Suggestions for saving cash on meals

Liz MacKay has thought loads about how to economize and create much less waste. 

She’s been a columnist on CBC P.E.I.’s Mainstreet for a few years. 

As a part of our week-long collection, Money Crunch: Surviving Inflation on P.E.I., we reached out to her to get some tips about saving cash on meals. 

MacKay has 5 kids, is again in class, and stated staying on high of the meals funds is extra vital than ever for his or her household. Here’s what she needed to say.

A blackboard with food menu
The MacKay household plans their meals forward and infrequently replaces meat with different proteins, together with beans. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Menu planning 

“So menu planning is a type of issues that I encourage folks do, however I hadn’t practised for a very long time. And once I went again to highschool, we needed to actually get on the boat of menu planning as a result of everyone in our home needed to prepare dinner and it actually does save some huge cash. We find yourself having a leftover evening as soon as every week as a result of there’s issues which have been cooked an additional quantity … much less waste, extra money in your pocket when you menu plan.

In case you do not menu plan, you then’re going, ‘okay, what do I’ve within the cabinet that I can use?’ Or, ‘I am simply going to run into the shop and seize a couple of issues,’ however they will not be on sale after which your value is up just a little bit greater than what it will have been. When issues are on sale that I do know that I take advantage of, I’m going and purchase a amount of them.”

Verify the flyers 

“Have a look at how a lot you have been spending on groceries and what your common gadgets are, and begin taking a look at your flyers. See if you will discover out once they’re on sale and spot these and begin that one small change.

If it is one thing that I see a very whole lot within the flyers for, then … that is what we’re going to eat this week as a result of it’s on sale, particularly if it is a produce factor.”

A woman looks at a cook book
Liz MacKay does menu planning to maintain a lid on overspending, by shopping for what’s on sale that week. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Keep in, or deliver your individual meals 

“Eat at house or take your meals with you to highschool or work or wherever you are going. And prepare dinner it from scratch. In case you’re cooking issues which are fast or already pre-made, then you are going to be spending extra money. The extra that you would be able to bake and prepare dinner at house, the extra money you are going to save and it is extra nutritious often, will depend on what you are shopping for…. Go meatless at the very least a couple of times every week. Reduce on meat that you’re consuming as a result of that could be a very costly half and it will offer you new flavours.

I believe that the errors that typically occur are we purchase issues which are very fast to eat as a result of ‘hey, I simply should heat it up in a pot or the microwave’ or no matter…. That actually will increase your meals funds loads. Additionally, consuming meals that you just’re paying for that both goes to waste or it is not gonna fill you. In case you’re consuming meals that fills you, you are not going to be as hungry and your meals costs go down.”

Family eating at a table
The MacKay household enjoys one in every of their favorite meals collectively. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Backyard when you can 

“We do container gardening and we backyard outdoors of our house.

We will experiment with gardening year-round within the house this yr simply to see what occurs, particularly with lettuce, as a result of lettuce is dear and we wish to eat lots of salad. We’ve strawberry crops and blackberry crops that we have gotten from different folks.”

Maximize leftovers 

“When now we have a rooster dinner we boil the carcass to make broth from it in order that we will use it in different recipes. However something that is made in bulk, we put it within the freezer in particular person servings. After which on occasion on these nights that I do not need to prepare dinner and the youngsters do not need to prepare dinner and my husband would not need to prepare dinner, it is a fend for your self freezer evening. It must be one thing that was already cooked after which it is a fast and simple meal to have immediately.

Simply ensure you label your leftovers which are getting into. Label what it’s and the date since you need to know once you put it within the freezer earlier than it will get buried eternally.”

Man wraps chicken in paper
The MacKay household buys issues like rooster breasts in bulk after which freezes them individually to be used later. (Kirk Pennell/CBC )

Be intentional 

“You actually should be conscious … actually analyzing what you are consuming and the way you are consuming it and the place you are getting it from.

It is a actually vital exercise that you must do your self as a result of it is not one thing another person can are available in and say, ‘hey, that is what you must purchase, that is what you must prepare dinner.’ As a result of it will not be your tastes in any respect.”

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