Everyone loves a good meal from time to time. If only every meal could be lobster bisque and a 12-ounce ribeye, but alas, not everyone can live high on the hog. If the budget doesn’t allow it, then it’s time to improvise. There are ways to save without having to cut back on that food bill. Here are some suggestions to check out.
Meats and Cheese
Most families use meat as their mainstay for weekly meal-planning. Shopping in bulk and grabbing sale items is key to making the food dollar stretch, but there are times when the sales aren’t in abundance.
Quick Hacks for Cheaper Protein
1 Choose frozen fish and seafood as opposed to fresh.
2 Get cheaper cuts and stretch them in casseroles and rice dishes.
3 Purchase cheese by the block and slice or grate it yourself.
4 Stock up on frozen, bagged chicken breasts (there are a million ways to cook and prepare — bake, boil, broil, grill or fry).
Don’t be afraid to buy store-brand cheeses for cheap meals. Off-brand gouda, provolone and white cheddar can still make delicious gourmet sandwiches and impress dinner guests at a much cheaper price.
Wine and Spirits
Want to try a new wine flavor from your favorite reserve? You don’t have to pay top dollar to get a sip. Many wineries and breweries offer free tastings or charge one low price for a spread of samplings. They’re eager to market their brand or move specialty wines and brews off the shelf. They may also run discounts on the bottles offered in the sampling.
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables aren’t the most expensive items on the grocery list, but there are still ways to pinch pennies. Instead of stocking up at Whole Foods Market, go local. Check out seasonal farm stands and your local farmers market to wheel and deal with vendors. They may even throw in a free peach or two.
Buying frozen can also slash costs. Don’t forget about pick your own fruits and berries to can and freeze for future use.
Going out? Visit Restaurants With Freebies
Everyone loves a good meal out. Places like Olive Garden offer free salad and breadsticks with an entree. Save on costs by going just before the dinner rush hits. You’ll get lunch menu prices and still get the free breadsticks and salad, all for about half the cost of a dinner plate. Same with favorites like Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse, Romano’s and The Cheesecake Factory.
Eating like you’re flush means enjoying the richer things in life, but you can still save money while you’re at it. Regardless of whether you’re going out or staying home, there are ways to get the most for your buck. Implement a few key tips and keep both the budget tight and the tummy satisfied.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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