Trying to save money when you’re shopping for groceries can be an overwhelming task. Keeping track of what is and isn’t on sale and planning meals around those sales, looking out for coupons that might save you only ten or fifteen cents and clipping them out, or even driving around between different supermarkets looking for the best deals — all of these things can create a hassle for you that isn’t worth the money you might be saving doing them. Luckily, there are a few ways you can make things easier on yourself and your bank account from the comfort of your own home. Try these simple solutions that not only save you money, but also provide plenty of convenience to make cooking a meal an easy affair to manage.
Raise Fresh Herbs in a Window Box
If you have the space, growing an herb garden in a window box is a great way to save some money while adding fresh and flavorful ingredients to the meals that you cook. Rather than having to rely on jars of dried herbs, or running to the store for fresh herbs each time a recipe calls for some that you don’t have, you’ll be able to simply open your window, reach out, and pluck out what you need. A quick rinse later and you’re ready to dice them up and add them to your meals!
Whether you have a window that gets sunlight all day long or one that’s partially shaded during the day, you can find herbs to grow that will thrive in whatever conditions you have. Plants like oregano, rosemary, sage, and basil all grow very well in full sunlight and will add lots of extra flavor to your dishes. For more shady areas around the outside of your house, try planting mint, parsley, and cilantro, which all grow well even when the sun isn’t shining on them the whole day. Growing an herb garden in a window box is very low maintenance once you’ve gotten started, and most garden centers have sprouts and cuttings for sale that will make getting started quick and easy. Before long, you can have a whole host of plants at your disposal.
Make Your Own Tasty Pasta Sauces
Another great way to cut down on your trips to the grocery store involves making your own pasta sauces. Jarred sauces can be very pricey, and they take up space in your pantry. Stop buying jar after jar of sauce from the store and start making your own at home in one large batch. Not only will it work out to be cheaper when you buy the ingredients instead of a jar of ready-made sauce, you will also have much greater control over the consistency and flavor of the sauce. There are hundreds of excellent recipes available for all kinds of sauces, and the best part is you can freeze your sauces by portioning them out into individual freezer-safe containers. Be sure to let your sauces cool completely before freezing for the best results. When you’re ready to use it again, all you have to do is drop the container into some warm water in your fridge to thaw it out. Pop the lid off and add it in to your pasta, warm it through, and you have a delicious meal ready to eat.
Be Your Own Baker
Baking your own bread can seem intimidating but it is actually a great way to save money and add more variety into your diet. Whether you choose to buy a bread machine that will knead and bake all kinds of dough for you with little added effort, or if you choose to pick up some bread pans and experiment, it’s an excellent money-saving method. You can do everything from making bread with the leftover beer you have in the fridge to more traditional breads like sourdough, and you can do more than just make sandwiches. Bread pudding, homemade croutons, and bread bowls for soups are just a few of the things you can do once you start making your own bread and ditch those trips to the store just to buy a loaf of white bread.