Saving money on foods may seem complicated, but it does not have to be this way if you follow some tricks shared in this blog. Take note on these easy ways to save money on food, and they do not fail!
Food expenses are always part of our daily budget; some of us may even have the largest portion of their budget specifically for food. That’s why knowing how you can save money on food can be beneficial for your wallet, and your health as well.
You might already know that we can only live without food for a minimal time, and I don’t think most of us can survive as long as Mahatma Gandhi did before when he decided not to eat anything for 21 straight days.
Well, others have tried it also and survived longer than he did, would you like to try it yourself too and see how long you can survive?
Just kidding here, Although they weren’t trying to save money when they did that. Of course, you don’t need to fast to save money on food; you may not even need to limit your food intake.
There are other ways you can do to save money on food besides reducing the food that you eat. I could think of 32 ways that you can do to save money on food right now.
32 Ways You Can Do To Save Money On Food
1. Double check your refrigerator or pantry
You might think that you may not have the things you need for your next meal, but in reality, you already have them stored in your pantry or your refrigerator. It would be such a waste if you wouldn’t use them, right?
2. Make a list
Make a list of the things you’ll be needing when you go repurchase food. Following the list that you’ll be creating is a must if you want to start saving money, and remember that you cannot make other purchases unless it’s on the list.
That’s why you need to know what you have and what you still need, and of course, you have to be disciplined too to reduce your food expenses.
3. Have a budget to follow
Keep track of what you spend monthly on food, and keep looking for ways to save even more. You will find more creative ideas with the recipes and pay more attention to your dietary needs.
4. Plan your meals
A better way to save money on food without reducing your food intake is by planning your meals. You can plan your meals for the whole week so that you can buy all the things you need with a single trip to the grocery or supermarket.
5. Limit the time you go to the grocery or food market
Going to the grocery or food market more than twice per week could cost you more money because of two reasons:
- You increase your chances of spending more than you need
- You spend more on transportation expenses
6. Look for cheap food markets.
The grocery store you’re buying from isn’t the only place you could buy food. You should try to find another store that offers the same products you need but sells them for a lower price.
Try to talk with your friends where they buy theirs, or ask around your neighborhood, and they may know somewhere cheaper. You could also search it online, Mr Google may help you with it.
If you think that you are already buying from the cheapest store in town, then you can ignore this advice.
7. Go alone when you shop
It may cost you a lot more if you bring your spouse or children with you when you go grocery shopping because they may pick up things at the supermarket that could make you exceed your budget, so go alone.
If you need any assistance, the clerks there can help you out.
8. Don’t shop when you are hungry.
Going shopping when you’re hungry is a bad idea because you increase the chances of your overspending on things or making impulse purchases.
There is a study which states that you might purchase more high-calorie foods when you shop hungry.
Well, you don’t want to gain extra weight and lose your hard-earned money all at the same time.
9. Buy in-season products
Buying in-season products will cost less helping you save more money. That’s why you should know the products that are available each season so that you could plan your meals properly.
10. Buy in bulk
You may have read this one before, and I want to tell you that it’s a good way to save money when it comes to almost anything, especially with food. You could even get discounts or freebies once you start buying in bulk.
11. Buy frozen instead of fresh.
This one also has a simple reason behind it. Frozen food is less expensive than fresh ones and they last longer, that’s why it’s better for you if you’re going to buy frozen food instead.
12. Don’t always buy branded products.
If you’re always buying branded products and you’re not even looking for alternatives, then you’re doing it the wrong way. You should compare both products, and if they are almost similar, then you should buy the non-branded item because it’ll most likely cost less than the branded one.
Some grocery stores or warehouses may also offer their own products under their name, and these items may be the cheapest of the bunch. If you’re okay in using those kinds of products, then you might be better off buying those instead.
13. Reduce your intake of alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages can make you spend a lot of money. Not only are they expensive, but they have a high alcohol content, which is not good for you in the first place.
14. Always check the expiration date
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t want to eat or buy a product that is already or is about to be expired. You’ll be able to save a lot of money on food if you’re going to buy products that have long expiration dates.
15. Learn to haggle
Haggling is fun, but it’s more fun if you’re good at it and you’re able to get a good deal every time you shop around. Having a friendly face and being a good speaker can increase your chances of striking a favourable deal. Although, you can only do this if you’re shopping in a place where there’s no final price specified, like in the farmer’s market.
16. Get a loyalty or rewards card.
Most groceries/supermarkets may offer a card that their loyal customers can use to save money or earn freebies every time they shop there. If you do all your shopping in one place, then getting one of those cards can be a smart thing for you to do.
17. Collect coupons and discount
Many stores offer special discounts that can also save you money, so be sure to ask if they offer it in stores where you usually buy. Check the ads in newspapers or brochures of your usual supermarket to cut discount coupons and keep them. You can also find some good coupons online from coupon or deal sites.
