How to Cut Your Dinner Budget in the New Year
If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to start saving money on food, you're in luck - while the task may seem like an insurmountable feat, there are very simple steps you can take to ensure you don't end up spending a ridiculous amount of money on food this year.
1. Stop Eating Out
You may not realize that, over time, that $6 lunch or that $15 dinner can significantly add up. If you're guilty of spending a large chunk of your paycheck on fast or restaurant meals, make a conscious effort to stop. This can be as simple as limiting yourself to one purchased meal a week or completely quitting these cuisines cold turkey.
2. Save Your Meals in Large Batches
If time is one of the main reasons you find yourself leaning toward fast food options, it may be in your best interest to prep large meals then store them for the remainder of the week. Using a slow cooker to prepare a hearty dish - like pasta, stew or casserole - can keep you easily fed all week without forcing you to fork out cash for dinner.
3. Buy in Bulk
Alternatively, buying in bulk is another great way to save money. This practice allows you to purchase large quantities of your favorite or frequently used ingredients at one time, then store for the future. In fact, if you buy in bulk and use your vacuum sealer to keep these items preserved, your family could save up to $2,700 a year.
4. Learn to Love Your Leftovers
Some people love leftovers, others hate them. If you're looking for unique ways to repurpose your leftovers, try using your slow cooker to prepare a leftover-based dish with extra foods. This can save you significant funds in the future, as you'll be making the most of your cooked meals.