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10 Ways to Save Money on Food

on May 23, 2017
  1. Stop eating out
    It’s so convenient to eat out, but it is much cheaper to make meals at home than it is to eat out. The more people in your family, the pricier it gets to eat out. I’m guessing most people could save $20 minimum if they stopped eating out altogether. If you eat out quite often, why not just start by making a few meals at home?
  2. Meal plan around grocery ads
    I never remember to do this one, but I know people who swear by the ads. Some people never buy certain items unless they are on sale, and when they find a sale, they stock up. You can start out by noticing what items you buy often and try to stock up next time there is a sale. It can make a difference.
  3. Use coupons, Groupon, Living Social, etc.
    You don’t have to become a crazy couponer to save money with coupons. Granted, you may not walk out of the store with a cart full of items that only cost you one dollar, but using coupons and deal sites can help to make your grocery budget cheaper. My rule is to only use a coupon on items that we were going to buy or that we use often. For example, if I find a coupon for almond butter, I’m probably not going to use it because I don’t like nut butter and my husband only eats peanut butter. So we would never use it. But if I find coupons for milk, butter, or cheese, I’m more likely to use them because we use those items.
  4. Buy in bulk
    This one can be more costly up front, but if you price things out and realize how much you pay per ounce for some of your food, you may want to consider buying in bulk. Just make sure your family will eat it all before the expiration date, otherwise it is not saving you money.
  5. Make food from scratch (bread, cakes, even potato chips can be made from scratch with minimal cost)
    This is another one that I don’t do much, but the more processing that goes into a food item, the more it costs. You can buy a cake in the bakery section of most grocery stores, but you’ll probably spend over $15. Or you could buy a cake mix for $2 and a $2 container of frosting. Or you could go completely homemade and use a recipe for a cake, and your ingredients will probably cost even less than the $4 box cake! This applies to all sorts of foods, from cakes and desserts to taco seasoning and pasta sauce. Try to be aware of the groceries you are buying and think about how you could make some of them yourself. You could even go ‘extreme’ and raise chickens for eggs and meat, although that is a big time investment that you need to consider.
  6. Eat leftovers
    When eating out or eating in, the cost of food can be stretched by saving a portion of your food for the next day. This turns one meal that was let’s say $5-15 at a restaurant into 2 meals that were $2.50-$7 per meal. Plus this saves food waste if you were possible going to throw leftovers away a few days later. And if you saved money already by making your meal at home, the savings will be even greater if you can stretch your meal into leftovers. Make a point to eat your leftovers!
  7. Check your cupboards/freezer
    You may be surprised that you have enough food to get by for a few days. Even when I think I have “nothing to eat” I can usually find a few chicken breasts & a pizza in the freezer and a few boxes of rice or pasta in the cupboard. That means pizza for dinner, and chicken and rice for dinner tomorrow. I thought I had nothing, but I had 2 nights worth of meals! Get creative and make meals with items you already have. Quite often when I try to put off grocery shopping until the last minute, we will have egg sandwiches or grilled cheese because we have some bread and cheese and eggs but not much else!
  8. Eat your food before it expires!
    How often have you thrown food away? From produce, to meat to canned goods, make sure you are using these items before they expire and you will save yourself money. I know those produce drawers in the fridge are made to keep items fresher, but I swear, at my house, they are made to hide the food until a month later when I realize I bought produce and forgot to eat it! 😦
  9. Buy produce only when it is in season.
    It is much cheaper rather than buying it throughout the year when it costs more to bring it in from a location growing it out of season. It also tastes better when it is in season and fresher.
  10. Figure out if you have “budget-busters” in your grocery list.
    Are you eating filet mignon every night of the week? Search your grocery receipts to see if you have some expensive items that can be removed from your list or swapped out for cheaper items. This also helps if your cheaper swapped item is on sale. Next time you plan on making a meal that uses beef or chicken, look at the meat section of the store and find a cheaper cut of meat or one that is on sale for a cheaper price.
  11.  (Bonus tip) – Consider how much meat your family eats, perhaps you can make a meatless meal a few nights of the week. Or stretch one cut of meat through  multiple meals. Americans tend to eat a lot more protein than is actually recommended, so consider ways you can save money by eating a little less meat. (Grilled cheese, cheese quesadillas, macaroni & cheese, and a potato & veggie skillet meal are just a few meatless things we enjoy)
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2 responses to “10 Ways to Save Money on Food

  1. […] 10 Ways to Save Money on Food Jun […]

  2. […] meals you’ve tried? How do you cut corners in your grocery budget? Do you make extra and have leftovers for […]

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