Your grocery bill can go down

food billIf you are smart your food bill can go down instead of up. Stop buying the majority of food in the grocery especially unprocessed food like meats and vegetables. Learn the basics of food. Here are some points to lower your food bill:

  1. Stop buying vegetables in the Supermarket – it can be up to 400% more expensive than the market.
  2. Stop buying meat in the Supermarket – there are far cheaper options.
  3. Learn the basics of food preservation – how to freeze food, dehydration, packaging and which foods can be frozen and for how long:
    • Properly vacuum sealed foods can be frozen for more than a year after expiry.
    • Properly (vacuum) packaged cheeses and some dairy can remain unopened in the refrigerator for more than 6 months after expiry.
    • Food can be dehydrated to greatly extend shelf life
    • You can incorporate ingredients when plentiful in soups and finished dishes so they can be frozen without loss in quality.
  4. Make it a policy to buy vegetables and fruits that are in season. Tomatoes are currently as low as 3$/lb and can be easily canned at home with some very basic equipment. Green beans are low in price as well, these can be canned or frozen. Consider buying in bulk from the wholesale market if you understand how to preserve or can share larger orders with friends and family.
  5. Invest in some good tools for food preservation:
    • Basic Canning equipment
    • A good freezer
    • A food dehydrator
    • vacuum sealer
    • Mandolin Slicer
    • Good powerful blender (optional)
    • Meat Grinder /sausage maker (optional)
    • Learning the basics on using these techniques – youtube etc
  6. Cook large batches of foods that are suitable for freezing especially when you have kids:
    • Soups, even simple pureed soups like cream of broccoli
    • Meatballs
    • Lasagna, macaroni pie and other pasta type dishes
  7. Stock up on food when there are discounts and excessive stocks. All groceries and suppliers end up with excessive stock especially when its close to expiry and for perishable goods. Be prepared for those buy one get one free deals, and know how to use it. Processed meats if vacuum sealed can go straight to the freezer and have its life extended by a year. After (or before) Christmas there are usually lots of sales on food, this is a time to stock up.
  8. Consider buying directly from distributors and wholesalers. Team up with friends and family to buy wholesale.
  9. Stop buying overpriced drinks, bottled water. Learn to make home made drinks and concentrates. There are cheap hacks to make carbonated beverages at home if you can get a CO2 tank and regulator. Bottled water is a scam. Learn to make juice concentrates (online) and make juice concentrates when fruits are in season.
  10. Buy meat in large amounts:
    • Consider buying the leg/thigh imported from the US in bulk and immediately process into batches for cooking. These chicken parts are not of substandard quality and are typically frozen right after slaughter. They are cheap because the highest demand in the US is for wings and breast, so the legs dont have a high price. The are the parts from the same chicken you buy at all those US restaurant  food franchises.
    • You can buy beef and mince either in larger quantities wholesale or from local farmer for a fraction of the price compared to the grocery especially if you buy large quantities
    • Pork is relatively cheap that can be trimmed and used in many dishes.
    • You can learn to make healthy high quality sausage.
    • Consider buying Canned fish – especially mackerel, salmon and sardines. These are healthy options and will be higher than most fish for Omega 3 and heart health an much cheaper than fresh fish. A 1 lb can of cooked Mackerel is a little over 10$. If you put some artificial smoke and seasonings it tastes great.
  11. For breakfast consider home made oatmeal from quick oats its one of the cheapest and most versatile breakfast.
  12. Fry chips from Sweet potatoes, Plantains, Casava and others starches in large batches if possible using an electric fryer – Pricesmart had electric fryers for about 500$ sometime ago. These are great and will come in when you have a large family. Fry in large batches and vacuum pack in large mason jars and will have a shelf life of over 2 months.
  13. Stop buying tomato based sauces and products – use tomato paste. A 6 lb can of tomato paste at Pricesmart is less than 50$. Thats enough to make like 40 gallons of ketchup. Tomato paste can be used to make pasta sauce, tomato juice, barbecue sauce etc – it works out to be one of the cheapest ingredients.
  14. Eat more eggs especially when you have growing kids. Eggs can be as cheap as 1$ each. Compare that to a doubles that is $4.

There is a whole lot more i can add to this but i don’t have the time. I did not explore growing some items. Your food bill don’t have to be expensive, and learning these techniques will help you to survive in these times. I have watched as the public have become slaves to the processed unhealthy foods we see in the groceries. 40 yrs ago we did not have all these processed foods.  I spend almost no money at Hilo, but i would walk thru just to see if they have specials.



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