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Woman preparing meal at home

Buying groceries can be an expensive addition to any household’s weekly or monthly budget. Fresh produce and meats are usually costly, and feeding a large family can quickly eat away at your income. Before you implement a grocery budget, you may be wondering about ways you can reduce your shopping bill each month.

One of the easiest ways to save on groceries is to buy cheaper foods at your local grocery store. Then, you can use these ingredients to prepare healthy meals for your family at home. Processed foods are generally lower in quality than fresh foods, and over time, they usually cost more. By learning about the different meals you can prepare with basic ingredients, you can save money.

Pasta with Vegetables

Pasta is a hearty, inexpensive dish you can make at home. The noodles are easy to prepare, and for a few dollars, you can buy enough to feed your entire family. To make this dish even healthier, you can opt for multigrain or whole wheat pasta.

When it comes to vegetables, you have flexibility regarding the types of foods you buy and how they are packaged. Generally, canned or frozen vegetables are healthier than fresh ones. Foods sold in these forms also tend to keep longer. This means you can buy them in bulk when they are on sale and store them. You can also reduce your produce costs by buying vegetables that are in season. Try and buy the following fresh vegetables when they are most abundant:

  • Winter – Collard greens, kale, squash
  • SpringAsparagus, avocado, artichokes
  • SummerZucchini, okra, corn
  • FallSpinach, mushrooms, Swiss chard

Rice and Tuna

Rice is a portable, nutritious staple ingredient you can use in a variety of dishes. This is also an easy food to buy in bulk. This means that with one purchase, you can have enough rice to last you and your household several meals. Rice is also very versatile, and you can use it with beans, in curries and stir fries. By purchasing brown rice and long grain rice, you can ensure your food is even more nutritious.

Protein is an important part of your diet, and you can easily obtain this nutrient by eating canned tuna. Tuna is cheap and readily available at most grocery stores and markets. By pairing this food with your rice, you can make a filling meal for you and your family.

Hummus and Carrots

If you need a quick, cheap snack, you can easily prepare you own hummus. All you need is a can or two of chickpeas, depending on how much you want to make. To season this dish, you can add spices and seasonings such as:

  • Garlic.
  • Salt.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Olive oil.

When you are ready to eat your hummus, you can use toasted bread or pita to dip into the spread. If you want to make this meal even healthier, though, you can use carrot sticks or celery instead.

Apple Slices and Peanut Butter

Apple slices and peanut butter make for a low-cost snack option you can easily take with you to work or school. You can use whichever apples are on sale and your favorite peanut butter to create a filling, nutritious snack.

Oatmeal

One of the easiest meals you can prepare at home is oatmeal. At your grocery store, you can purchase a bulk container of instant oats, which is usually cheaper than buying individual oatmeal packets. You can mix the oats with milk or water and flavor them with healthy sweeteners, such as honey. If you have extra fruit, you can also add it to your breakfast for even more nutrition and flavor.

 

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