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People Are Sharing Their Very Best Grocery Shopping And Home Cooking Tips

Little ways to shop smarter and stretch ingredients in your home kitchen.

For many home cooks, saving money on groceries and cutting back on food waste is a top priority. So redditor u/aichliss started a conversation about the tricks that anyone should know when they buy food, and people had lots of smart responses. Here are some tips to embrace when you shop for groceries and cook at home.

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1. Make canned tomatoes a pantry staple.

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"The brands really do vary in quality but usually the tomatoes are picked at peak freshness and blast-cooked in the cans, so it preserves the fresh summer tomato taste. Most times in the year in most places in the world, getting that quality out of fresh tomatoes is impossible." u/FiveDaysLate

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2. Take advantage of big batch cooking.

""Batch cooking is the way forward as long as you have freezer space and Tupperware. This way you can buy bagged vegetables, make a week's worth of meals, and freeze them down into daily portions... Find 2–3 recipes that you enjoy with similar bases and a starch of your choice so you can rotate your meals and save money and time cooking and cleaning." u/SoontirFel181st

3. Eggs, eggs, and more eggs.

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"Eggs are your best friend! Cheap, versatile, and full of protein. You can never have too many eggs in your house and they can be used as snacks when boiled, top-ups for lunch and dinner, as well as prepped for sandwiches."

u/SoontirFel181st

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4. Freeze your greens.

"Greens like turnips, mustard, collards, and cabbage freeze really well after cooking. You can get them for cheap, cook a big batch, separate into servings, and freeze." u/electriclobster

5. Rely on soups and stews for easy freezer meals.

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"Some curries, stews, and chilis get better the longer you leave them and warm them up. Also, leftover chili and rice makes an amazing next-day burrito."

u/brandysavage

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6. Mix your grains.

"Mixed-grain rice is a thing. You can buy a ready-made mix to add to rice in Asian markets but honestly, just use what you already have in the house. Soak some lentils, barley, whole oats, etc. The idea is to get things that will cook together in the same amount of time. Start out using like 1/3 mixed grain and 2/3 rice. It's yummy and you get a lot more filling/nutrient power in the same serving size. Whole grains fill you up, and mixed legumes and grains will give you more protein and nutrients." u/Toirneach

"Lentils and brown rice share similar cooking times, and can be cooked together, even in a rice cooker." u/eveleaf

7. Replace meat with tofu from time to time.

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"Tofu is cheap AF and if you learn to cook it right, it's also delicious."

u/GRIFTY_P

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8. Invest in a handy appliance.

"Get an Instant Pot. It's really a game changer." u/MoonSide12

9. Stock up on salmon.

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"if you need frozen fish, get salmon. Salmon retains both taste and texture when frozen better than most other common fish." u/desuemery

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10. Salvage extra produce before it goes bad.

"If you have produce you aren't going to get to before it spoils, cut it up and freeze it. Saves it from the trash and frozen veggies work great in a lot dishes."

u/dingman58

11. Turn rotisserie chicken into gourmet meals.

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"Whenever I go to Costco, I always grab one of their $5 cooked rotisserie chickens and we eat a couple of meals with it. Then, when we are finished with the chicken, we cook the rest of the bird for hours to make a 'soup' that sometimes we eat or add to the dogs’ food. Can’t beat $5 to feed a family of three for at least two meals!" u/juice_box_hero

"Rotisserie chickens at the grocer around the corner from my office are basically my 'fast food.' They're like $4.50, delicious, and easily 2–3 meals' worth of protein." u/unthused

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12. Don't overlook discounted produce.

"When you buy produce, you should go to the discount rack, then the sales, and then everything else. A pepper with a blemish or tiny spot of mold is still fine, assuming you cut away the blemish or tiny spot of mold." u/aichliss

13. Learn to love lentils.

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"I absolutely hated lentils until I started cooking them in curries. The thickness and spices of the curry mask everything I hate about lentils. If you haven't tried this yet and enjoy curry, I recommend it." u/stopguacnroll

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14. Start with a good cookbook.

"How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman helped me a lot. It gave me enough knowledge that I started playing with recipes and catered them to my taste, which makes me a lot more likely to cook at home more instead of dreading eating the food I cook." u/DogPrecipitation

"The book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat is excellent in giving an overview of cooking and the 'science' behind it. Many people who don't know how to cook get frustrated when they can't make recipes. This is because they need to learn techniques and how to work with certain products and flavors. This book is honestly so incredibly useful for gaining an understanding of it all and how each component connects and reacts with one another." u/GoingSom3where

15. Branch out from chicken breasts.

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"I’ve found whole chickens are usually more expensive than the cheapest cuts (bone-in thighs or drumsticks). Too many people buy breasts, which means an oversupply of everything else." u/deleted

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16. Take advantage of grocery store apps.

"Look into your grocery’s weekly ads or even apps, if they have them! Safeway has an app with digital coupons and you earn rewards every time you shop. I sometimes use these rewards to get $10 off my order and sometimes I have coupons for a free peanut butter or random $5 off my entire purchase."

u/mkwipf

17. Consider cutting out (or cutting back) on meat intake.

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"My S.O. recently went vegan and regardless of the health benefits, what I appreciate the most is how much less my grocery budget is. We went from spending over $400/month on groceries for two people to a little over $250/month. Yes, I cook a lot; yes, I'm always trying new recipes and trying new ingredients but literally cutting out 90% of the meat we were buying has saved a load of money." u/AHonestTroll

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18. Shop for groceries strategically.

"Avoiding the center aisles is my mantra." u/MightyShort5

19. Embrace cheaper cuts of meat.

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"A good cut of beef is bavette, aka flank steak. It’s super tender, and super juicy. It’s also cheap because not many people seek it out." u/Mcreeper51

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20. Never go grocery shopping when you're hungry.

u/McSpoony

21. Save on whole spices.

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"Buy whole spices, toast them in very small quantities, and grind them in a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Always do this in small batches while keeping the whole spices in the refrigerator. Spices elevate food to totally new level." u/jitenbhatia

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22. Canned legumes, FTW.

"Canned legumes and beans cost exactly the same per unit as dry and supposedly lose minimal nutrition from canning. They're also presoaked, which is extremely helpful and saves a lot of time." u/VerneAsimov

23. Stretch your proteins.

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"A chicken isn’t just eight portions of meat. It’s also bones and carcass for a stock or soup, fat to be rendered out and used as a cooking oil, and skin to be cooked down into delicious, little chips. This same list can be used for pork, beef, and any other meat." u/aichliss

24. Find some go-to recipes and master them.

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"Make a list of 30 cheap, fast recipes and add a few special seasonal ones with local produce. Learn them, modify them, own them." u/odvf

Do you have any great tips that help you save money on groceries and make the most of your ingredients? Tell us in the comments below.

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