Many people struggle with how to save money on food. As we know, food is one of the basic needs of every human being. However, it can also be one of the biggest expenses. Especially when we want to eat healthy and varied meals. In the post below, we will discuss 11 ways to help you start saving on food.
Saving – how to start?
Saving money may seem difficult, but it is very important for our financial future. Nowadays, with inflation rising and the cost of living getting higher, saving money is crucial.
So how do you start saving? First of all, you need to develop a home budget plan. A list of your income and expenses will help you create a picture of what you’re spending your money on. Thanks to this, you will also be able to plan your savings and start implementing them.
Check out our previous posts where we discuss the topic of saving in detail:
How to save money on food?
First, we need to say one important thing. Not every person will be able to save the same amount on food. Several factors influence this. First of all, you need to take into account how much you spend on food each month. You certainly expect that the amounts will be completely different in the case of one person and, for example, 4 people.
Another important issue is your financial capabilities. This applies not only to how much you earn per month, but also to how much you are able to save.
Your place of residence also influences your savings. When you live in the city, you have more temptations. You probably pass restaurants, bars and takeaway stands on the street even on your way from work.
If you live in a small town, you have much less of this (or none at all). Then it is certainly easier to control impulsive purchases. Moreover, it is a good idea to have your own garden and flower beds. Thanks to this, you will limit your vegetable purchases to a minimum. At least in the summer season, when possible.
Do you want to learn how to save without risk? Try our game that makes it possible. Additionally, you can learn how to invest your money safely. Sign up for CashPlay and take control of your finances today!
How to save on food – ways
At this point you should have a general understanding of how to save money. So let’s move on to a slightly narrower issue: saving on food. We will discuss proven methods that you can try for yourself.
Monthly food budget
To start with, it would be a good idea to determine your food budget. For a month, check how much you spend on groceries. If it turns out that this is definitely too much, then estimate how much you are willing to spend. Based on this, reduce the amount you spend on shopping each month accordingly.
You can create your own food budget this way – just remember to test it, e.g. for a month. Thanks to this, you will find out whether it will be enough for you or whether you still need to work on it.
Weekly meal planning
Another issue is planning meals a week in advance. This is a great convenience – you have specific products you need to prepare food. Then you buy them, for example, during your weekly shopping. This will also help you avoid an empty fridge, which almost always results in takeaways.
It is slightly less common that in such a situation people go for a quick shopping to a nearby store. However, both of these options create additional expenses – local stores are not cheap, and ordered food also costs money.
When going shopping, take a previously prepared list with you and stick to it. This is a guarantee of success – thanks to this you will avoid impulsive purchases. Nowadays, almost all stores use sensory marketing.
Do you know what he is? Simply put, it influences the customer’s senses in such a way that they buy as much as possible. It may appear, for example, in the form of a sprayed scent that attracts attention. Additionally, make sure not to go shopping on an empty stomach. All research conducted in this direction has one conclusion in common – we buy more when we are hungry.
Regular shopping – a specific day of the week
Make larger purchases once a week and also choose cheaper stores. Even if you have to drive further to them, keep in mind that it is ultimately more profitable. It is also good practice to hunt for bargains and buy larger quantities at an attractive price.
You can start by browsing leaflets from specific networks, this way you will stay up to date. Currently, most leaflets can be found online, so you can browse them at your leisure on your smartphone, even on public transport.
In addition, many chains have dedicated mobile applications, which makes it even easier to monitor the prices of the products we are interested in.
Own brands as equivalents of some products
You can also try the so-called own brands, which are available especially in large chain stores. These are mainly basic products containing the logo of a given store. Most often, they are much cheaper than those from well-known producers, although there may not be much difference in taste. This is an option worth testing.
Cooking at home
Preparing meals at home instead of eating out saves a lot of money. This way you can eat healthier because you know what products you have used. It’s possible that you come home late or don’t feel like spending your free time in the kitchen – you can always choose semi-finished products.
This way you will limit the time needed for cooking, but you can still eat delicious and healthy food. A related option is to buy ready-made dishes that you can then prepare at home. It won’t be as healthy as making your own from scratch, but sometimes it can be a way out. This will allow you to gain additional time to walk your dog or play with your children.
Controlling expiration dates
This is the basis that you should implement as soon as possible. By controlling the expiration dates of your products, you will avoid having to throw them away because they have passed their expiry date. This is the most common reason for wasting food. In order not to forget about products with shorter expiry dates, the easiest way is to place them in an appropriate place, e.g. on the edge of the shelf. This way you will use them first.
Avoiding processed products
Processed products are not only unhealthy – their taste is also bad. They also usually cost more. Therefore, it is worth switching to natural and fresh products. You probably have a grocery store or market somewhere nearby. You should be able to get fresh fruit and vegetables there without any problems.
Meals for several days
First you need to check whether this is even possible in your case. This is mainly due to the fact that you need to plan larger amounts of food. By cooking a few days in advance, you save not only time, but also money. First, you can test whether cooking for 2 days will work for you.
A good practice is to prepare semi-ready meals, which can be simply defrosted or heated and the missing ingredients added. You can start by freezing small portions of meat, seasonal fruit or vegetables. You will see for yourself how much easier and time-saving it is.
Using up leftovers
A good way to save money on food is to use the products until the end. This way you can prepare subsequent meals without throwing away food. Of course, this applies to things that are suitable for eating – we are not talking about any vegetable peelings, etc.
If you have some meat, rice or vegetables left, you can make a salad. It is not only delicious, but also a nutritious meal that is also suitable as a work lunch. Another option is to prepare a casserole – all you need is some pasta, meat or vegetables and an appropriate sauce. You can also use leftovers to make an omelette, soup, stuffed vegetables, pizza, oatmeal or mini yeast rolls. Remember that you are only limited by your imagination.
Preparing meals for work or school does not take so much time and can save a lot of money. Thanks to this, you can also be sure that you eat healthily and that the products used are fresh. If you have school-age children, you don’t have to worry that their second breakfast will consist of a candy bar instead of a sandwich. Especially if the sandwiches consist of products that the child likes. Then he will definitely eat it with relish.
It’s worth adding coffee to it (if you like it and drink it regularly). Drink it in the morning at home, and if you don’t have time for it, use the coffee machine at work. Giving up your daily drinks in the city will bring you huge benefits – especially in the monthly perspective.
We believe that after reading this post, you now know how to save money on food. Many people say it’s impossible, especially now when everything is so much more expensive. However, you can see for yourself how many ways it can help you.
You can try to convince your friends to start saving this way too. Most people could use the extra money.
It is worth remembering that each person has different financial needs, so the ways of saving will also differ. Choose those that best suit both your lifestyle and financial situation.