Food is one of the most common and in some aspects, one of the costliest household expenses.
It is the one household expense that is the most universal. Everybody requires sustenance and everybody has a budget that they put aside for food. There are many, many ways to save money on food, and although there are some traditional ways to save money on food, there are also ways that you may not have considered.
Both the traditional and unconventional ways to save money on food will be explored here, as any way to save money on food ought to be checked out.
Before exploring these methods, however, it is important to know a couple of things: Who you need to accomodate for and whether you are willing to prepare your own food.
Who do you need to Accomodate for?
The first thing you need to consider before even beginning to think of ways to save money on food is knowing who you are accommodating for. This goes beyond listing off the people who you live with. It should include who you live with, how often they eat, and what kinds of foods that they typically eat.
One of the reasons why you need to go into great detail about who you are accommodating for is because as you explore these ways to save money, you might need to make some sacrifices. These sacrifices might affect your purchase of certain foods that you or the people around you enjoy.
Some of these sacrifices also entail behavioral changes, such as altering eating habits. This is something else you need to keep in mind and another reason why you should be going into great detail about who you are accommodating for when it comes to your food budget.
If you do not get very specific information about who you are accommodating for and what their eating habits are, they may not like the changes you have made to lower your food budget.
This is especially true if someone you are accommodating for has a strict diet. For example, if someone you are accommodating for follows a gluten free diet, you may not be able to do as much as you might want to save money on food because of their specific diet.
Knowing who you need to accommodate for is the first thing you need to do before even exploring ways that you can save money on food. However, the methods that will soon be explored can work for those who live alone as well. In fact, some of these methods can help a lot if you are alone.
One of the easiest ways to save money on food is to simply change your eating habits. This will be explored now in as much detail as possible.
Saving money on food by changing your eating habits
This will work more for those who only need to accommodate for themselves rather than those who need to accommodate for others, but sometimes all you need to do to save money on food is just to change up your eating habits.
Something that is gaining more and more relevance is something called intermittent fasting.
During intermittent fasting, you only eat during an eight hour block. Most who practice intermittent fasting also tend to eat a lot less than before they started intermittent fasting, and this can work in your favor if you are trying to save money on food.
Something like this would be more ideal for somebody who has nobody to accommodate for or if those who you are accommodating for are also fans of intermittent fasting and would like to try it.
Sometimes the best way to save money on food is to simply buy and eat less of it, and changing your eating habits is one way to do this. Intermittent fasting is just one of many ways that you can decisively change your eating habits.
Preparing and cooking: Much more cost-effective than eating out
Eating out, while it does save time, can add up.
Consider this: If you bring your family to any given chain restaurant just twice a month, you have already spent at least $100 on food for that month guaranteed.
Eating out has its place, especially if you do not know how to prepare certain dishes or do not have the time to prepare certain dishes.
However, there is a major sacrifice to this, and that is your budget.
Preparing and cooking your own food will allow you to save all kinds of money that you would have spent at a restaurant.
And in this day and age where you can look up video tutorials on how to prepare and cook practically anything, there is no reason why you cannot prepare and cook your own food instead of eating out, especially if you or those around you are only eating very simple dishes with few ingredients. Doing something like this instead of going to a restaurant will not only save you money but also time. Instead of waiting for a table at a busy restaurant with a server who is serving your table and about a dozen more, you can just prepare what you need to prepare at home.
Do not be intimidated by learning how to prepare and cook the same dishes that you go out for. As mentioned earlier, it is easier than ever to gain access to free resources for preparing most of your favorite meals.
The next two ways to save money on food assume that you are al
ready doing something like this and are buying ingredients for meals at a supermarket or other store. They will appear obvious, but not many consider them.
There are always promotions, coupons, and other deals
Our culture still associates a little bit of shame with people who use coupons, hunt for promotions, and seek out other deals while shopping.
Pay these observations no mind. Nearly any store that sells food in any aspect contains daily and weekly promotions that are almost guaranteed to save you money.
Coupons can be found anywhere, and coupon books can be bought for cheap. Think of buying a coupon book as an investment. With the kinds of coupons that these books contain, you will see a significant return on your investment.
Most stores run daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal specials. If you seek these out, you will also be able to save all kinds of money on the food that you purchase from these places. It just takes a little bit of extra effort on your part.
Do not be ashamed of using coupons, and do all
you can to seek out deals and promotions at the places you shop at. You will be amazed at how much money you will be able to save just by taking a little bit of time to seek these out.
If you are experienced in preparing and cooking your own meals, you should consider this final thing.
Are seasonings and other ecutremen necessary?
While it is sometimes necessary to include seasonings and other kinds of flavor enhancers to what you prepare and cook, there are many cases where it is not necessary.
If you are interested in saving money on food, you may want to skip using certain seasonings and other ecutremen in the dishes you prepare.
This can be difficult if you need to accommodate for others, but it is perfectly doable if you are only taking care of yourself.
It is true that not including flavor enhancers to your dishes might make them bland. But most of the time these flavor enhancers provide a negligible effect on the dish itself and you can certainly save money by passing on the seasoning.
Enjoying your favorite dishes without seasoning and flavor enhancers can take some getting used to, but it is a very effective way to save money on food, especially if you regularly prepare dishes at home.
No expense can add up more than your food budget, and it can be easy to wind up spending far too much money than you wanted to. Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to save money on food, and many of these methods are methods that you may have not considered.
One final thing that you can do to save money on food is to keep a very detailed budget of how much you have spent on food.