In this day and age, it’s far too easy to spend money. On everything. Amazon offers one click purchases, there are discount stores everywhere, and cheap food brands make buying lots of grub… easy.
The hard part is controlling that spend. Food costs for an average family usually hit around $750 per month, but it’s definitely possible to bring that down. By spending thriftily and planning ahead, everyone can at least save a little bit each month, and every little bit helps.
But how do we cut back? Perhaps you feel like your budget is spread thinly already. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are some things you haven’t tried yet, and they’re listed down below. Here are 3 incredibly savvy ways to reduce your food bill costs. Week after week!
1. Make your own food from scratch
Of course, not everyone is born to be a skilled cook, but in today’s world, pretty much anyone can make anything with the right tools. By making some of your own food from scratch you can shave some costs off your food bill, because buying ingredients separately is cheaper.
Although, this won’t work with every food product. In some cases, it will be cheaper to buy it ready-made. Total up the costs at your local food store, and try some of the following ideas:
– Make your own salads
Those pre-made bags of salad are only expensive because they’re pre-made. Plus, they go bad a lot quicker than those natural ingredients would. Lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers are cheap – don’t fall for the ready-made trick! As a bonus, ready-made salads make it easier to stick to any strict diet plans you have.
– Make your own bread
We all eat tons of bread every single week, so baking your own makes sense. Plus, again, buying individual ingredients often works out a better value than buying the whole. Ideally, you’ll need a bread machine to help you bake it to perfection. Sites like http://bakingsmart.com/5-best-bread-machine-top-rated-reviews/ could offer you a list of the best machines out there, if you’re stuck.
– Make your own sandwiches
Pre-made sandwiches are incredibly expensive, and you’re paying for the convenience. In reality, a packet of sandwich meat and some bread will last you 5 times as long and cost you half as less. Don’t get drawn in so easily!
2. Eat a filling meal before you go shopping
Whether it’s your breakfast, lunch or dinner, eating a hearty meal before shopping has several benefits. For one, you will have a full stomach. This means that when you’re walking around the food store, you’ll be less tempted by all the delicious products.
As a result, you’ll spend less and will save more. Make sure it’s not just you either. If you take the whole family shopping, make sure they’re well fed too. Otherwise, it’ll be the hungriest party member that drags the rest of you down!
This meal that you eat before shopping could be your leftovers too, so you eliminate last week’s food completely before doing your next shop. No waste is super savvy!
3. Make a firm shopping list, take cash
Not all of us have a pre-set shopping list when we go for our big weekly haul. As a result, we’re walking blindly around the food store, with no inclination as to where to head next. This means that our expenditure is unfocused, and sloppy. We aren’t buying what we need. We’re buying what we think we need.
And, as is often the case, we don’t need half of what we buy. A lot of it goes into the trash, or a lot of it is just excess. We have to overcome this issue!
First of all, start by generating a list of all the meals you’ll cook that week. Choose whatever you like, and then determine the rough cost of that meal. Now, inquire with your family members as to who will be in for those meals that week. If someone’s at work or out with friends, you can reduce the cost of that particular meal.
Now, based off that list, it’s time to draw up the actual shopping list! Sources such as http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/ are able to offer you frugal shopping list tips. Most of these come down to buying cheap brands, switching juice to water, etc. Once you have your full list, you know what you need to do.
And now it’s a case of doing it. Ensure you take cash with you, rounded out to the amount you think you’ll need. This gives you a firm budget and makes it impossible to overspend. If you pay on card, it’s far too easy to spend more than you’d like, because you can’t see the money. It almost doesn’t exist.