10 Ways To Cut Your Food Bill
Is your family what I call an equal opportunity grocery shopper? When you look at your debit or credit card statement, do you wonder the reasons why Kroger, Publix, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods all show up as a line item? For individuals and families alike, the ‘food’ bill has become one of the largest line items in the household budget. Food can include groceries, dining out, and even meals on vacation. Here are my ten Your Smart Money Moves tips on how to trim the ‘fat’ from your food bill this year.
- Make A List- I picked up a cool list pad from Urban Outfitters. You can snag a list by searching for grocery list under images in Google if you want one for free.
- Sunday Night Grilling- It’s hard to prepare all of your meals for the week. Consider grilling up a bunch of chicken or steak in bulk on a Sunday night and keeping it to add to meals you can bring into work during the week.
- Avoid Small Bags Of Stuff- Items like buying loose candy from the sweet shop, overpriced bags of beef jerky, or high dollar small bags of nuts can put a dent in your food budget during the year.
- Look For Coupons- It wouldn’t really be a list if I didn’t recommend finding coupons. Whether this is a scanned card program with the grocery store or using a deal aggregator site, just search for coupons before you dine out or bring food into your house.
- Eat Half Your Meal- I know leftovers aren’t always as tasty as the original, but if you eat only half your meal and bring the other half home you’ll save money on the back end. You’ll also be less likely to order more at your dining out experience.
- Have A Potpourri Night- Many people head to grocery shop before they have exhausted their own pantry. There is a reason you bought some of the items you did that are stocked on your shelves. Make a meal with what you have.
- Dine Out On Off Nights- The majority of BOGO deals, 50% off nights, and kid’s eat free nights are on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Try to eat out one of these days of the weeks versus going out on a weekend when prices are prime time.
- Start A Small Garden- Even if you don’t have a green thumb, the organic produce stores charge big money for items like mint and basil. If you can get a few containers for your porch or deck, this could be a good opportunity to have a little fun and save some money.
- Drink Water- Not the bottled water! Just drink water from your tap (even if you but a Brita filter) or from your refrigerator. Water is free!
- Ask for store brands or house specials- Buying generic brands for vitamins or raisin bran and can save you some dough on each grocery shopping experience. If you eat out, find out the local restaurant’s special items because odds are they make more of it and the price can be less expensive than one off items on the menu.
Use these ten your smart money moves tips to cut your food bill this year! Do you have another tip that you would like to add or a website you would recommend that could help others?
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc.
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oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.
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