Save 50% (or more!) on fast meals at home!

Eat­ing in is an easy way to save— if only you had time to cook! Here, four bud­get-friendly tips to make home cook­ing quick and de­li­cious

Woman's World - - Contents -

Cut costs and prep time with dis­count meal kits

In the­ory, those meal kits that get de­liv­ered to your door, com­plete with pre­mea­sured in­gre­di­ents and an easy-to-fol­low recipe, are a life­saver. The trou­ble is, the ex­pen­sive sub­scrip­tion plans are a pain in the wal­let. Now there’s a bet­ter op­tion: Chains like Costco and Wal­mart have started of­fer­ing meal kits priced at about $ 4 to $ 7 per serv­ing. You’ll get a restau­ran­tqual­ity meal for up to 50% less than mail-order kits—with­out get­ting locked into a pricey sub­scrip­tion! Find them in your su­per­mar­ket’s re­frig­er­ated foods sec­tion.

Save on spe­cialty goods with the salad bar

Ex­per­i­ment­ing with new recipes makes at-home meals more ex­cit­ing, but buy­ing costly in­gre­di­ents, like spe­cialty cheeses or diced veg­gies, can send the per-serv­ing price soar­ing. The sur­pris­ing saver? The su­per­mar­ket salad bar! You’ll get the amount you need and won’t pay for ex­tras you won’t use. Plus, you’ll save prep time since these items are often pre-shred­ded, diced and ready to use. Just com­pare the “unit price” on the salad bar to the pack­aged food’s price per unit— you can find sav­ings of up to 50%!

Score deals on meat with a butcher buddy

Not only can the butcher in your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket tip you off to the low­est prices on fresh meat and the best days to buy, some will also re­move the fat and bone from a roast— all you have to do is ask! And since you’re pay­ing by weight, this trick not only saves you cash, you’ll have less prep work when you get home. Also smart: If your recipe calls for a costly cut of meat, ask your butcher to sug­gest less-ex­pen­sive sub­sti­tutes—you could save $ 2 per pound!

Fla­vor food for less with a spice-aisle swap

Herbs and spices are key to cre­at­ing quick and tasty meals: Just a few shakes de­liv­ers in­stant fla­vor. But stock­ing the pantry can get pricey. To the res­cue: the su­per­mar­ket’s bulk aisle, where you can save more than 90%! A Tiphero cost com­par­i­son found pa­prika cost $2.75 per ounce in the su­per­mar­ket spice aisle and just 24 cents in bulk. And no need to worry about fla­vor: In a

Con­sumer Re­ports taste test, peo­ple couldn’t tell a dif­fer­ence be­tween brand-name spices and dis­count ones. No bulk bins at your gro­cer? Swing by the dol­lar store or eth­nic gro­cer (or the eth­nic aisles at your su­per­mar­ket) for sav­ings.

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