How much you spend on food each month can add up quickly. We slashed over $1000 per month on food off our family budget. And we are eating tastier than ever.
Let me explain:
Ask what do we have to eat; not what are we in the mood to eat? That simple question saved us remarkably by making do and getting creative with what we already have in the house, rather than frequently running back to the grocery store for a "few more things".
Call your local grocery store and ask what time of day that store clearances meat, produce and bakery items. Shop around that time. I recommend two times per week if possible for the greatest way to save using this method. THEN go home to plan the meal you wish to prepare.
Pack meals along for work, school and road trips. Save even more with using and repurposing leftovers for those meals.
It might seem intimidating at first to know how to prepare food from combinations in your pantry, freezer and the items you've purchased on clearance, but it can be done, and it isn't hard. Sites like MyFridgeFood and SuperCook and even simply googling the ingredients you have and adding the word "recipe" consistently bring up great results for me.
This way of shopping for food has allowed us to try some ingredients we never would have thought to try or which would ordinarily be too expensive for our budget, but when clearanced, are affordable and even save us money.
Food can be sensational, memorable and can add to traditions especially around the holidays. I love this method of shopping because I can make the meals I most want to prepare for myself and for my family while not overspending.
I also say that food can be forgettable and ordinary. If you asked me today, what I ate last Wednesday, I'd wouldn't remember. And if you're shopping for ordinary, weekday meals, no need to overspend! For me, I want to SAVE money so I can SPEND it on unforgettable things like travel as a family and making memories. This reverse meal planning method has saved us so much money on food, that international travel has become an option for our family. As a family of six, we traveled to Italy this past spring and plan to visit France soon.
That's what makes, for me, saying NO to what I want NOW worth saving in order to say YES to what I want MOST. For me, that MOST is travel. What's yours? ~ Melanie Anderson from SixOnABudget