18. Pack your lunch
If you are working at an office, then you have already seen some of your co-workers eating food that they prepared at home. You might see them as students who are trying hard to save money, but they are not students, they’re your co-workers who are better than you when it comes to saving money.
It is not that hard to prepare your lunch at home unless you don’t know how to cook.
19. Learn to cook
If you’re always buying prepared food, then you’re not doing a good job reducing your food expenses. Give some of your time learning how to cook, so that you could also prepare your lunch and limit the times that you take out food.
Try to get rid of the habit of eating outside. For example, if you buy coffee at a store every day, try to reduce this purchase to a single day and prepare it at home the rest.
20. Recycle and take advantage of leftovers
Make roasted chicken for Monday’s dinner, use a few pieces of meat to make a salad on Tuesday, and on Wednesday add what is left to some vegetables to make a stew or soup.
The dry bread can be transformed into bread crumbs. A very ripe banana can be beaten with yogurt and strawberries to make a delicious and nutritious drink.
The remains of vegetables can be used in soups, and the pasta that was left over from the dinner can solve your baby’s lunch the next day.
21. Avoid buying from fast food chains.
You might think that you’re saving money by buying fast food meals, but the truth is you’re not. Fast food meals are unhealthy and expensive because you don’t know what the ingredients they are using to make their meals. You could make most of them at your home at less cost. All you need to do is be resourceful enough.
22. Avoid dining out too often.
Another thing you need to avoid if you want to save money on food is dining out too often with your family or friends. You would always spend too much when you dine out rather than when you dine in your own home because of the charges most restaurants add and the way they price their meals.
23. Be in a group
Dining out in a group can help you reduce your food expenses because you can share the bill with your friends or even family members. It’s always cheaper that way because you can order up a group meal that most restaurant/bars offer nowadays than buying each of your meals separately.
24. Enjoy romantic dinners at home.
If you are looking to have a romantic evening with your partner, but you are afraid of the restaurant bill, with a little imagination and preparation, you can do it at home.
Prepare a special dinner, light some candles, turn off the lights and enjoy a quiet time with your partner. What you save in restaurant bill can be spent on some special ingredients.
25. Do it yourself
A homemade cake is much cheaper than if you buy it in the bakery. Prepared sauces are much more expensive (and generally less healthy) than adding a splash of oil and vinegar to the salad.
You can make the family meal to prepare delicious porridges for your baby, which are much cheaper than the small commercial ones. That does not mean you have to do absolutely everything, there are prepared products such as mayonnaise, which can be better priced, but as a rule, cooking saves you money.
26. Eat less meat
Meat is one of the expensive parts of the purchase and nutritionists also insist on the importance of eating vegetables. If you introduce some vegetarian recipes in your repertoire, you will spend less and have a more nutritious diet.
27. Eat rationally
Unnecessary products sometimes trigger spending on food and, in addition, they tend to be less healthy. Make a diet based on basic products (seasonal fruits and vegetables, dairy products, cereals, fish and lean meat) and eliminates heavy prices and be more healthy.
28. Save when Baking
When cooking, you can also save a lot if you choose the most suitable cooking system. Replace the conventional pot with the espresso. You will save time and spend half the energy. And take advantage of the microwave, since it requires less energy than the oven and can reduce energy consumption by up to 70%.
29. Consider Diet changes.
The bulk of your meals should be composed of plants. Basing your diet on carbohydrates such as rice and beans will save you a lot of money. Fruits, vegetables and meat provide essential nutrients.
30. Consider joining a wholesale sales club.
These clubs sell wholesale at lower prices than the competition. If you are from the United States, consider applying for BJ’s, Costco or Sam’s Club. Make sure you take into account the cost of membership and transportation.
If you buy mostly fresh products and not much-packaged food, wholesale clubs probably are not for you.
31. Opt for vegetable proteins.
It includes vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and nuts. Animal products can be costly and are not as nutritious, which could increase medical costs in the long run.
In the United States, Monday without meat is a public health campaign conducted in partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. This encourages people to stop eating meat once a week to reduce consumption of saturated fats. Check websites with meatless recipes!
32. Grow your own vegetables
If you have a little yard or if you can fit some plant boxes in your home, then maybe you could try to grow your own vegetables. Just buy some pots and seeds at your local store, plant and nurture them properly, and after several weeks, you’ll be cooking one of your home-grown vegetables.
See, we can all save money on food without reducing the food that we eat or by fasting. Although fasting can help you save money, I don’t think one should sacrifice his needs to save money.
There are other alternatives out there. You might know at least one or two more things that you can do to save money on food that is not included in the list above.
So, what are the ways you and your family are doing to save money on food nowadays? Are they helping you reduce your food expenses effectively? share with us in the comment.