With grocery prices going up, we can still keep food costs down. Here’s how!
For my own sake and for yours, I decided to do some digging. I wanted to put together a thorough list of recipes and meal/snack ideas to help us all keep our food costs down.
First, do not despair
Media wants us to panic. I feel that we really have no need to worry! Sure, grocery prices are up and may still climb. But we can make this work!
Next, some ways to save big bucks:
Here are some of my initial ideas for saving some money on groceries. None of these will likely work for everyone, but maybe you can find one or two that work for you.
- Garden if you can. Or purchase from a gardening friend.
- Raise your own meat and eggs if you can. This is a no-go for most of us, but perhaps you know some local farmers you can buy from.
- Take advantage of any and all offers of free or inexpensive food you might have available to you. We often have friends with extra garden produce to give away. We also have friends with fruit trees and they tell us to come “have at it!”
- Make food from scratch if you can. See lots of great and easy recipe ideas below!
- Avoid processed food if you can. Packaged convenience foods can really deplete our grocery budgets. Consider other easy-to-make meals (recipes below).
- Buy and eat “in season” produce. The prices of fresh fruits and vegetables are still very reasonable and one of the best ways to get nourishment! Don’t buy into the lie that fruits and veggies are too expensive.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are very reasonable in cost! Take advantage of this as a way to keep buying and eating healthy foods.
- Don’t let food go to waste. If produce is going bad, freeze it to use in broth (veggies) or smoothies (fruit). Save leftovers and be creative in how you use them up.
- Take advantage of “loss leaders” at grocery stores. Our local stores are still offering great sale-priced items to get us into the stores, and I bet yours are too! Take advantage of these and stock up when you find a great sale.
- Look for items that have been marked down. I almost always check the meat section at our grocery stores to see what might be close to expiring and therefore marked down. I save a lot of money this way and have freezer space to keep the meat good until we need it.
Easy Recipes to Help Keep Food Costs Down
I’ve noticed that the cost of prepared baked goods has gone up. Instead of buying them, I’ve been making inexpensive recipes like this for my family:
- Use this Basic Muffin Recipe (easy and inexpensive!) then add in anything you found on sale or have on hand!
- Banana Muffins
- Breakfast Cake Muffins
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins (omit the chocolate chips if that adds too much cost)
- Chocolate Swirl Muffins
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Cornbread and Cornbread Muffins
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
- Eggnog Muffins
- Flourless Brownie Muffins (great way to get protein!)
- Flourless Pumpkin Muffins
- Honey Cinnamon Muffins
- Lemon Muffins
- Muffin Waffles
- Orange Muffins
- Peaches and Cream Muffins
- Snickerdoodle Muffins
- Stuffing Muffins
- Sweet Potato Streusel Muffins
- Whole Grain Lemon Muffins
- Whole Grain Orange Poppyseed Muffins
- Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Whole Wheat and Honey Zucchini Muffins
- Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
Easy-to-Make Breakfast Breads and Bars
- Applesauce Bread
- Apricot Breakfast Bars
- Banana Bread
- Breakfast Cake
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread
- Chocolate Swirl Bread
- Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- Honey Whole Wheat Bagels
- Honey Whole Wheat Bread
- Lemon Bread
- Monkey Bread
- No Knead Whole Wheat Bread
- Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
- One Hour Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls
- Peanut Butter Breakfast Cake
- Pita Bread
- Pumpkin Breakfast Cake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- Strawberry Bread
- Stir-n-Pour Bread – So Easy!
- Whole Wheat and Honey Zucchini Bread
- Whole Wheat Butterhorns
- Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
- Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
- Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns
- Zucchini Carrot Bread
Cereal prices seem much higher than normal, so consider these fun ideas:
Homemade Cereal – Easier than you think!
- Cracklin’ Oat Bran Cereal
- Dark Chocolate Almond Granola
- Granola ~ 5-Minute Stop-Top Version
- Grape Nuts Cereal
- Instant Oatmeal Packets
Inexpensive Meal Ideas:
- Lentil Nachos
- Tuna Patties
- Banana Pancakes
- Applesauce BBQ Chicken
- Hashbrown and Egg Nests
- Cornbread Waffles with Chili
- Veggie Fritters
- Lemon Garlic Chicken Legs
- Simple Noodle Soup
Meals you can make instead of buy:
These meals are not necessarily the cheapest to make compared to those listed above. But these are less expensive to make from scratch compared to buying them premade or compared to eating out.
- Hot Pockets
- Chicken Burritos
- Meat and Cheese Burritos
- Chicken Nuggets and French Fries
- Chicken Patty Sandwiches
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Salad
- Homemade Tomato Soup
- Pizza Pockets
Grocery Shopping Tips:
If you’re looking to save money, here are some foods you want to stock up on and some foods you might want to avoid.
- Fruit that is in season and/or on sale
- Chicken legs
- Whole chicken
- Boneless chicken thighs or breasts
- Ground turkey or chicken
- Ingredients for homemade baking: flour, sugar, honey, spices, oil, baking powder, salt
- Pasta sauce
- Fruit that is out of season
- Ground beef (buy this when it’s on sale to use sparingly as it is significantly more than ground turkey)
- Cheese and cream cheese (we eat a lot of cheese, but I’ve been trying to use it less in our meals overall to save a few bucks)
- Premade baked goods (with the exception of bread and buns which are still reasonably priced)
- Frozen meals
What are your go-to meals that are money savers?