You may not think what you’re spending on food can make a huge difference in the grand scheme of your finances, but do yourself a favor, take a look at last month’s debit or credit card statement add up all of the occurrences of food, whether it’s stopping for coffee in the morning, getting lunch at the cafeteria, going out to dinner, picking up carryout, grabbing an energy drink, snacks at a gas station, or what you buy at the grocery store. It’s actually probably a lot higher than you think, so if you are able to cut back in that area even a little, it can free up extra money to put towards paying off debt, saving for retirement, or building a cushion for an emergency fund.
Have a Spending Budget
If you continue on with the careless spending it will be nothing but a downward spiral in the form of debt, so it’s a good idea to curb that habit now. By giving yourself a spending budget, it could hone you in to only buy the essentials. Especially if you take it a step further and use only cash, once you spend it, it’s gone until next paycheck so let’s hope you were able to buy the needed items to get through until the money pours back in your account and are not left eating off the unhealthy fast food dollar menu.
Avoid Going Out to Eat
Cooking may not be everyone’s hobby, it certainly isn’t mine, so whether it’s getting carryout or going out to eat, it’s nice to have my favorite restaurant cook the menu items, let alone having it served and cleaned up afterwards is a nice touch instead of doing at home, so it’s no wonder that these costs can add up pretty quickly. If you can limit going out to special occasions, or even once a week if you have a pattern of going out often, you can watch the savings add up. When you do go out to eat, can try not going on a complete full stomach and just ordering sharables.
Keep Your Head Down
When you do go to the grocery store, going up and down the aisles can be pretty overwhelming, leading to more temptation of filling up the cart with unnecessary items that add up at the register, not to mention probably are unhealthy items that will add the pounds as well. By making a list at home and sticking to it while you’re at the grocery store, you can keep your head down and stay focused to only those items, and also reducing the risk of forgetting an item you went in the first place for.
Plan Coupons in Advance
The days of clipping coupons from the sale papers in the newspaper may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean saving money is over with. These days you can actually find more coupons come in the mail, probably on a daily basis, not to mention digital coupons are becoming more popular, that can be loaded directly to your store card to be taken off at the register, however you may need to print off the list so you remember which coupons you have for the items you’re purchasing.
Frozen Items Help with Prep
It’s often that we stick our head in the refrigerator or pantry, not finding anything to eat, or even the opposite, having too much food and having to throw out food, which not only wastes money, but puts good food to no use. By keeping frozen items on hand, you can portion control and keep a pretty good stock pile of quality items such as chicken breasts, vegetables, and even rice, that you can use to put dinner together pretty quickly, using what you need at the time. The frozen vegetable steam bags allow you to put directly in the microwave for a few minutes and is ready to go.
Try Packing Lunches on Sunday
Whether it’s taking advantage of the frozen items or buying the ingredients to make your lunches at home for the week for sandwiches and snacks, prepping meals on Sunday is a good way to plan out for the week, not to mention on a weekend night when things may have cooled down a bit Sunday night and are not back to the hectic period between after work and going to bed. The more you are able to plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, even brewing your own coffee, you’ll save instead of going out and spending more.