13 Money Saving Tips on Meal Preparing

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Preparing food starts with shopping. Cooking and preparing dishes is more than just eating. For many people, good food is part of a lifestyle. But good doesn’t have to be expensive. Great and tasty dishes can also be cooked with less money. There are also a few simple tips that can easily save you money when it comes to grocery shopping.

1) Save Money on Drinks

Grocery shopping consists not only of groceries but also of beverages. Soft drinks such as cola, Fanta or juices are usually not cheap either. By drinking more water, you can save some money on beverages. Water is not only cheaper, it is also much healthier for the body.

So you kill two birds with one stone. To save even more, you can drink tap water. In Germany, the water quality is so good that you can drink the tap water without hesitation. If you don’t like the tap water, you can refine the taste with a water filter.

If coffee is part of your daily routine, you can also save a lot of money with coffee. Instead of a coffee machine, you can brew your own coffee by hand. On the one hand, this is healthier and, on the other hand, much cheaper.

If you are after a soft drink like lemonade or juice, then make it yourself. You can easily make a lemonade yourself.

Homemade Lemonade

What you need for this:

  • Water
  • Lemons or limes
  • Sugar
  • Ice cubes

Preparation:

Squeeze the lemon and mix with the water. Mix in sugar as you like. If you have a blender, put the mixture in the blender along with the ice and enjoy the ice-cold summer drink.

2) Grow yourself

If you have a garden or balcony, it is a good idea to grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables. You can easily grow tomatoes and other vegetables on the balcony. Strawberries also grow excellently in a small space. You can even plant lettuce in a flower box on the balcony. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you a lot of money. Fruit and vegetables that you grow yourself also taste much better than they do yourself from the supermarket.

Many dishes can be easily enhanced with herbs such as basil, cress and chives. You can even grow these herbs yourself in the kitchen. They don’t take up a lot of space. In addition to adding herbs to dishes, they can also be used to conjure up excellent spreads or drinks.

Homemade Pesto

What you need for this:

  • 3 bunch of basil
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100 g parmesan in one piece
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

Wash the basil and parsley.  Peel the garlic cloves and grate the parmesan. Then mix everything either in a mixer or with a hand mixer until you get a creamy mixture. Pesto is ideal as a spread, but also as a sauce for pasta or potatoes.

3) Don’t Go Shopping Hungry

One of the top rules to save money while shopping is not to go shopping hungry. Before you go shopping, make a list of the things you need and only stick to the list. When you go shopping, your shopping cart suddenly has a lot more than originally planned.

The best thing to do is to choose a relaxed weekday to go shopping. For example, Saturday is best. Enjoy a plentiful breakfast and do the weekly shopping afterward. This way you are sufficiently full and the risk of cravings while you are in the supermarket is minimized.

4) Use Bulk Packs

Large packs are usually cheaper than smaller packs, as the price per kilo is lower. If you have space at home, it is a good idea to use larger packs. You can not only save yourself frequent shopping but also get a good supply and thus save money.

There are bulk packs in almost all areas. Starting with the detergent up to the large pack of rice. Buy generously and save with it. It is especially advisable to buy supplies if you live in a large family.

5) Own Brands are Usually Cheaper

Many large supermarkets now offer their own brands. Own brands usually convince with their good quality and are also much cheaper.

The price difference is especially noticeable if you buy large quantities or some products on a regular basis. Most of the time you can hardly tell the difference between own brands and branded products in terms of quality. Calculated over the year, however, you will save a lot.

6) Pay Attention to the Expiration Date

To avoid having to throw things away, make sure they have a long shelf life when you go shopping. Especially if you don’t know when you will use the product when you go shopping, you should pay attention to the best-before date.

By avoiding throwing things away, you save money. Because everything that ends up in the trash can is money that you spent unnecessarily.

7) Write Yourself a Cooking Plan

If you live with a family, sit down at a table once a week and discuss what you would like to eat during the week. Plan your meal plan meticulously every day. This allows you to write yourself an accurate shopping list and ensure that you use up all the groceries and also only buy what you really need. By planning the purchase you will quickly save a lot of money because you will no longer buy unnecessary things.

8) Cook Vegetarian

Meat is one of the most expensive foods. Not only the chicken breast, the minced meat or the pork steak empty the wallet, but also cold cuts such as salami and other sausage spreads are usually very expensive. By reducing your meat consumption or even following a completely vegetarian diet, you will spend less money shopping.

Vegetables are not only the healthier alternative but also the cheaper ones. Just because you are vegetarian doesn’t mean you have to go without tasty dishes. You can now find a variety of great vegetarian dishes.

Cooking one-pot pasta

What you need for this:

  • 250 grams of tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • A handful of basil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 300 grams of spaghetti
  • Boiling water for the pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

Wash the tomatoes and cut them into small cubes. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Put everything in a saucepan and let it simmer. Then add the pasta and about 600 ml of water. Let everything boil with the lid covered. Just before the pasta is done, you can add a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Garnish the pasta with the basil to serve.

9) Refrain from ready meals and the delivery service

Ready meals are tempting, but often much more expensive than home-cooked meals. A frozen pizza can be thrown in the oven quickly, but it will empty your wallet just as quickly as it was eaten. You can make pizza yourself quickly. In the end, you will even pay less per person if you make it yourself than if you use a ready-made meal.

Even if it is easy to order from the delivery service around the corner, it is still often very expensive. Most delivery services have a minimum order value. So you end up ordering more than you would normally eat. It may be convenient to order your meal after a long day at work: avoid it anyway!

10) Find free groceries

There are now many platforms with which you can either save a lot of money when shopping for groceries or even get some groceries completely free of charge.  On some platforms, people give away their groceries because, for example, they are going on vacation and cannot use up all the groceries beforehand.

Other platforms, on the other hand, show you where you can pick fruits and berries in your area for free. Picking them yourself can save you money and still eat lots of delicious fruit.

11) Choose regional products

Regional vegetables are usually cheaper than vegetables that first had to be imported. The same goes for fruit. Choose regional fruit and save a lot of money. Regional products do not have to travel a long way. In addition, by choosing regional products, you are also doing something good for the environment. Many farmers in your area offer seasonal vegetables and fruits at fair prices. Make yourself smart! You may be able to save additional money by, for example, picking strawberries yourself in summer. Picking them yourself reduces the price per kilo.

12) Avoid unnecessary vitamin supplements

More and more people swear by expensive vitamin supplements. These are not absolutely necessary. If you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you can get all the vitamins you need from classic foods. Talk to your doctor about whether you really need expensive supplements.

If you can’t, you can make yourself vitamin C bombs by drinking fresh orange juice or making yourself a hot lemon.

13) Denied leftovers

You can use leftovers to cook stews. Don’t throw away leftover ingredients, use them to make tasty dishes. You’ll be amazed what masterpieces you can conjure up from leftover groceries. Let your creativity run free.

Vegetables are great for cooking dishes such as stews or curries. By using leftovers, you don’t have to throw anything away, you will feel full and you also save money.

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