Girl, now you know you’re paying all your bills on time (or at least trying too)! You’re watching every dollar earned and spent. You are constantly hawking your budget to make sure your family stays inline. But, somehow you still find it hard to stretch your money to make it all work.
Heck, you may even be wondering: Why am I so broke all the time? Why can’t I make it work?
Looking at your income and expenses can be daunting. Maybe even completely overwhelming for some (I know that’s how I feel at times). Groceries and food are a constant & ever changing expense! But, hey at the end of the day we do have to eat, right? Other expenses such as housing, car payments, loan payments and utilities are generally fixed expenses while food is surely not! Making those groceries a HUGE variable in your budget. No worries though, we are going to get them under control – together!
Do you feel like no matter how much you budget, watch your spending and cut from here and there it just never feels like enough? Well, Chances are there are there may be some money saving tips that you haven’t tried yet.
To help you think outside the box and keep those expenses in check, I’ve created a list of 10 Ways to Stretch Your Food Budget with some Tips You Haven’t Tried Yet!
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10 Ways to Stretch Your Food Budget with Tips You Haven’t Tried Yet!
Eat At Home
If you really want to save money on your food budget, eating at home is the easiest way to save. We all know that eating out and fast food can really put a dent in our budgets. Eating at home can save you hundreds if not thousands over the course of a year. Before heading out for the day, make sure you eat so you don’t have the urge to stop while out. If you are short on time grab a quick snack from the house or pack some food to eat while out.
Plan Your Meals
When it comes to REALLY stretching your food budget meal planning is the tool you need. I mean HUGE savings with this one everyone! Stretching your meals and planning ahead can help you incorporate leftovers into the next days meals. It also helps you purchase only the ingredients needed and the amounts you need, limiting food waste. If you find that you are not great at meal planning or don’t have the time try $5 Meal Planning.
The $5 it costs a month will save you WAY MORE than the monthly cost. The best thing is that you can snag a free trial by using my link here, exclusively for Simply Hip Savings readers. That will give you time to try out the meal planning service and see if it’s a good fit for you and your family.
Stretch Your Meals With Rice, Beans and Vegetables
By adding ingredients like rice, beans, barley, potatoes and vegetables to your dishes you will stretch the meals, in turn creating extra savings. Bulky vegetables, beans, rice and barley not only make you feel fuller but they are also better for you than meat. Soups, stews, chili’s and other crock pot favorites are just a few examples of some dishes that can be stretched using these ingredients.
Cut Meat Portions In Half
Meat can be one of the largest expenses in your grocery budget. By cutting down on home much meat your family eats daily as well as the portion sizes can really add up to some huge savings. If a recipe calls for 1lb of ground beef, try 3/4 or 1/2lb. Then add in some filler like potatoes, rice, beans or other vegetables. Maybe cut up the onions and peppers into larger pieces. Remember we do eat with our eyes first.
You can also try buying meat in bulk with serves like Zycon fresh. Zycon fresh lets you order large amounts of meat at discounted prices. This is a service that you might want to go halves with friends and family on.
Stick To A List
When you go shopping always make sure you have a list, it is your best friend. If you go with a list you will save tons, because you will buy only what you really need. It’s easy to get distracted and buy items you don’t need or forget things that you do need. Commit yourself to buy only what’s on the list. If you didn’t write it down at home, you probably didn’t need it that bad. Make sure to use money savings apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 to maximize savings even more. Make sure to check for Grocery Coupons before heading out to see if there are coupons for items you need.
Pack Your Snacks
Sometimes you may just want to order lunch out with your friends while at work, I get it. But you can bring some snacks with you to help minimize your expenses. If you decide to order a burger or sandwich, you can bring the chips and drink from home. Generally this works best when you are ordering take-out. Personally, in my office I keep bottled water, apples, bananas, chips, nuts and dried fruits. Over time this adds up to some serious savings. Let’s just consider a bottled soda $ 1.50 and bag of chips $1.99 = $3.49 x 7% sales tax (here in FL) = $3.73 x 3 days a week = $11.19 a week or $581.88 a year in savings. PACK YOUR SNACKS!
Have A Routine
The “same ol’ same ol'” can get old! However eating the same things every week can also help slash your grocery bill. Knowing what you are going to eat and how much can help you narrow down exactly how much of specific items you need to purchase. By having an in depth knowledge of what you are going to spend can also help you control your budget. This also allows for you to stock up on rock bottom prices for the products your family consumes. Some examples of this are: Taco Tuesdays, Pizza Fridays, Whatever Wednesdays, ect.
Only Buy What You Eat
How often have you had to throw food away because it spoiled? I know I am a frequent offender of this one! Just last night I had to throw away a pack of tortillas and cilantro.. oops.. Always have a plan when you go to the store and purchase only items that will only get consumed. If taco night in your house is once a month don’t buy a huge pack of tortillas, grab the smaller pack. Waste not, want not. Also, don’t shop on an empty belly, this 100% leads to impulse shopping.
Buy Only What You Really Need
This is true for so many things in life. It’s soooo easy to go to the store and impulse shop like no ones ever seen before. The hard part is to control yourself and purchase only what you really need. Ask yourself “is this a need or a want?” If you find it’s a want, then you should re-think that item. Put it down, step back and move on. When you are trying to budget and save money you should only be purchasing NEEDED items.
Don’t Worry If It’s Not Made From Scratch
There were plenty of times that I would feel guilty for not making food from scratch for my family, until I realized that it’s OK. It’s OK that it might not be from scratch. It’s OK that maybe you might eat a frozen pizza for dinner instead of eating out. I know that a $3.50 Red Barron Pizza is wayyy cheaper than a $12 pizza from Papa John’s plus tax and a $3.50 delivery fee and waitttt a tip. That pizza delivery can easily turn into $20. Don’t worry that it’s frozen pizza it’s OK! Or any other boxed, canned or frozen food, maybe even sandwich night. Semi-homemade is just as good!
So, there you have it my friend! Those are 10 ways to Save on Groceries you may not have yet tried. Go ahead and try these tips and tricks and let me know how much you add back into your Food Budget. What are some ways you save on groceries?