It seems everyone struggles to come up with ways to save when cooking. Vegetarian cooking can be costly, especially if you try to stay organic. Use these tips to feed your family vegetarian dishes for less:
Tip 1: Try to Shop Locally
Shopping at your local farmer's market can save a lot because you are getting more for your money. Buy your veggies, fruits, and herbs at these markets. If you shop right before they close, or on Sundays, it can save you even more because they don't want to haul their produce back to the farm. It can also be healthier to shop the farmers markets because it's less likely that they've used unnecessary preservatives or pesticides.
Tip 2: Shop the Sales
Canned foods are great to have as staples, and they can be dirt cheap when on sale. Watch your local store ads, and stock up when the things you use are on sale. Great things to watch for are beans, sauces, and soups. Coupons can always help too. Canned foods can be stored for quite some time, so always purchase more than you currently need.
Tip 3: Cook in Bulk
Make more than your family can eat for one meal. If you are making vegetarian lasagna for dinner, make a huge one. When the family has finished, divide the leftovers into containers and freeze for later use. Do this at least twice per week, and your savings will be huge.
Tip 4: Use Store Brands
When you shop at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco, or any of those types of stores, use their brands. They are much less expensive and just as yummy.
Tip 5: Shop on the Internet
Did you even know you could get healthy foods, in bulk and with free shipping, from places like Amazon? Doing the research will show you there are bargains galore.
Tip 6: Have a Recipe Exchange Party
The rules are that everyone has to bring a low cost vegetarian recipe, along with one of the ingredients. Then you draw numbers or recipes and exchange them. It's fun and easy and money-saving!
Tip 7: Make Soup
Use the leftover veggies and potatoes (that are always inexpensive), and make lots of soup. Not only is this an economical idea, it's also a comforting one. Who doesn't love soup? Plus, the varieties are endless. There are literally tons of soup recipes, including many that are strictly for vegetarian eaters.
It doesn't have to be hard to shop and eat on a budget. Sometimes it takes an extra bit of creativity, but use your resources and it can be a fun challenge!