Cooking on a budget does not have to mean boring, unappetizing meals if you shop at wholesale outlets and clip coupons. Buying large quantities in bulk can sometimes save you money as well. Packing a nutritious lunch for school or work, rather than eating out can also save money. Cooking casserole-type dishes can go a long way, and you can add nutritious vegetables to pasta as well.
Knowing how to use leftovers and create a hearty meal for tomorrow's dinner is another way of cooking on a budget. Stews and soups can make a hearty base for a main course. Tonight's leftover soup can be a large portion of tomorrow's dinner.
Using creativity and imagination can actually make cooking on a budget fun. For instance, vegetables and orzo pasta make great additions to leftover soup. Pack it in the kids' lunchbox and they will have a nutritional low-cost lunch. Add a piece of fruit and some crackers and lunch is ready.
A good idea for cooking on a budget is to join a wholesale shopping club. These outlets typically charge a yearly fee, but in the long run, it can save the average family a considerable amount of money on everyday cooking essentials. Basic household food items can be purchased in bulk, saving time and money. An added bonus to belonging to a club is not having to plan frequent shopping trips, because buying in bulk is so convenient.
Another strategy for cooking on a budget is to make small, insignificant changes or even sacrifices. For instance, rather than cooking with butter, substitute margarine. It costs less and is generally a healthier alternative.
An important step to cooking on a budget is not only finding budget recipes, but checking the weekly grocery store flyer for current specials. Sometimes supermarkets feature unadvertised specials as well. More importantly, looking through the Sunday newspaper for coupons can save money. Even if coupons won't be used during the next shopping trip, there's a good chance of using them before the expiration date. Staying organized by keeping coupons in a special folder can help.
Buying large bags of store-brand cereal for the kids can save money, and be just as tasty. In fact, there are many store-brand items that are good quality and are less expensive than name-brand products. Surprisingly, the difference adds up significantly at the end of the month.
Last but not least, tasty recipes for cooking on a budget can be found on the Internet. Doing a smart search can often lead to some fresh and exciting ways to create budget-friendly meals the entire family can enjoy. The great thing about budget recipes is being able to add extras that will stretch a meal even further.