Cash 1 Blog

Financial Tips & Guides
How to do budget cooking

Cooking on a Budget

Updated on January 30, 2023

 Personal Finance

Cooking on a budget is not impossible. If you are focused on saving money in the kitchen more efficiently, at this point, you should know that eating at home, as opposed to dining out saves you money. Read on for some simple saving tips for groceries that won't sacrifice quality or taste by making smarter choices about what you eat and what you buy. 

Let's Start Budget Cooking!

  1. Eat Less Meat
    Meat is an expensive item. If you decrease the amount of meat in your meals or you purchase less expensive cuts, you will save money. There are other tasty protein alternatives to meat that cost less. If you don't care for tofu, you can add quinoa, lentils or kidney beans to your shopping list and recipes. This doesn’t mean that you should stop using meat altogether, but use it sparingly.
  2. Drink More Water
    Seriously, stop drinking soda and drink more water. Soft drinks, energy drinks and 'fruit' drinks inflate your food budget and your waistline with all those empty calories. Have you seen the price of Red Bull lately? Limit yourself or stop buying them altogether. Many money savers out there used to stress avoiding bottled water too, but some tap water just isn't safe. So, have your water tested for a piece of mind and get to drinking that healthy H2O from the tap.
  3. Eggs Are a Cheaper Option
    When you get hungry and don’t have much money or time to make a new dish, an egg, not a Snickers bar, will satisfy your appetite. You can use eggs on toast, in a sandwich, with fresh veggies and they're cheap. A dozen eggs are still around $3. They have 100 calories each and 6 grams of protein. Cook them in a variety of ways to never get bored of them. Here are some great recipes for eggs.
  4. Use a Slow Cooker
    Make dinner out of less expensive cuts of meat. Most cookers come with a few recipes to get you started, or you can look on the web for recipes. Learn to cook anything from unique casseroles to whole chickens, to stews, just by dropping some essential fixings in the pot and letting them gradually cook for 4 to 8 hours.
    Slow cookers require little exertion to create remarkable meals. Toss in some meat or veggies in the morning, and let it stew on a low setting throughout the day. When you return home, you'll have some excellent food waiting for you.
  5. Store Leftovers
    Stop wasting food and store your leftovers. If you have a demanding job and can’t cook on a daily basis because of your availability, then cook five or six dishes over the weekend. When you cook meals separately, there are chances ingredients are not fully utilized and some food is left over. You must store the leftovers properly in the refrigerator instead of wasting it. You can use it in the future at one time and save your money and effort.

When deciding your meals, you must be very careful about the likes and dislikes of your family. If there's food they don’t like to eat, don’t waste energy and money on cooking those dishes instead make ones liked by everyone. Follow the seasons while deciding and preparing food. In essence, if you cook out of season items like fish in the summers or vegetables that have the best taste in winter, then your family will not eat and waste food. This would increase your expense at the end because they could order some other food from any food chain to fulfill their appetite.

Saving Money on Groceries

Buy In Bulk

Spices, meat, whole chicken and blocks of cheese are often cheaper in bulk. Be sure to cross reference the bulk price per unit with each item.

Purchase Wisely

Don't be tempted by coupons for things that you would not regularly purchase. Because an offer is alluring, it doesn't mean you need to buy it. With that being said, use coupons that offer great discounts on items that you do use.

Stick To The List

Stick to only the basics and try not to deviate from the grocery list you have with you. If you find that shopping with friends or family causes you to make purchases you didn't initially need, then shop alone.

Photograph of author Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.

With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.

When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.