One of the most common things suggested to us if we want to save money and get out of debt is to cut back on eating out. In reality, the benefits are not too great on your budget. This is particularly true if you learn that the average family spends over $7,000 a year on food. And that is whether they eat out or not.
Nevertheless, finding ways to cut back on household expenses like your food can definitely do wonders for your finances.
Here are seven ways on how you can realistically reduce your family’s food budget.
Grow your own food
Unless you have a farm, it would really be unrealistic to grow everything to feed your family. However, growing vegetables and herbs at home can help a lot in lowering your food expense. At the same time, you can also make a little extra by selling your produce to your neighbors, friends, and relatives.
Join a potluck group
Members in a potluck or communal meal group meet once a week. Each member is assigned to cook one particular kind of dish. This dish is then divided and shared among the other members.
Therefore, you get a variety of meals to feed you and your family for an entire week even if you just went shopping for the ingredients of one type of meal.
Buy goods in bulk
At first, buying in bulk may seem to be counterintuitive since you initially spend more than buying in small quantities. But actually, you end up saving big in the long run. Buying certain food items in bulk allows you to get them at a discounted rate. Such food items include grains, cereals, pasta and certain types of canned and bottled foods. It would also mean making lesser trips to the supermarket, helping you also cut back on other expenses.
Search for online coupons
These days, there are lots of blogs and websites that you can visit and get discount coupons for free. Simply download the discount coupons, print them out and take them with you the next time you visit the grocery. This can significantly help save you a lot of extra bucks.
Check your credit card
We’re not talking about how much available balance you still have on your credit card. Credit card companies have reward programs where you get to earn points. You can redeem these points for additional purchases of gift certificates to restaurants and even on groceries.
Join your supermarket’s membership program
Many supermarkets now have shoppers’ membership programs. You can join these by paying a low membership fee. They work very much the same as credit card loyalty programs in that they allow you to earn points each time you shop.
The only difference is that these points can be treated as cash, which you can use to pay for your groceries the next time you do your shopping.
Go for what’s in season
This follows the principle of supply and demand. When a particular type of fruit or vegetable is in season, there’s a lot more to go around. Therefore, they end up being cheaper than others. Freezing them in zip lock bags allows you to continue enjoying them even after their season is up.