How many times have you eaten at a restaurant this week, whether it’s been fast food or a moderate to expensive meal at your favorite place? If you are interested in how to save money on food so that your expenses in this area can improve you may have to cut back on certain things you love. Notice I said “cut back” and not “eliminate”!
It’s obvious when you are trying new ways to save money to consider how your habits of eating out will affect your attempts to save so that’s the first thing you need to curtail. If you like to go out to your favorite restaurant once a week, cut it down to once every two weeks. Make small changes at a time so you don’t feel it as much.
If you stop going out completely, you will get frustrated and possibly throw in the towel altogether and abandon your efforts to save any money at all. The truth is, if you make eating out a special occasion you and your family will appreciate that one or two meals a month more than ever than if it’s a regular occurrence! Don’t forget to use coupons when you eat at your favorite restaurant, too. You can easily find a ton of different specials and savings on the Internet if you merely look for them. Once you find them, all you have to do is print them out.
One of the best ways to save money on food is to get into the habit of cooking for yourself and/or your family. What you can do is; plan a week of meals at a time and make a list of all the items you need at the grocery store, and do your best to use the weekly ads and coupons to purchase them. I like to do the reverse because I am very experienced at cooking; I pick out items in the weekly ad, I build meals around them by getting creative, then I add whatever other items I need in the end. Doing it this way helps me plan meals which average 5-8 dollars a night for a family of four consistently.
Another thing you can do is cut down on consuming red meats which can be pretty expensive. For example, a steak dinner for a family of four can easily set you back 15-20 dollars a pop if you buy some decent cuts for grilling. Instead, eat a little more chicken and try to buy it in bulk when it’s on sale and freeze it! Use beans and rice instead for your protein source a little more often, too.
You can also eat breakfast for dinner once in a while. Try this; make some whole wheat pancakes and add blueberries or other filling and use low calorie syrup. This type of dinner will run you about a whopping $3.50 for 4 people!
This goes without saying; use your weekly ads every single time you shop for food and you will easily and naturally increase your savings substantially throughout the year. Also, throw some coupons into the mix and you will be able to add another 20 to 30% off your bill every year, too!