While there are certain monthly expenses that can be cut if you try hard enough, such as a gym membership or even a cable bill with so many streaming options these days that it doesn’t make sense to pay for hundreds of channels you don’t watch anyways, other expenses such as food are a necessity, so it’s how you spend the money is important. Every little bit helps, so whether it’s not ordering the extra costs on appetizers at restaurants, or even having friends over your house to have a couple drinks before you go out on the town, there are ways to still live watching your funds instead of just being plain old cheap. With a few tweaks, you can save money off your food expenses in now time.
Set a Budget
If you were asked much you spend on food in a month, including grocery shopping, restaurants, or even stopping for drinks and snacks at the gas station, would you be able to say? While it may only be a few dollars here and there, those add up pretty quickly so it’s a good idea to allocate funds to a budget so you can try to stick within a certain spending limit. If you need a place to start, check last month’s debit or credit card statement and see where all of your money is going and start to cut back from there.
Avoid Going Out to Eat
Probably the hardest way to adjust your life to saving money on your food bill is to reduce or even remove the luxury of going out to eat all the time. While sure, for special occasions it’s nice to go out, but stopping for coffee and a breakfast sandwich every morning, or grabbing a salad at the cafeteria for lunch, or after work either picking up carryout or taking the family out to dinner, those costs can add up to hundreds of dollars a month where it could have been a fraction of that by going grocery shopping and preparing your meals at home. You may also find weight falling off a little easier as likely your recipes at home are a lot better for you than fast food.
Don’t Forget the Discounts
You’ll probably notice that with the amount of junk mail you receive on a daily basis, ads on social media, or even commercials, discounts are not going anywhere. In fact, you can even go on your grocery store’s website and load digital coupons to your phone number so they come off at the register. Also, with so many in-store discounts as well, you can forget about having your groceries delivered and try and get the most for your money in-person.
Make a List Before You Go
Heading out to the store you may think you have a plan, but once you start going up and down those aisles and getting lost in all of the products out there, you may forget what you even went in the store for. Either that, or you grabbed what you went for but have loaded up the cart with items you couldn’t remember if you needed. Do yourself a favor and make a list of all items you need from your fridge, freezer, and pantry, so that way you can get in and get out without too many impulse purchases.
Never Shop While You’re Hungry
If you’ve gone to the store on an empty stomach, you know that everything looks good, especially if you can sneak in a few free samples and really get your stomach going. When you shop hungry, you load up the cart with cravings that sound good at the time, and no surprise that they are not the healthiest of options, before let’s face it, if I’m looking to snack when I’m hungry, it’s going to be something that taste good. If you can eat before you go, you can save yourself the unnecessary purchases going forward.
Free Money Never Hurt
While it can save you more money than just on food, but by using a rewards credit card you can earn points or cashback on the items that you were going to buy anyways, which you typically have been missing out on by using a debit card or a different credit card. Take that even further and use on monthly utility bills and spending money, and pretty soon you can earn hundreds of free dollars back by the end of the year. The trick is to stick within your budget though, otherwise you could start charging items just to earn the points and you can’t afford to pay back.