Lunch is a time to refuel and recharge for the rest of your workday. The problem with lunch, however, is that it’s often one of the most expensive meals out there! From takeout sandwiches to restaurant salads, eating out can quickly drain your funds.
One way to eat well without breaking the bank? Pack your lunch! With a few simple tips and tricks up your sleeve, you may never need to buy another overpriced sandwich again. There are a few tricks that can help you save money on food, and eat healthier meals at the same time.
Coupons and discounts are your friends
One of the easiest ways to save money on food is to use coupons and discounts. Check online for deals at pricelisto.com and print out coupons before you head to the store. Many stores also offer loyalty cards that come with additional discounts. If you’re eating out, ask for a discount or coupon. Many restaurants offer specials for students and seniors, so be sure to ask.
The variety of coupons can be great if you want to go out on dinner or become a regular guest in a restaurant or bar where they serve food during lunch breaks. Delivery also offers a discount on monthly or yearly subscriptions. Do some research and math on a monthly level on what are the best options according to your schedule and income. The best and most affordable option is to at least combine preparing food at home, and using discounts on your regular expenditures like restaurants, bars, gyms, etc.
Food preparation doesn’t have to be time consuming
Another great way to save money on food is by preparing your meals. Food preparation doesn’t have to be time-consuming though. There are plenty of healthy, affordable recipes that can be prepared in a short amount of time. Check out Pinterest for quick, healthy recipes. If you are pressed for time, buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables to make your life easy.
Eating at home as much as possible will help you cut down expenses, but it does mean that you will need to manage time more efficiently as cooking takes time. Making sandwiches is easy and quick, but why not bring a healthy home-cooked meal instead of some bread with bits of vegetables? You can eat an entire salad instead, cut the carbs, and have more energy at the same time.
Cook in bulk and freeze meals
Cooking in bulk is a great way to save money on food. If you have the time, cook a large batch of your favorite meal and freeze the leftovers. This will help you avoid eating out or buying pre-made meals. Not only is cooking in bulk cheaper, but it’s also healthier. You’ll know exactly what’s in your meals, and you won’t need to buy any extra ingredients. Stock up on freezer-friendly meal essentials like frozen veggies, fruit, whole grains, and lean meats depending on your diet.
Another solution (especially for vegans and vegetarians) is to plan a day going to the market and stocking up on fresh vegetables every week so you can prepare a few salads while listening to music and waiting for your first coffee to get done. Each solution depends entirely on your schedule and time management, and if you are lacking- time to reorganize.
Make a grocery list so you don’t buy more than what you need
Grocery lists are key when it comes to saving money on food. If you know what you need before you go to the store, you’re less likely to buy unnecessary items. Stick to your list and avoid impulse buys. This will help you stay on budget and save money in the long run.
Depending on where you are buying, you might be able to even make a bargain if, for example, you like to order fruit, vegetables, or dairy products from a local farm, directly from the household. Offer advance payments, or ask for a lower price if you have a freezer to store more food for a longer period.
Food storage containers are key
Once again, it all comes back to food preparation. If you prepare your wholesome meals in advance, you will need to have proper food storage containers. This way, your food will stay fresh and you won’t have to worry about it going bad. Invest in quality food storage containers that will last. There are many affordable options on the market.
You can either prepare complete meals or order them in a way that can make meal preparation faster. Try washing, peeling, and cutting vegetables in size portions, or store them combined with other ingredients that accommodate one another. Putting rice in the packaging, or onions can prevent developing mold on the product for a longer time. Try researching more about how to properly store food so it can have an extended shelf life.
Eating in today’s society is a luxury rather than a necessity. The price of food has tripled in the past 50 years and it continues to rise. Eating out, or buying pre-made meals, can be costly and time-consuming. There are ways to cut costs and if you prepare your wholesome meals in advance, you will need proper food storage containers that last.