Saving money is something that is always on people’s mind. And why wouldn’t it be? The cost of living is ever increasing and the dollar just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. With all the rising financial pressures, it is hard to budget day–to–day life, and often times our food choices suffer. It is a common misconception that eating fast food or ready-made foods is the easier or cheaper approach to mealtimes.
Due to the nature of Honeybutter’s business, it is not hard to imagine the food costs involved. Luckily though, we have mastered groceries on a budget! Checkout our helpful hints below to maximize your grocery budget so you can eat the way you deserve to, every night!
Before you can accurately set a budget that you can be stuck to, you need to identify your current spending habits. Spend a month collecting all of your receipts for all food and groceries. This includes any eating out, trips to the coffee shop or late night trips to the gas station for snacks. Take time to look over your bills and take note of your extra or unnecessary spending. Once you are aware of your spending habits, you can better set a realistic budget.
Take some time at the start of your week to create a meal plan for yourself. Deciding what you are going to eat for the upcoming week will not only make your life a little easier, but it will have a drastic effect on your monthly grocery budget. Knowing what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day allows you to plan more effectively for your grocery trips, shop accordingly, and avoid impulse spending.
Not only is it another errand for you to fit into your busy schedule, but with every extra trip you make, the inevitable impulse spending throws off your budget for the month. Try to limit your grocery shopping to once a week. Armed with your meal plan, you can now make a list of all the groceries you will need for the week. Try your best to stick to your list when shopping and only buy what you need.
Eating out can singlehandedly demolish your monthly food budget. Try not to eat out too often, or just because you are feeling lazy. A good way to avoid this is by preparing meals ahead of time and popping them in the freezer for later in the week or month. Lasagna, soup, savoury pies (meat pies, chicken pot pie, Shepherd’s pie, etc), casseroles, homemade pizzas, stuffed peppers… the list of possibilities is endless! Making these meals yourself will cost you a fraction of what it would at a restaurant, and you will get a lot more out of it!
Throwing away food is like throwing away your hard earned money. If you cook too much pasta for dinner, consider eating the extra for lunch the following day.If you misjudge portions and have too much rice, use the leftovers for a fried rice dish! Try to use up your fresh veggies and ingredients first, before moving to dried or frozen ingredients with a longer shelf life. If you’re feeling stuck, look online for new ways to use an ingredient. Making the most of your groceries goes a long way!
Keep a grocery list going on your fridge or phone of any items you’ve run out of. This will save you from forgetting that one thing you really needed, buying multiples, buying things you don’t need, and of course, will limit your trips to the store.
Grocery shopping and cooking can be tons of fun, but the financial costs associated can be stressful without proper planning and execution! Do yourself the favour, and take the time out of your week and set yourself up for success! It won’t be long before you begin to see the difference some simple planning can make.