A big part of your family’s monthly budget goes to food. And food prices have been on the rise, following the rise of the price of gasoline somewhat closely. This is not good news, but there is some good news down the line. Because you might not have as much control over your mortgage, car insurance or even the amount you you spend on gas each month, but you do have a high degree of control over how much you’ll spend on your food budget. And this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to eat noodles for the whole month either, it just means that you’ll have to put some hours into planning the family meals. We’ve put our heads together and came up with a few tips on how you can get away with spending less on food without compromising the quality of the meals you put on your plate.
1. Take the time
None of the tips we’re giving you below will work if you don’t take the time to plan and make sure you’re covering all the angles when it comes to buying food. This means sitting down and crunching numbers, using a computer to look up recipes and basically taking the time to put all of these things together into one big plan. This is why we recommend that you do your planning on a weekend when you’re sure to have some spare time.
2. Use the sales
Supermarkets will advertise their sales regularly, either online or on their catalogues. You need to start collecting these and bookmarking their websites because they’re the starting point to all food budget savings. You will be planning your weekly meals based on these sales. This means that if there’s a big discount on beef, you’ll be eating beef primarily as your source of protein. You then need to start making up menus and deciding how many ways you can cook it and how much of it you’ll need. This goes for everything that’s on sale: make those foods go as long as you can and get the most uses out of them as possible.
3. Coupons are your allies
Time to put the stereotype against coupons aside. We see a large number of people using coupons everyday and they find them mostly online. Stacking these with the sales we talked above can see your savings go through the roof.
4. Plan snacks as well
The office vending machine or a quick pop to the store around the corner for a quick fix aren’t acceptable anymore. Plan your snacks well and take them with you. A simple snack that’s rich, filling and healthy: cut a piece of your favourite vegetable into a thin slice – bell pepper and carrot work great with this – and wrap it around a slice of turkey. This is just as example of how you can think out of the box to create quick snacks that you can have on you – in a Ziploc bag, for instance – and that are cheap and healthy.
Author Bio: Written by Holly Adams @ Coupon Croc, your resource for money saving discounts on all your purchases for an affordable holiday.