Have you ever gotten to the end of the month and realized that you have spent hundreds of dollars more on food then you thought?
I am passionate about feeding my family well for as little as possible. Today I want to share some tips for managing a food budget.
The biggest money saver is planning – plan, plan, plan! Apart from planning none of these tips will take effect.
Without planning you will buy things that you do not need, are more expensive than you realize or you will opt for eating out on a whim again which adds up in light speed.
#2 Evaluate – Take some time to think about what your family eats a lot of.
Is it cereal, cheese, chips?
Now, take those things and make a plan for how to save on those things.
Is it cereal? Consider making your own granola or opting for a different breakfast choice a few days a week.
Is it cheese? Choose meals that use less cheese. Pound for pound cheese is more expensive than meat.
Is it chips? Only buy chips when they are on sale.
For example, our family eats a lot of yogurt so I make our own and its saves us a lot. Now maybe making your own yogurt sounds overwhelming. That’s ok, you get the idea. However, if you step out and try something new you may find that its not as hard as you think or even that you enjoy doing it.
#3 Make a weekly menu and limit yourself to shopping once a week.
Making a menu does take some time but overall it will save you time when it comes to shopping by eliminating last minute trips to the store and cut down on impulse buying which will save you a lot!
Here are some layouts that I use for my weekly menu.
#4 Shop the sales
Does your grocery store have a weekly ad? Check their website or grab their flier. Sit down with it and plan meals for the week that feature the sale items, especially when it comes to meat and cheese!
If something is on sale that you use a lot of, buy a month’s worth.
#5 Designate what you buy extra of and make sure you use it for that purpose.
It’s easy to buy extra corn chips because they are on sale but then eat them just because they are there rather than for a meal. Remember – without sticking to your plan and menu you will spend more.
#6 Plan one meal a week that is meatless.
Pintrest is great for ideas 😉
Our family has a pancake dinner once a week with some eggs on the side for extra protean.
#7 Set spending goals
Keep track of how much you spend and at the end of each week or month; evaluate how you did and see how you could do better or if you are pleased with the results. Then set goals for the coming week/month.
I hope these tips are helpful as you seek to be a good steward of the finances God has blessed you with! Remember to enjoy food. It’s a gift from God! Also, have fun! Buy special treats your family enjoys from time to time or try a new recipe that sounds delicious!