Understanding your family’s size, storage area and lifestyle is the first step in planning ways to save money on food. What flexibility do the shopper(s) and meal preparer(s) have in their schedules? Are you like most families that eat 60% of their meals outside? Has a downturn in family income forced you to find ways to cut back? Here you will find practical ways on how to save money on food.
Eating In vs. Eating Out
The cost of a home cooked meal for four is generally 25% the cost of eating out. If you enjoy a cocktail with dinner then the savings is even more. For working couples with limited time, the solution is generally to prepare meals in advance so they can be heated up when you return from work. Bringing lunch to work has also become more prevalent as people look to save money on food. Restaurant coupons are available in print ads, from online services and restaurant websites.
Checklist: How to Save Money on Food
12 General Shopping Tips
- Prepare a list of what you need before going to the market
- Use food coupons from newspapers and online services.
- Try to avoid bringing children
- Pickup the store circular before you go to the market
- Get your essential items first, to reduce the chances of buying impulse items
- Buy Store Brands whenever possible (if the price is cheaper than a sale)
- Buy in bulk, if you have the space
- Shop meat later in the day and watch for mark-downs of meat that is about to go past the “sell by” date
- When comparing prices, make sure the Amounts of both are the same (ozs, lbs)
- Join a wholesale club like Costco or Sams. You can save 30-40% on food, but generally have to buy larger quantities. Costco is the largest meat retailer in the US.
- Stockpile frozen or nonperishable products when they are on sale
- Use a cash-back credit card to save 1% to 2% more on purchases
8 Tips for Saving on Food in The Home
- To get plenty of extra freezer storage, buy a 5cf Chest Freezer ($150). It holds 175 lbs of food and only costs $26/year in electricity. They are 22″w x 28″d and can fit almost anywhere.
- Have recipes for leftover foods
- First cook what you were able to buy recently on sale
- You can buy less tender cuts of meat and cook them on a crock pot, to get a tender meal
- Use (or freeze) your refrigerated food before it goes bad
- Create extra pantry space for non-perishable goods like cans, pasta etc.
- Freeze and store foods you can’t eat within a few days
- Join a coupon swapping club
About Michael Pietrafesa.For a detailed Couponing plan and Free On-line Sources for food and restaurant coupons please visit: http://bit.ly/KCdi0g