- Develop some kind of storage system and shop in bulk. I have free standing freezer. That may or may not work for you. Larger, so called family sized packages are always cheaper than buying a chicken breast or two. Since most of us have plenty of time, buy the large portion and divide into individual portions at home (or cook and freeze, see below)
- Learn to freeze properly (many people do not know how to freeze food so that it lasts well). In my experience the best recipes are usually for four people and often for six. This gives those of us with households of one or two a couple options. We can eat the same thing a few days in a row (this does work for some people, just not for me), or we can freeze for another meal. Let me say here and now in the gentlest of terms-if you don't like the way frozen food tastes, you are either freezing improperly or else reheating improperly. Meals CAN be frozen and come out with an even better consistency. Foods will also always taste better reheated on or in the stove instead of nuked. Off my soapbox, now...
- Widen your palate. Almost ALL foods are healthy, when eaten sensibly. One doesn't have to only buy chicken breasts and fish to eat well. Lean pork chops once a week will neither hurt you nor your digestive system. All foods are good and good for you, depending on how they are cooked. Yesterdays poor mans food is today's gourmet entry. Case in point, I remember when flank steak was cheap as dirt and used only for fajitas.
- Cook from scratch as much as possible. I cook from scratch, almost every thing. Doing this allows me to control ingredients, try out new dishes, and eliminate most processed foods. Every time a food is processed, the cost increases. the exceptions may be canned fruits and veggies. Obviously this works for me because I have a full pantry and do not have to run out for specific ingredients.
- Consider learning to shop for so called loss leader items and buying enough to last until the next sale (generally six weeks to three months). Have a low price for everything-your buy at price if you will. This will reduce your costs significantly. If you only have a refrigerator freezer, use Ziploc bags instead of containers.
- Appliances have their uses. I'm not saying you should run out to the local thrift and buy a bread machine or slow cooker today. But a couple of those kinds of items might be a smart investment in lowering grocery costs. I still make bread by hand, by the way. Something to be said for the therapy of kneading. On the other hand chicken with wine in the slow cooker is to die for..........and leaves me more free time.
Oh, and while I am an extreme couponer, you can do what I do without the coupons-if you're willing to give it a try. How do you save on food costs now?