7 Smart Ways to Save Money When Cooking

by Julie

If you are looking for some ways to save money, the kitchen remains one of the greatest and easiest places to start on. Food makes about 13% of our total annual expenses, so learning some tricks to cut down some dollars will help you a lot in the long run.

You should become very familiar with different cooking techniques using cheaper ingredients in order to spend less and cut costs. It is also important to know how to store some extra ingredients as well as leftovers, so you avoid waste.

Below, you will find some helpful tips that will teach you some smart ways to save money when cooking.

7 Ideas to Save Money on Food

Make Use of Legumes

You should always include a legume recipe in your diet. In this collection, lentils, flageolets, garbanzos, and black beans are the best legumes to work with. Buy these legumes in bulk, cook them in larger amounts once per week and use it as the main meal for another night or just decide to freeze them depending on your future use.

Also, another trick to have in mind is to buy dry beans instead of canned beans, which are more expensive. This will also help you save some money when it comes to cooking.

Use Chicken Thighs

Another way to save some money when cooking is by using skinless and boneless chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts.

Chicken breasts are probably one of the most used and the favorite for everyone who loves chicken. The problem is that it is very expensive and hard to buy in small amounts. To save a lot of money on cooking chicken, try skinless and boneless chicken thighs which are cheaper. Though you have to work on trimming fat before cooking, you will save more money than with chicken breasts.

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Pop Your Popcorn

Popcorn is one of the most used snacks all around the world. Even though it looks like a small purchase, the costs can add up if you are a major popcorn fan. Walking into a supermarket and putting a bag of prepared popcorn in your shopping cart seems to be very easy. You forget that making your popcorn at home is easy and much cheaper. This also helps you to control the additives as you don’t need imitation flavors. So, instead of buying a bag of popcorn, you should pop yours. It is easier, healthier, and cheaper in the long run.

Buying Meat? Pick Quality Over Quantity

When purchasing meat, concentrate on quality not quantity: Most people buy in bulk of cheap meat, instead of getting a small bit of delicious quality meat.

You should pick quality over quantity when it comes to meat. Mix the quality meat with grains, legumes, and vegetables and quality beef with ginger, garlic, and some chili in order to improve the flavor even further.

Also, make sure you buy meat from the butcher rather than a grocery meat department to cut costs where possible.

Moderate Food Waste

You should always reduce waste while shopping and cooking. One of the ways of doing this is freezing leftovers, which can sometimes make a whole meal. You can plan this for soup, cooked potatoes, chili, and much more.

Another way of moderating food waste is by buying smaller fruits. By picking smaller fruit by weight, you avoid wasting a lot of money in the long run.

Have Your Garden of Herbs and Vegetables

Try to have a small garden of herbs and vegetables if possible. Buying your vegetables from the market can be very expensive since vegetables are mostly used on a daily basis. You will save much on these vegetables and herbs when you grow them in your garden.

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Tip: Vegetables and herbs grow very quickly and do not take much space, so it’s another reason to consider growing them.

Consider Buying Spices from Bulk Bins

Spices keep diets delicious and healthy but with such a huge variety, costs can add up a lot. In order to save some money from spices, you should always look for a shop that sells them in bulk since you will spend less. You can also consider buying in smaller amounts which will help you save on the up-front price and avoid spice waste.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the ways that you can adopt in order to save money while cooking. I know that there are a lot of other tricks you can try which will help you save some money in the kitchen but I decided to include 7 ways that I implement more when I personally shop and cook.

I hope you liked this article and don’t forget to share it with your friends on social media.

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4 of 9 comments
  • Janet bruce Janet bruce on Dec 28, 2022

    I put quite a few of the suggestions into practice, especially leftovers into the freezer" However, I must correct you in one: DO NOT put potatoes into the freezer, as they get sort of mushy, unless you mash them into other veggies!

    • Elisa Palacios Elisa Palacios on Sep 21, 2023

      I agree with you!! Or maybe make mash potatoes and add chives or some herb you might like.

  • Virginia Virginia on Dec 28, 2022

    we get rotisserie chicken from Costco. The first night or two (maybe even 3) we eat it sliced, plus with a grain and a veg (I have tons of carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and regular potatoes saved from the garden). Then I pick the rest off the carcass and make soups. I’ve gotten really good at quickly getting everything off. If I don’t need the soup immediately, I freeze the picked chicken. I also boil the picked carcass for broth by breaking down the carcass more and only adding as little water as possible since I don’t care for watery broth. We can actually get a week out of one chicken, garden veggies and some grain—barley, rice, quinoa, etc.—or beans.

    • J J on Jan 06, 2023

      Rotisserie chicken is the best. I’ll buy 2 at Sam’s Club then take the white meat off for the first 2 nights supper. Pick the carcasses clean- larger chunks in one container and smaller bits and pieces in another, labeled and dated. So easy to plan more meals when your freezer is full of precooked meat.