How To Save Big On Your Food Budget

Whether you’re looking to expand your emergency savings or penny-pinching right before payday, slashing your food budget might be the best way to start saving substantially without getting a new job. Saving money is crucial for every household to protect against financial emergencies and to have backup savings to cover unexpected expenses. The grocery budget comes second only to rent and mortgage payments as a top expense in most households.

Controlling your budget is an important life skill and can contribute to much higher savings over time, more flexibility, and financial freedom, but it also contributes to safety and protection against issues like economic instability and inflation. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and do not have a substantial savings plan, it might be time to consider refocusing your budget and slashing your food costs for good. Here are three tips on how to do just that.


Learn To Cook 

The single most important factor in creating substantial savings in your food budget is to learn how to cook. Learning how to put together different meals and recipes will give you the ability to learn skills that you can apply to multiple dishes, understand how and why you use specific ingredients in certain contexts, and give you the flexibility to create meals that work within your budget and enjoy.

Learning to cook also cuts down on the costs of eating out, which can at times be a substantial amount of money and have positive effects on your health and diet. Begin by finding recipes that work for you by searching the internet for cooking and baking for beginners. By incorporating new recipes every week, you’ll slowly learn skills that are applicable in different contexts and make you more comfortable in the kitchen.


How To Save Big On Your Food Budget


Track Every Food Expense

Many people have the misconception that eating at home can be just as expensive as eating out. While it can be more expensive to eat at home if you’re not paying close attention to the price of food, or you’re eating prime-cut steaks and crab every night, it’s much more likely that you’ll save substantially by cooking at home. By tracking all of your food expenses, you’ll understand how much you actually spend on food on a monthly basis you eat while going out and the food you eat at home.

Because food shopping happens all at once, it can be shocking to pay one hundred dollars all at once, rather than small amounts over time. However, if you track all your food expenses for the month, you’ll come to a better idea of how much you’re spending, and in most cases, you’ll find that budgeting and making your meals from home is much less expensive.


How To Save Big On Your Food Budget


Buy In Bulk 

Consider buying foods that your household eats regularly at specialty stores in bulk. The best items to buy in bulk will be specific to your household and what your family enjoys eating, but focus on buying bulk versions of shelf-stable foods. The most cost-effective bulk ingredients are dry beans, rice, and pasta. If you have a deep freezer, you can also save big on meats by buying in bulk and freezing them when you get home.


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