Do you find that you are limiting yourself to one lunch out per week? Packing more bologna sandwiches? Choosing a bag of frozen broccoli over a head of fresh?
If so, you’re probably not in the minority. Even as the food writer (and someone who is supposed to be on top of all the new food trends and restaurant openings), I find myself trimming a bit off the old food budget these days. The economy is in the garbage disposal and Christmas is coming. How in the world are we to be learned foodies, much less put money away for savings?
This may seem like a very obvious topic, but I think it’s worthy of discussion. In an effort to scrabble together a list of tips that I could share with the general readership of The Roanoke Times, I wonder: What is your best money-saving tip as you tighten your belt on food spending? And do you have a recipe that feeds a lot but costs a little?
Personally, I continue to check the Manager’s Specials in the meat department at my Kroger store. I’ve found all sorts of excellent deals there, and I just try to cook or freeze the meat right away. I have also gone to more frozen vegetables, particularly spinach. I always keep a bag of frozen spinach in my freezer. It is such a versatile veggie that it can be incorporated into all kinds of dishes, from casseroles to pasta to pizza.
Coupons are also a big help. If you aren’t the type of person who clips coupons or looks at a sales ad, now might be the time to do it. In addition to the coupons that come out in the Sunday paper, you can get personalized coupons in the mail from Kroger or visit the coupon kiosk at Ukrop’s when you enter the store.
Other ideas: a Diner’s Club card, a designated day every week when you get to go out to lunch, a designated day each month when you get to have a nice dinner out, more cooking at home in general, requesting gourmet food items as Christmas gifts. What else?