How to Cut Your Food Bill in 4 Easy StepsAs more and more people are finding it necessary to stretch their monthly food budget, many are wondering what the best way is to reduce their monthly food bill. Keeping your food healthy is another concern – it might be easy to reduce your food bill by eating nothing but generic peanut butter and white bread, but you might find your savings offset by health problems! Here are some simple steps you can take to cut your food bill and still eat the healthy foods you need.

1 – Whole Foods

For some reason, many people think that eating fresh, whole foods is more expensive than eating pre-packaged foods. When it comes down to how much food you get for your dollar, it’s often the other way around. For example, you will probably pay approximately the same amount of money for three pounds of potatoes as you would for a 13-ounce bag of potato chips. It’s cheaper to buy flour and make your own bread than buy the store-bought equivalent of homemade, whole grain bread.

Whole grains are also fairly inexpensive. Bags of brown rice, millet, quinoa, and other whole grains can be stretched far to feed a family.

2 –  Buy in Season

There is something in season just about all year ’round. In winter, look for winter squash, kale, turnip greens, turnips, and sweet potatoes. If you really like seasonal favorites like summer squash, asparagus or bell peppers in the middle of winter, buy extra in the summer and freeze them at home. Another budget secret: commercially frozen vegetables are nearly as nutritious as fresh. If you want to buy out-of-season produce for almost-summer prices, look in your freezer section.

3 – Combine Coupons and Sales

When you are trying to reduce your monthly food expenditures, you need to be willing to put in some time. There are entire websites dedicated to showing you how to ferret out the best deals, from alerting you to your local store’s sales to providing printable coupons.

Take advantage of this information, and brush up on how to save. Try to combine coupons and store sales for great deals. Visit the websites of your favorite brands and products, and search for printable coupons on their site. Study the flyers that come in the mail from your local supermarket and grocery store. Don’t be afraid to try a different store if they have good sales and deals. Sometimes, saving money is a matter of breaking expensive habits and being willing to try new things.

4 –  Cut Back on Meat

There are so many healthy alternatives to expensive cuts of meat that this article isn’t long enough to cover them! From vegetarian options to meat substitutes to frozen fish, there are lots of options to choose from when you are trying to cut back on pricey meats.

The meats that are usually the most expensive are beef steaks, beef roasts, whole turkeys, and large hams. Think of meat as a side dish, and serve small portions with a meal that’s heavy on the vegetables and whole grains. Meat can be stretched in stews and casseroles, too.