12 Easy Tips Anyone Can Use To Save Money On Food!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

I’m sharing 12 easy tips to save on groceries. Most of these tips are good for  your budget AND the environment. And it doesn’t get any easier than this – there are many super simple ways to make the most of your food dollars.

Homestead pantry stocked with food in glass jars. #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

Motivations For Eliminating Food Waste

Today we’re looking at trimming waste from your grocery budget. We all may have different reasons for wanting to cut back.

    • A large unexpected bill needs to be paid

    • Saving up for a new home or car

    • Too much month and just not quite enough money

There are any number of reasons why Financial Times Turn Tough Unexpectedly.

But for me the main motivation was a desire to have a lighter footprint on this earth of ours. And convenience foods often come with a shocking amount of over-packaged waste.  

It’s interesting though that my desire to have a lighter footprint also saved substantial amounts of money from our grocery budget. AND we ate healthier too.

Whatever your motivation, one of the worst budget hits is wasted food. So make sure all the food you buy goes to fulfilling your family’s nutritional requirements.

Simple tips to save money on groceries. It's easy! #TexasHomesteader

As I mentioned my goal was initially borne from environmental awareness.

It bothered me to see multiple mammoth-sized trash cans lined up at the curb at each and every house TWICE A WEEK – every week – back when we lived in the city. All that trash, where does it come from?

PreCycling Is Better Than Recycling

Years ago I started noticing where our home’s trash came from. It was shocking to realize the over-packaged waste in our consumer products.

So I started mindfully reducing the amount of trash I brought into our home in the first place. Of course I was already recycling everything I could.

But recycling – although better than landfill-bound trash – is still trash needing to be dealt with. 

Instead of recycling I became more focused on PREcycling. That is, not bringing it into our home to begin with.

Why I recycle less - PRE-Cycling is even better than recycling. #TexasHomesteader

Boxes and cans of convenience foods were replaced with real honest-to-goodness ingredients. I began cooking simple meals from scratch.

And non-recyclable plastic cups from my favorite morning yogurt were eliminated by learning to make my own homemade yogurt in single-serving reusable 1/2-pint canning jars. 

MYO easy fruit on the bottom yogurt. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

With each new step I made I was successful in eliminating more trash from going to the landfill. That made my eco-warrior heart happy.

But amazingly those steps also saved lots of money from our grocery budget.

Over the years I’ve gained more & more confidence to produce for myself those things I used to buy. I now typically make my meals, desserts & spice mixes from scratch.

Now lest you be very misled yes, convenience foods make an appearance from time to time in my kitchen. For me it’s all about moderation and I’m certainly no Super Woman.

But here are many ways I’ve been able to save lots of money on our grocery budget:

Cook-Once Eat-Twice Method of Cooking

Cook-Once, Eat-Twice  method is where you make more of a main entrée than you’ll be eating at one sitting. So go ahead & make a LOT of that favorite entrée tonight. 

Enjoy a portion for supper & freeze the rest in portion-sized servings. Now home-cooked healthy meals are as close as your freezer.

Just pull out your main dish the night before and allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge.

Then for supper all you have to do is heat up your main dish, add a couple of veggie sides or some quick & easy Roasted Vegetables and voila.

Roasted vegetables are an easy side dish. #TexasHomesteader

See what I mean? Cook-Once, Eat-Twice method of cooking means supper from scratch is on the table in literally minutes!

Planned leftovers Method of Cooking

Planned Leftovers is similar to Cook-Once, Eat-Twice method of cooking.

Cooking with planned leftovers means you’re cooking more of a main ingredient that you will later turn into a completely different meal.

Leftover Pork Roast you enjoyed tonight can be turned into:

Leftover roast into carnitas tacos. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

Leftover chicken can be turned

Leftover grilled chicken and vegetables can be made into chicken fajitas the next night. #TexasHomesteader

See what I mean? Once again homemade supper is on the table FAST since the main ingredient’s already been cooked.

Click below to check out all our planned leftovers posts:

All our posts about cooking with planned leftovers in mind. #TexasHomesteader

Make Soup!

Many people keep a container in the freezer and add bits of leftover food. You can even keep juice drained from cans of veggies as free vegetable broth & you’ll be on your way to a great starter point for homemade soup. 

I have Several Soup Recipes that we love. Most involve adding some sort of leftovers. And I like to make endless soup to keep me in hot lunches for a week. It’s EASY, healthy & very inexpensive!

Soup saves money in your grocery budget. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

Store Leftovers in Repurposed Glass Containers 

That leftover food has already been bought and prepared. So all the hard work has already been done. 

