Save Money on Your Food Expenses

Having proper nutrition is an essential component of everyday life. Without getting the right foods – and the right amounts of it – we expose ourselves to lethargy, malnutrition, and a host of other problems. In this sense, while we can cut numerous things out of our budget during times when money is tight, we can’t do the same for food. We can cancel our cable subscription, sell the car, and downsize our home, but one thing we absolutely can’t do is stop putting bread on the table. People would do anything, going as far as taking a 401k loan out, to pay for their family’s meals.

We can, however, find ways to cut our food costs tremendously. By deciding on a plan, planning it out, and following through, we can succeed in eating just as well as we ever have – but, now, to do so with a budget in mind. Here are some ideas:

Plan Your Meals

Instead of cruising through the grocery store and buying whatever seems necessary for your next couple weeks of meals, plan out your meals beforehand. If you go into the store with a specific plan in mind and list in hand, you will undoubtedly save money by buying only those products you know that you need.

Go Vegetarian

Glance through a couple of recent grocery lists, and you’ll probably notice a major culprit that jacks up your expenses: meat. Even if you’re buying the cheapest processed meat that your grocery store has to offer, meat is still probably a more expensive way to get your protein than through beans and nuts.

Stop Eating at Restaurants

This goes without saying, but that pasta primavera you got while dining out last week could probably have been made for one-fourth the cost at home. Sure, it may not taste as good and be less convenient, but meals made at home are almost universally going to be cheaper. Accomplishing this also requires some planning ahead: instead of repeatedly forgetting to bring a lunch to work and needing to eat out, make a habit of putting together a sandwich every night before going to bed.

Buy in Bulk

There are certain staples that don’t perish quickly (or at all) and that we use on a regular basis. These food items are good candidates for bulk purchases. Whether you get them at your local Walmart, Costco, or Sam’s Club, there’s a good chance that you’ll eventually run through all those boxes of cereal – and, also, save money in the long run.

Grow Your Own Produce

Far too many people sacrifice fruits and vegetable purchases when money gets tight. To counteract this, you may want to start growing your own vegetables. It can be a cheap, plentiful, and nutritious process, although your available space and regional climate may make this a more or less practical approach.

These are just a few ideas for cutting costs when it comes to food. Ultimately, what all these have in common is that they usually require some planning in advance. By thinking smart and thinking ahead, you can, therefore, fill your stomach without emptying your wallet.

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