I’ve eaten vegan, vegetarian, processed foods, and recently I’ve been focusing on “whole foods”. Food that isn’t full of chemicals and sodium and a ridiculous amount of packaging. Occasionally, we still end up with a few things that aren’t quite meeting the “whole foods” standards. I love finding blogs like Whole Food Mommies and Once A Month Mom’s Whole Foods Menu.
Quite a few tips were things I already know and/or practice – budget, menu planning, grocery lists, get rid of all the processed junk, and more. There were quite a few though that made me take note.
7. Cook ahead.
If you have one free day a week (or even a month), cook food in big batches and freeze in dinner-sized portions. I admit that I do not do this all the time, but I have done it in the past and it does save money. You have to plan it out a bit, but once you’re done, your meals each night are quick and easy. This can save you from the temptation to eat out or eat convenience food when you’re hungry but too tired to cook.
9. Grow your own herbs.
No matter the amount of space you have, you can grow herbs on a windowsill or kitchen counter with very little effort. Have you seen the prices of herbs in the store…jeez…grow your own!
14. Shop at farmer’s markets.
Often local farmers are happy to match or beat supermarket prices because they don’t have to pay large overhead costs. Another tip that I’ve found very effective – go to the farmer’s market 20-30 minutes before it closes. Usually the farmers are willing to almost giveaway the food because they don’t want to haul it home. Check this site out to do a search for a farmers market in your area.
15. Don’t buy plastic wrap, tin foil, plastic sandwich/snack bags, etc.
For everything that you could think of needing – plastic anything, tin foil, or any other disposable nonsense – there is a non-disposable alternative.
19.Join a CSA (community supported agriculture).
Often CSA’s will require the cost of products for 10-12 weeks at the time of joining. This really helps me to save money and time because I don’t have to worry about price matching fresh items week to week. I know each week I will get my slotted amount of food without a change in the price. My meal plan is pretty simple…it’s based off of what is growing seasonally. Now is the perfect time to find a local CSA near you and join!
22. Buy in bulk when it makes sense.
Buying in bulk is another method of purchasing that has revolutionized the way I shop. By switching to a simple, unprocessed food diet, buying in bulk can help any family meet their goals. Warning: There are downsides to buying in bulk…just be sure that you’re going to use all of it before it gets bad — it isn’t cheaper to buy in bulk if you don’t use it.
47. Clean out your fridge.
How long has it been — no really, how long? Just go in and start new. Toss out the old and make room for the new. Read more here on how to naturally deodorize and clean your refrigerator.
48. Garden and Preserve.
These can add up to big savings over the long run. Obviously families living the the “country” or rural areas have more gardening options than those living in suburban or urban areas. Families with limited or small outdoor spaces should look for resources on urban gardening. Likewise, home canning, dehydrating, and freezing are all vital skills necessary for a frugal kitchen.
49. Look for free food.
Foraging is quickly growing in popularityand rightly so! Once you begin to learn what wild etibles grow seasonally in your area begin looking around. Recently, I was driving down a street that I have traveled thousands of times and noticed a couple gleaning citrus fruits. Naturally I pulled over, asked a few questions, and helped myself to nearly 25 lbs of lemons, grapefruit, and oranges that would otherwise go to waste.
Were there any tips that seemed helpful for you? Which tips have you already put into practice in your home?