Don’t let those leftovers sit in the fridge until they become a science fair experiment. Keep ’em in repurposed Glass Jars.

That way you can see & enjoy those leftovers either for supper the next night or maybe a quick lunch instead of eating out.

Storing food in see-through glass jars. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

Use Stale Food in Another Dish

There are many ways you can use stale food in another more exciting dish.

Stale Bread Into

It's easy to make your own breadcrumbs using stale bread. #TexasHomesteader

Lightly-Soured Milk Into

Pancakes are a delicious yet cheap meal. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

And potatoes that are starting to get soft can be cooked into mashed potatoes. Veggies starting to wrinkle can be chopped & sautéed right then for supper.

You get the idea – use it up!

Use ALL Of Your Food

Washed veggie peelings or the bones / skin of chicken, turkey or steak can be made into healthy broth.

There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

By following my procedure, that delicious bone broth’s lower in fat & higher in calcium too!

Grow a Garden for Fresh Veggies

This one gets bonus points for exercise too since gardening often results in a healthy workout as well. Oh and a garden is easy on the eyes too!

Grow a garden for fresh vegetables CHEAP! There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

Preserve the Food You Can’t Eat Fresh

You can make that produce last for months by either canning, freezing or dehydrating. Start small and expand as you gain confidence.

Canning food preserves it for months. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

Tips For Saving Money On Fruit

Separate Fruit – No need to just grab that entire bunch of bananas and head for the register. It’s ok to pull off 3-4 bananas from the bunch if that’s all you’ll eat before they go bad.

More Fruits By The Pound – I’ve found that oftentimes when I’m buying fruit by the pound I get more value buying the smaller-sized bananas, apples, etc.

Typically when eaten as a snack it’s one fruit, large or small since few people eat half a banana or apple.  I get more smaller fruits by the pound than larger ones.

Homemade Items Instead Of Buying Premade

Inexpensive Low-Waste Treats: Buy popsicle molds and make your own popsicles using sweetened yogurt, the syrup drained from canned fruits, or this simple recipe for fudgesicles.

Homemade fudgesicles made healthier using yogurt. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

Cheap Pickles or Jalapenos: A fresh jalapeno or sliced cucumber can go into an empty jalapeno or pickle jar. The brine leftover in those empty jars will pickle that fresh cucumber or those jalapenos for very little cost and with no waste.

Just make sure to shake the jar daily until they start to pickle to keep any exposed vegetables sticking out of the brine from growing mold.

Choose Less Expensive Low-Waste Snacks

Expensive colas were replaced with fresh sun-brewed tea. (Trifecta win – hugely less expensive, much healthier and less trash since the teabag just goes into my * tumbling composter)

Popcorn is a fun inexpensive snack but I hated the waste! So we buy a bag of popcorn kernels for about a dollar and it pops up GALLONS of Popcorn with very little landfill waste. 

Microwave popcorn is a cheap snack. There Are LOTS Of Super-Easy Ways To Save On Groceries to cut the budget. Come See What Works Best For Us. #TexasHomesteader

Coupons Don’t Always Save Money

Use coupons only when they save money over buying the generic brand. Or when buying those name-brands that really matter to you.

You’re not really saving money if you’re only paying more for the name on the package.

It's easy to use these tips to save money. #TexasHomesteader

What’s Your Favorite Grocery Budget Saving Tip?

These tips worked great for keeping our grocery budget low. But we’re all in different places in our lives.

What works well for an empty-nester family might not work as well for a young family just starting out.

Let’s learn from each other. Ware some of your favorite ways to save those hard earned dollars on your grocery budget?


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Tagged in A complete list of all our zero-waste living articles. #TexasHomesteader   A list of all our eco-friendly posts. #TexasHomesteader    All our favorite eco-friendly posts about repurposing. #TexasHomesteader    

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20 thoughts on “12 Easy Tips Anyone Can Use To Save Money On Food!

  1. candace ford

    I think I’ve written about this before, but whenever I have fruit that is past it’s prime, not moldy or anything I toss it into a (reused) bag in the freezer when I have enough wrinkled grapes, too soft bananas, wrinkled apples I pop it all in the slow cooker and cook it down to make a sweet jam. We have a large compost bin so most peelings and such go there for later use in the garden. I do a similar thing with bones and meat scraps, boil them down. When they get soft enough I break them up with the Kitchen pliers and let them simmer some more. I later remove the solids, let it chill and skim any fat. Into containers to freeze to use later to make soup or instead of water in a pan for steaming vegetables.
    I always enjoy hearing what other people do to save money and take care of the universe.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I think I remember you speaking of your fruit jam anti food-waste hack Candace. I’m so impressed at your thinking-outside-the-box mindset. You’re an accomplished eco warrior for sure! ~TxH~

  2. Kerry

    Some great idea! I try my best to use as much of our food as possible. Usually we are pretty good about not throwing too much out. I also feel like having a CSA is resourceful. You use what you are given and tend to use it all.

