One of the easiest ways to save money is being smarter with your food budget. Although easier said than done, being more conscious where, what, and how you buy your food can save a lot of money without sacrificing too much quality. Here are some tips to consider when trimming down that food budget.
- Bring your own lunch to work. Although it may seem more convenient to grab a quick bite during work hours, you’ll be saving more time and money in the long run if you make a lunch at home. By making your own lunch in the morning and avoiding eating out, you’ll be saving yourself hundreds of dollars during the year.
- Limit buying prepared items. Chopped fruit packages, pre-made salads, pre-cut chicken, and other prepared items are always marked higher than their original counterparts. Although buying these may save a bit of time, it doesn’t take too long to prepare these items yourself. The money saved may be well worth it.
- Plan beforehand. Impulse buys may often be associated with shopping at the mall, but they apply to grocery shopping as well. While one impulse buy is probably harmless, aimlessly wandering around the store and buying things that simply look good can be expensive. While the ideal strategy is to plan out meals a week or two in advance and then shop based off that, simply formulating a list of necessities will cut costs as well.
- Keep a list of what’s in the freezer. Freezing food is a great way to increase its longevity, but sometimes we can forget what is in the freezer. Make a list of things you put in the freezer so you don’t discover it months later when it’s bad and freezer burned.
- Reduce frequency of expense rather than dollar amount. Instead of saying you’ll spend $10 at a restaurant rather than $20, choose instead to cut back on the frequency that you go out. When changing spending patterns, it is easier for most to cut back on the dollar amount rather than the behavior.