For most families, food is their fourth largest expense, falling only behind the mortgage/rent, health insurance, and car payments. Savvy shoppers, however, understand the real secrets to cutting their food bills down to size, saving $1000, $2000, even $3000 or more per year in the process.
Below we present 15 easy ways to cut your food bills by thousands.
Get your bread and bakery products at ridiculously low prices
One of the best kept secrets around is the bakery outlet. Outlets receive bread and baked goods directly from the bakery, bypassing the supermarket middleman in the process. A popular bakery outlet brand that I frequented in Chicago, for instance, received deliveries directly from the company bakery three times a week. The savings can be tremendous with prices 40% to 50% less than supermarket prices.
Many bakery outlet veterans suggest that you stock up and store the extras in the freezer, creating a long lasting supply of cheap bread, bagels, muffins, and other baked goods. Search the internet for a list of bakery outlets near you.
Eat less without even knowing it
You can cut your food bill and slim your waistline at the same time. According to leading food psychologist Brian Wansink, we all continue to eat well after our hunger has been fulfilled. This unconscious overeating is due to visual cues that guide our consumption.
We simply have the tendency to finish everything that’s on our plate, regardless of whether we’re still hungry or not. Unfortunately, over the last two decades the size of our plates has grown tremendously.
A few decades ago 10 inch dinner plates were the standard. Now, 12 inch dinner plates have become commonplace. Simply by switching to smaller 10 inch dinner plates we will generally consume 22% less food, saving both our waistlines and our pocketbooks.
Create leftover magic
The average family of four throws out $1,350 of food every year, much of this in the form of wasted leftovers.
In my humble opinion, no well stocked kitchen should be without eggs, salad greens, and potatoes. These are what I affectionately refer to as “leftover extenders” and they are a great way to make sure leftovers get used instead of tossed away.
Almost any leftover meat can be diced or shredded and used in an omelette. Dice those leftover vegetables and add them to the mix as well.
Meat leftovers combined with salad greens create the perfect dinner salad. Toss in some leftover vegetables for added crunch. Almost any sauce from the previous night’s meal can be layered over a baked potato. Add shredded or diced leftover meat, sprinkle on a little cheese and you have a delicious dinner potato.