If you have been cutting expenses everywhere in your budget and are still coming up short each week or month, your grocery bill may be to blame for this. Many families have become so used to purchasing specific items that they have become classified as essentials in their budgets. However, this may not always be the case. The hints and tips below can help you reduce your food budget by a fair margin in a relatively short period of time.
1. Ditch the Soda and Energy Drinks
Research has shown that the average American family can spend upwards of $100 a month on these items. While it may not seem like a lot of money initially, it can add up substantially over time – especially if your budget has become tighter than before. While we aren’t saying that you should never purchase soda or energy drinks, reserve these as treat purchases instead – and watch your savings grow. Drinking more water will be a healthier option in the long run as well.
2. Prepare your Lunch at Home
Admittedly, it is a lot of fun to choose a different place to buy your lunch from each day of the week at work. However, over the course of a year, the average employee spends upwards of $3,000 on lunches alone. Not only will you be able to save a lot of money this way; you will be eating healthier food as well because you will know exactly what you are consuming each day. If you are struggling to give up the lunch-buying habit, start off by bringing lunch from home once to twice a week at first, and gradually increasing the frequency over time.
3. Buy More Real Food
When buying processed foods, it’s important to keep in mind that most of these products provide little to no nutritional value whatsoever. Although purchasing a treat every now and again is OK, buying more real food such as fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish will provide you with the best possible value for money. In addition, your body will thank you over time.
4. Brew your Own Coffee
Although you may not consider that $3 or $4 per day a lot of money when purchasing a cup of coffee at your local Starbucks or drive-thru, these small amounts can add up substantially over time. These days, there are many coffee makers available, as well as different flavors and varieties of coffee. This means that you will be able to brew several different delicious cups of coffee at home for a fraction of the price of that paid elsewhere. If you really miss your drive-thru coffee, consider cutting your frequency down to once or twice a week instead of every day.
Implementing even one or two of the above mentioned options can help reduce your spend on food by more than $2,000 per year. This money can then be used to pay down other bills or to purchase something special.