run, you will save more when you buy in bulk, but if you aren’t using all of it before it goes bad, are you really saving that much? Plus, if you are relatively new to cooking, then you don’t really know what you will use the most. It is best to be a little more conservative.
Take Advantage of Sales
On the other hand, when you have gotten some staples and your budget opens up a little more, then you can start taking advantage of sales and stocking up. Wait to do this until you know what ingredients you go through a lot. If you have found that you love baking, you will probably want bigger containers of oil, eggs, flour, butter, and sugar. On the other hand, someone who enjoys cooking a lot of soup or chili knows to stock up on tomatoes, beans, and lentils.
Stop Using Pre-Cut and Packaged Ingredients
These are not nearly as convenient as you might think! Not only are you getting very little for the high price you pay for them, but pre-cut produce often spoils much faster than if you just purchased them in their whole form. Consider what you are buying pre-cut and how difficult it actually is to chop and dice yourself. A cantaloupe is much easier to cut than you think. But getting a container of diced onions can definitely help out if you’re willing to spend a little more on it.
Keep Your Meals Simple
When you start cooking at home, don’t try to create elaborate meals. These are going to be more expensive and often use ingredients you don’t have on hand. Go with the simplest meals using a handful of ingredients first, then start expanding what you cook as you become more comfortable with it.