1. Fill up on grains
In general, grains are cheaper than other types of food. They are also carbohydrates, so they give you the necessary calories to stay warm in the winter. Try oatmeal for breakfast and have sandwiches for lunch to take advantage of grains. Grains, especially whole grains, are chock full of health benefits.
2. Take advantage of deals
Watch for sales on meat, dairy and other expensive products in the supermarket. When you see something on sale, try to buy extra. In most cases, extra products can be frozen. Even if the meat is very close to its expiry date, freezing it will keep it edible until you need it.
3. Use fillers
Instead of making the most expensive ingredient the main part of a meal, try mixing it with other foods. For example, ground beef can be mixed with beans to stretch it further. Just half a pound of meat will feed the same number of people you might normally need a pound of meat for if you stretch it.
4. Use coupons
Chances are, you check the coupons in your local paper each time you get it, but there may not be anything you need. You have other options, though. Try looking online for coupons to your favorite foods. You can even write your favorite companies a nice letter and you may receive coupons in return.
5. Hold potluck dinners
During the winter season we tend to have plenty of dinners with family, friends and neighbors. All those dinners can seriously wreck your budget, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t host any dinner. Instead of hosting a holiday dinner all on your own, invite everyone to bring a dish. Everyone shares the cost and you can still enjoy a fun dinner together.
6. Plan for leftovers
Instead of eating an entire pot roast for dinner in one night, divide it up. Give smaller portions of the roast the first night and use the remaining meat for soup and sandwiches over the next couple of days. You can stretch the meat further by spreading it out a bit.
7. Break out the slow cooker
A crock pot allows you to buy very cheap, tough cuts of meat and turn them into mouthwatering morsels. Just pop the meat into the slow cooker, add some vegetables and herbs, along with some liquid, and cook for 8 hours or until the meat is falling apart. As a bonus, you can use the cooking liquid to make a pasta sauce or use it as a soup base.