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How to save money on food

By Louise Chan · July 13 2018
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How to save money on food

By Louise Chan
July 13 2018
Reading:
egg
egg
egg
how save money food

How to save money on food

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By Louise Chan · July 13 2018
Reading:
egg
egg
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how save money food

Food and drinks are basic necessities in every household, however, it shouldn't break the bank. There are ways to save on food without taking the pleasure out of eating.

Australian households spend an average of up to 17 per cent of their weekly income—up to $380—on food and drinks, depending on the size of their household.

Implementing the following basic tips can help minimise spending for food and drinks to give your savings an extra boost:

  • Track your spending
  • Maintain a budget
  • Plan accordingly

Tip #1: Track your spending

A person can’t save money on their meals if they don’t know where their money goes, which is why tracking their spending should be their first step.

Know what you spend on and evaluate its necessity
It’s important to understand how the household spends for food before implementing anything. Start by tracking all spending for food and drinks, including takeaways and dining out, to get a clear view of your expenses.

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You may go old school by listing down their expenses in a notebook or make use of technology by downloading various spending tracker mobile applications. There are a variety of free and paid mobile applications available for iOS and Android devices.

After tracking your food expenses, evaluate how necessary each expense is and consider which can be minimised or eliminated.

Alter spending behaviour
Once all food expenses are laid out, consider removing all unnecessary expenses.Instead of dining out or buying takeaways four times a week, consider limiting it to two nights per week.

You may also try to go after ingredient flexibility instead of buying specific food items that can only be used or eaten once. For example, instead of allotting budget for takeaways, you can buy ingredients for simple recipes. Doing so could feed the household longer.

Tip #2: Maintain a budget

Setting and maintaining a weekly food budget can help increase savings on shopping days.

Turn it into a challenge
Simply dictating and following a budget can get tiresome and some people tend to stray from it after a while. To make things more interesting, turn the budget plan into a challenge.

Search for delicious but inexpensive recipes to save money on groceries or search for the best deals on food items both online and in your neighbourhood.

They can also try their hand at growing their own vegetables or spices so that these can be removed from their grocery list later on.

Try alternatives
There is a wealth of information about food budgeting in money saving sites. In fact, Nest Egg offers various tips and tricks to guide moneysavers.

Tip #3: Plan accordingly

Expenses tend to blow up when buying groceries but there are simple ways to prevent this. You can save at the grocery store by planning purchases according to your actual needs instead of going in blind.

Set a schedule
Instead of going to the store whenever the need arises, consider setting a grocery day. This can be done every payday—or to minimise the temptation to spend, it can also be scheduled at any day between paydays when wages are safely in their proper allocations. Doing so would also eliminate the idea that there’s extra money to spare for unneeded food items.

However, eating at home is not the only way to save money on food. Setting a schedule for dining out or takeaways could also do the trick.

Make a list
Write up an inventory of all the items in your pantry or kitchen cupboards and create a weekly menu plan based on them. Make sure to avoid becoming blind to the possibilities of an item as an ingredient. Exhaust your food resources before adding anything to your grocery list. For instance, there may not be any oven-ready pizza crust in the cupboard, but a further look at your cupboard may tell you that there are packs of flour, sugar, salt and yeast—the basic ingredients for a homemade pizza dough.

The list should be prepared before each grocery trip and, if possible, prices for the necessary items should be noted. You can also research if there are upcoming sales in the supermarket you frequent to take advantage of the discounted prices.

It’s also important that they buy only the items that are listed down to avoid blowing their budget.

Reining in food expenses doesn’t necessarily mean going hungry, but it could create bigger savings for other necessities or for emergencies. All it takes is the discipline to stick with the budget plan and a little creativity to make use of readily available resources.


This information has been sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Nest Egg.

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About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

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About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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