Everyone spends a good part of their budget on food unless you’re a yogi master who only needs a few berries and meditation each day. Of course, the money we spend on food heavily depends on our lifestyle and priorities. While a student will typically rely a lot on budget recipes such as pasta meals, health conscious eaters may splash a lot of dollars on vegan food.
Estimate how much money you need to spend on food while keeping a healthy diet.
The United States Department of Agriculture created a useful calculator to estimate how much money you should spend per week and per month to maintain a healthy diet. That’s a very smart way to start budgeting for your meals, find it here. It takes into account the number and age of people in your household and the website also provides other great tools such as a meal planner and shopping tools.
Like everything else in your budget, plan as much as possible your grocery spending.
We would recommend to keep a list of easy to make recipes that all the family like in your cupboard for the times when you don’t have much time or energy to cook. Try to save on basics that you will use often and that have a long shelf life such as rice or pasta using offers or coupons. We would advise to make a meal plan for the coming week before going to the supermarket. It shouldn’t take long and you will save time and energy during the week.
Avoid spending temptations by making lists.
Once you have established your meal plan, make a list of what you need to buy. Remember that marketers put a lot of efforts into making you extra spend! Try to keep the unnecessary spending to a minimum and avoid the fatty snacks section if you can. Beware of promotions, sometimes they’re not worth the money you spend. Focus on seasonal vegetables and products to eat healthy for less.
Some time ahead? Look at what’s left in the fridge and plan for the week ahead.
Instead of spending time on the sofa, watch your favorite Sunday TV show while cooking some meals you can freeze to eat later during the week. Scan your fridge for leftovers and find some clever recipes over the net to reuse them efficiently.
Cut down on take outs and expensive products.
Use what you cooked or leftovers instead of buying your lunch outside. If your daily lunch out costs you $6, then you will be able to cut the expense by half using food from home. If you decide to eat outside, make it worth a treat not an obligation. There are also all these small adds on such as buying your morning coffee from a famous chain. Don’t make it a habit but an occasional treat. Buy yourself a coffee press and you will be surprised by how much you will save. If you drink everyday, give yourself some days off and look at offers and coupons. Buy alcohol you really like so the moment and money are worth it.
These tips are worth following whatever your food requirements are. The main lesson being a good budgeter is a good everyday planner!