Saving Money on Food: Tips and Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried

Here’s Part II of Sunday’s guest post, and another timely one! I’m all for these do-it-yourself ideas.

canningBy now you know that growing your own food is a fantastic way to save money at the grocery store (and reduce your carbon footprint). You know about using coupons and coupon apps and rewards club memberships to help stretch your budget. But if you want to save even more?

Canning and Storing

Stock up on produce while it is in season and then can and store it for later. Even if you live in a tropical climate, like Florida—where most produce is in season year round—you can still buy in bulk when the produce you use a lot goes on sale and store it for later. For example, potatoes can be difficult to come by in tropical climates so stocking up and storing them in a cool dry place is a good idea (potatoes can keep a really long time).

If you don’t have a lot of extra space in your home, you can store your canned, preserved and stocked items in a local storage facility that has climate controlled units–this feature really comes in handy in cities like Orlando where it gets very hot and humid.

Jam! Jelly!

This goes hand in hand with learning to can and preserve your own fruits and veggies. Learning how to make your own jams and jellies can save you hundreds of dollars a year at the grocery store. Even better, you get to have absolute and total control over the ingredients used in the recipe. You’ll know exactly what you’re eating.

While it’s true that making jam usually requires you to make it in massive quantities, don’t freak out—homemade jams and jellies make fantastic gifts during the holiday season, for teacher gifts and for housewarmings. You’ll use up what you make!

Cows and Pigs and Chicks Better Scurry

Stop buying your meat at the grocery store. Get together with another eco-and-budget-conscious family and go in together on whole cows, pigs and chickens from a local butcher shop. This helps you make sure that the animal wasn’t factory farmed.

  1. You’ll save money because it’s cheaper to work with an independent butcher.
  2. You’ll reduce the number of trips you make to the store because even a half of a cow can last you for months and months (remember that storage unit we talked about? If you can find one that will let you hook up a standalone freezer, you can store enough meat to last your family for a full year).

Dry Goods

Making your own tortillas and pasta is easy. And do you also know how easy it is to make your own granola bars, potato chips and other snacks? Making your own snacks from scratch helps you save tons of money (it’s cheaper to buy grains in bulk than in “regular” packages) and ensures that the snacks you eat are healthy and free of additives and chemicals that you don’t want in your body.

What are some of the creative and eco-friendly things you’ve done to help your family save money come meal and snack time?