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Want to eat well, while you’re on a budget? Discover 10 practical ways of saving on food, whether you’re eating at home or outside that help maximize savings on every meal!
In a world where the cost of living continues to skyrocket, it is important for youngsters in particular to find practical ways to cut costs.
While you may already know about saving money by spending less and budgeting, have you given saving on food any thought? Whether you're a culinary enthusiast or simply seeking sustenance, dining on a dime is a goal worth pursuing.
In this blog, we will break down 10 practical ways on how you can save daily on food, whether you choose to cook at home or eat out.
From astute meal planning and smart shopping to leveraging modern technology, these tips will empower you to savour your meals while keeping your wallet content.
5 Ways of Saving on Food at Home
While cooking food at home is already one of the best ways to cut costs, there are several steps you can take to further help with your saving on food.
1. Plan and Prep Weekday Meals
While this step takes a certain level of organisation and pre-planning, the reward is definitely worth it!
By organising your meals on the weekend and cooking in larger batches, you can save time over the weekdays and avoid doing a last minute takeout or delivery.
Meal prepping also teaches you how to save on groceries every month while preventing waste.
2. Avoid Pre-Packaged Items
Pre-packaged foods often seem like the most convenient option, but with convenience comes a higher price tag.
These products usually carry not just the cost of the ingredients but also the packaging and processing.
By opting for fresh, whole ingredients and preparing meals from scratch, you not only save money but also have more control over the quality and nutritional value of your meals.
3. Compare Prices Between Stores
Wise shopping involves a little bit of detective work. Before you hit the checkout line, take a moment to compare prices for your staple groceries across different stores.
Prices can vary significantly between supermarkets and local markets, so a little bit of research can help you save money on groceries. Utilize online resources and food saving apps that allow you to compare prices and find the best deals.
Even small savings per item can add up to substantial amounts over time, making it well worth the extra effort to hunt for the best bargains.
4. Shop Local & Seasonal
Buying local and seasonal produce is not only a culinary adventure but also an excellent way of saving on food.
When fruits and vegetables are in season, they're more abundant, fresher, and usually less expensive due to reduced transportation and storage costs.
Additionally, supporting local farmers and markets not only aids your community's economy but also offers a chance to discover unique and fresh ingredients that can elevate your meals to new heights.
5. Maximise Your Freezer Capabilities
Your freezer can be your secret weapon in the battle against food waste and overspending.
When you find good deals or cook in bulk, freezing leftovers or excess ingredients can extend their shelf life, allowing you to enjoy them at a later time.
We all know that cooking for one isn’t easy, so instead prepare more and freeze individual portions of meals for busy days when cooking isn't feasible. Just remember to label your frozen items with the days you made them to ensure you aren’t consuming expired food.
5 Ways to Save Money while Eating Out
Okay, we know you understood that eating at home is the best way to save money on food and eat healthy on a budget. But it requires dedication, time and effort and sometimes, you just don’t have all that. But fret not, as there are ways for you to save on food while still eating out!
1. Reserve and Pay through Dining Apps
Modern technology has revolutionized the way we dine out, offering both convenience and savings.
Dining apps like EazyDiner and Swiggy’s DineOut allow you to reserve tables and gain discounts. By utilizing these food saving apps, you might unlock special offers, discounts, or exclusive deals that are only available through the app.
This not only streamlines your dining experience but also ensures you're getting bang for your buck.
2. Utilise Loyalty Programmes
If you’ve got a favourite restaurant that you frequent, then check if they have a loyalty programme.
These programs often provide rewards, discounts, or even free items based on your accumulated visits or spending.
Signing up for these programs is usually free, and the benefits can quickly add up.
Whether it's a free dessert, a discount on your main course, or points that can be redeemed for future meals, loyalty programs are a savvy way to dine out without breaking the bank.
3. Avoid Appetisers and Drinks
While indulging in appetizers and drinks might be tempting, they can significantly inflate your bill.
Consider skipping the appetizers and opting for a main course that leaves you satisfied.
Similarly, quench your thirst with water or non-alcoholic beverages to sidestep the cost of pricey drinks.
Did you know that the markup on cocktails can be upto 800%? So instead, cut out the liquor and small plates at restaurants and focus on foods that keep you full.
This approach allows you to enjoy the heart of your meal without overloading your bill with extras.
4. Use Cashback Apps to Save More
Cashback apps like CashKaro and Paytm are a modern-day money-saving miracle that can help you save a few bucks while dining out.
These apps offer you a percentage of your spending back as cash rewards or gift cards.
By linking your payment methods or submitting receipts or leaving reviews, you can accumulate cashback on your dining expenses, turning your restaurant outings into opportunities to earn a little extra.
Be sure to research and choose reputable cashback apps that collaborate with a wide range of dining establishments.
5. Share Large Portions or Opt for Half Portions
Many restaurants offer generous portion sizes that can be challenging to finish in one sitting.
Instead of letting excess food go to waste, consider sharing a dish with a dining partner or asking if the restaurant offers half portions.
Not only does this help you control your portion size and prevent overeating, but it also reduces your overall bill.
Sharing allows you to explore a wider variety of dishes without committing to a full serving of each, and opting for half portions can help with saving on food without compromising on the item or your wallet!
The Bottom Line
With the help of these 10 practical money management tips, you too can master the art of dining on a dime without compromising on the joy of eating.
By adopting mindful practices such as planning weekday meals, avoiding pre-packaged items, and making the most of your freezer, you can create delicious, cost-effective meals that nourish both your body and your bank account.
Similarly, when venturing out, leveraging dining apps, loyalty programmes, and strategic choices can help you enjoy restaurant meals without the sticker shock. Remember, small changes can lead to substantial savings over time, and every dollar saved can be put to better use elsewhere in your life.