The internet is awash in money-saving tips, but, too often, they skew toward austerity. They neglect the basic fact that people need pleasure and excitement in their lives.
This is certainly apparent in money-saving tips for food, many of which advocate for cheap pantry staples like dried beans and rice. While there’s nothing wrong with those pantry staples (rice and beans can be fantastic, as any Caribbean/Central American country can tell you), this article aims to offer a balance between being financially judicious and enjoying yourself. In other words, you can have your meat and eat it too!
Here are a few top tips for saving money on food without sacrificing excitement and flavor.
Don’t Grocery Shop on an Empty Stomach
Here’s a simple tip that saves you from buying extraneous items: eat before you shop. Whether you’re shopping for groceries through an online delivery platform or visiting a brick-and-mortar grocery store, have a bite to eat before you hit the (digital) aisles.
According to a study from the American Council of Science and Health, shoppers on an empty stomach not only buy more – they also make unhealthier choices, preferring high-calorie offerings. Obviously, it’s okay to splash out on high-calorie foods once in a while, but most health experts agree that you shouldn’t make it a habit.
Try Fee-less Delivery Services
Saving money on food doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delivery! Everyone needs a couple of nights away from the kitchen now and then.
But consider choosing a food delivery platform that doesn’t charge exorbitant fees. If you live in Miami, try getREEF Miami, which offers fee-less delivery from several local restaurants. And because the delivery platform connects you with restaurants in your immediate area, the food always arrives hot and fresh. It’s a brilliant compromise for people who crave convenience without the cost.
Get More Mileage from Your Food
The US is notorious for food waste. (An estimated 30-40% of the country’s food supply ends up in the trashcan). Think of it this way: you wouldn’t take ten dollars to the grocery store and just throw four dollars in the garbage right away.
Get more mileage from your food by using every part. If you buy whole roasted chickens from a delivery kitchen or store, save the bones to make a flavorful stock. In the same vein, save your vegetable trimmings (onion tops, celery leaves, carrot peels etc.) and add them to the pot. That way, you can get multiple – tasty – meals from your ingredients.
Be Patient with Cheaper Meat Cuts
Finally, you don’t have to forego meat entirely when you’re saving money. Luckily, cheap cuts of meat can be some of the most flavorful… if you give them enough time.
Cuts like pork shoulder, beef chuck or chicken thighs benefit from long braises. Set them in a slow cooker or low-temperature Dutch oven for a few hours, and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most tender, succulent and flavorful meat dishes you can imagine. You may never pay $15 for a grocery store steak again!
Enjoying food and saving money aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. Get more mileage from your food by using every part of your ingredients and choosing cheap cuts for braising. And take a break from cooking by ordering through a fee-less food delivery platform.