If you want to make affordable meals, you need to have a well-stocked pantry. Not only does this allow you to make cheap meals, but it also helps ensure that you're more likely to eat at home, which saves even more money. Whether you shop sales or double up on savings, there are several cheap ways to stock your pantry.
First things first. Go online and check the sales available at your local grocery stores. If you see something on sale at a rock-bottom price that your family uses, stock up. Great examples of items to always have in your pantry include pasta, pasta sauce, rice, canned vegetables and beans, quick fix side dishes, pancake mix, sugar, flour, etc. It may take a few weeks to get stocked up on all the items you use.
If you don't clip coupons, you need to start. You can find so many great coupons on the items you need to stock in your pantry. Coupons can be found in the Sunday paper, but you can also go online to print coupons. Some grocery stores allow you to clip coupons to your member's card so that you don't have to keep up with paper coupons.
Double Up on Savings
For the best deals, combine coupons with sales. For example, if you purchase an item on sale for $1, but have a coupon for $0.50 off, that's 50% off. It gets even better. If your store doubles coupons, that item will be free. Check your grocery stores policies and use your coupons to get the best deals on sale items.
Try Store Brands
Believe it or not, some store brands are actually better than the brand name versions. What's better is that some store brands are making the switch to get rid of high fructose corn syrup before the brand name versions. Give the store brand a try the next time it goes on sale and see what you think. You may be surprised.
Buy in Bulk
Last, but not least, if your family eats a lot of something, you may save money buying in bulk. Compare the unit prices to determine if you're getting a better deal. If you are, it only makes sense to start buying in bulk.
If you want to cook more meals at home, there are things you can do to save money. It all begins with stocking your pantry. Whether you use coupons or try store brands, there are cheap ways to stock your pantry.