With the cost of groceries constantly on the rise, it’s hard to keep your monthly food budget in check. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to save money on your grocery bill while also eating nutritious, delicious food. If you’re looking to cut down on how much you spend on food each month without sacrificing too much variety or flavor, try incorporating these five tips into your grocery shopping routine.
The Average cost of Groceries per Month
Depending on how many people you’re feeding, your food budget can fluctuate quite a bit. The USDA notes that in 2015, grocery shoppers spent $664.20 per month—but that number could be much higher or lower depending on where you live and whether or not you buy organic produce. If you have a family of four or more, expect to spend anywhere from $100–$200+ per week. If your household is made up of one or two people, you might spend closer to $60–$80/week—and if you’re only preparing meals for yourself, expect to spend around $35–50/week.
How much should you spend on groceries?
The short answer is that you should spend just enough to eat well, but no more. Depending on your lifestyle and family size, $200-$300 per month may be enough to sustain a healthy diet of nutritious foods. On average, it’s estimated that Americans spend around 12% of their income (or even up to 20%) on food; eating healthily shouldn’t drain your wallet.
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5 Tips for Saving Money on Your Monthly Food Budget
When most people think of budgeting, they imagine cutting back on every little expense they have. But it’s important to remember that you can’t live without some of your expenses, so you have to pick which ones are worth preserving. For instance, if your grocery bill is too high each month, cutting out luxury items like fresh produce won’t help you. Instead, look at what food-related expenses you can cut down or completely eliminate. There are plenty of ways to reduce your monthly food budget by hundreds of dollars per month. Here are five easy tips
How I save Money on my Food Budget
If you spend more time trying to figure out what to make than actually making it, then meal planning is just what you need. It takes a little work at first but will save you lots of money over time. Try getting a bunch of cheap recipe books and pick a few recipes that look appealing each week. If you’re not sure how many people will be eating, play it safe and make 2-3 times as much food as needed. You can always freeze extra portions or share them with family members or neighbors.
2) Buy wholesale
Look for local co-ops and stores where you can purchase items in bulk. In most cases, they charge less per unit when purchasing large packages which leads to significant savings over regular retail prices. This isn’t limited to food either. Many hardware stores also sell supplies in larger sizes so you might want to start there too.
3) Shop at farmer’s markets
Fresh fruits and vegetables often taste better if bought from a market compared to their grocery store counterparts, plus by shopping seasonally you usually end up paying lower prices because crops don’t have to travel very far before arriving at the market. In addition, these markets almost always accept cash only – something else every budgeter should keep in mind – making them one of my favorite places to shop.
4) Join a grocery delivery service
This is becoming more popular among online retailers offering home deliveries for consumable goods such as groceries and toiletries. These services may cost a bit more but don’t require any planning or going out to buy items. Check Groupon Coupons for deals in your area.
5) Stop buying junk food
Maintaining a healthy diet has never been easier thanks to the availability of affordable healthy foods both in-store and online. While doing so will cost slightly more upfront, you’ll actually be saving yourself hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars annually on medical bills caused by poor nutrition choices such as drinking soda all day instead of water and eating cookies instead of fruit! Think about it…it’s an investment worth making even if the price is an issue right now
Purchasing groceries vs. Dining out
One of the biggest ways to save money when creating a monthly food budget is to buy groceries rather than dining out. Restaurant food tends to be much more expensive per serving, and dining out too often can really add up over time. Even if you only do it once every week or two, making meals at home helps you keep your spending in check, without sacrificing too much convenience.
The amount of money you spend on food every month is largely determined by your income level. Regardless of how much you’re earning, there are ways to save money on your monthly food budget. A food budget can mean different things to different people; some families want to make sure they eat healthy while others simply want to feed their family as cheaply as possible. It’s important is to cut back on what you spend every month.