  3. Melissa French, The More With Less Mom

    Homemade stock is the best, you can taste the love in there. Thanks for posting. Hello from Treasure Box Tuesday.

  4. Amanda

    Great tips Tammy! My husband and I have significantly reduced our waste each week from where we were a year ago. Now we usually only have 1, sometimes 2, bags of trash in our extra large trash can. Of course, we do still have our recycling bin too. It’s always amazed me how much trash an average family produces–out of sight out of mind. It’s sad really.
    Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday, I always look forward to reading your posts!

  5. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    Love this post as our family does all of these things.

    I really like the idea of precycling! I started cooking from scratch in order to save money, but I also noticed how much less trash we were generating. We now only have trash pick-up twice a month. That has saved us additional money.

    Thanks for sharing these tips. (If you or your readers would like a few more, I wrote a post called 17+ Things We Don’t Pay For.)


  6. Danielle

    Great tips for saving money! Too many times I end up throwing out food and it makes me so sad (some times it’s due to the fact that the meal really didn’t taste great, so no one wants to eat it again).
    One of my favorite things about cooking a whole chicken is using the bones to make broth for soup! I’d really love to get into making beef broth, but rarely do I buy beef with bones. Thanks again for linking up with Idea Box!

  7. Gentle Joy

    Great ideas – there are so many ways to reduce what we use…and throw away. We find it funny that our big family usually has less trash at the curb than many smaller families… but we don’t buy much convenience food either. 🙂

  8. Chrystal @ YUM eating

    One of my best money savers is using a whole chicken. When I buy a whole chicken we’ll roast it with some vegetables one night. After dinner we pull off any unused meat and store it until the next day. Then I will put all bones, skin and random pieces in another bag to store. In the morning I take that bag and slow simmer it most of the day to make chicken stock. I’ll either freeze that chicken stock or use it to make a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup. Then I will use the leftover chicken and we make our own noodles.

  9. Ashley @ PioneerMomma.com

    Precycling is a genius concept, but not a lot of people remember to do it. I recently started keeping EVERY glass jar or container that comes into the house (I promise not hoarding status, I really do use them lol) and it has been a big help with food storage. Thanks for sharing your tips! Pinned and shared 🙂

  10. Silence Dogood

    Love it!

    We do so many of these things in our home too! Making from scratch, freezing extras, eating leftovers, using the “stale” items, etc. My family and I love to read your blog for new ideas on leaving frugally, green and self-sufficiently!


  11. Judith C

    Oh wow, I had no idea you could put cucumbers in the leftover pickle juice! Now that our daughter is grown and gone we actually have pickle juice left when the pickles are gone.

    I guess the one thing that I make that made a huge difference in our grocery bill is the Laundry Sauce. Not having to buy that huge jug at Sam’s is pretty nice too.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve done that on numerous occasions Judith, it works great. You might wanna shake the jar every few days to make sure the cucumbers stay bathed in the vinegar juice or they could start to mold. (I’ve only had that happen once) After a few days of shaking you should be fine – let them “pickle” for about a month or so and BOOM! Pickles. ~TxH~

      1. Jean

        This was my most favorite tip too! And I had never thought of reusing glass jars for leftovers. They just always went into the recycle bin. Great ideas here, thanks!!

  12. Texas Homesteader Post author

    HI, I linked to the compost tumbler the way I did in this post because I’m hearing some people want either a smaller or larger composter, or a composter with dual chambers, etc. There are lots of options these days! But I have the lifetime composter –> http://amzn.to/1r0W8Qg (affiliate link) It’s a 65-gallon tumbling composter and I’ve had it for several years – it works great! I’m having RancherMan look into your question about the notifications after comments are made. Thanks for the suggestion. ~TxH~

  13. villarosa

    Always great posts! Thank you for the great ideas! I wondered which compost tumbler you use after going to the Amazon link you provided that listed several different brands? Thank you! Wish there was a selection on this page to be notified when you answer my question…

  14. Mary P

    I am single, retired and love to cook. I make almost all my meals from scratch, and plan ahead to use leftovers, either for meals on the following day or by freezing in portion-sized batches. However, I still tend to have prepared food that has no home because I am just tired of eating that particular dish. I found the perfect solution – a young, single friend on a tight budget who is very appreciative of anything I want to send his way. This could also be a real blessing for someone who is on a tight budget, has difficulty cooking or just plain doesn’t like to.


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