Feeding a family is a big expense. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical American family spends 14% of their budget on food. If you want to eat a nutritious diet or if you have food allergies or medical conditions, groceries will cost much more. Of that typical budget roughly 60% goes toward “Food at home” while the other 40% is spent on restaurants etc. But High income households actually spent 49% of their food budget at restaurants. By shifting more of your eating to “at home” you can easily reduce your family’s food budget. Here are some more tips to help you save big on food.
Eat Seasonal Foods
While it is possible to buy raspberries at any time of the year, you will save money if you buy them in season. This is true for most types of produce. Choosing what is in season also means that the food is fresher, was picked recently and will likely taste better. You can learn about when different types of food are in season in your area by asking the produce manager at your grocery store or visiting a local farmer’s market. And while you’re at the Farmer’s Market check out the prices you might find both better quality produce and lower prices.
Shop the Perimeter
Stick with foods that are located around the perimeter of the store. This includes meats, dairy, produce and whole grains. The packaged foods found in the middle of the store at eye level are usually the most expensive. When you do need a packaged food, choose the store brand or shop the store’s loss leaders.
Flavored Syrups for Drinks
If you like flavored beverages but you dislike the high price tags of pre-made products, you could purchase flavored syrups and make your own drinks. Flavored syrups, like those available from companies like Monin, are available for making your own drinks at home. To do this, you will need a source of carbonated water. You can also add flavored syrups to shaved ice and make snow cones to cool off during the hot summer weather.
Brewing Your Own
If you like coffee and tea, brewing your own at home can save a lot of money. A French Press is a simple kitchen tool that allows you to make rich coffee at a fraction of the coffeehouse price. If you have a blender, you can use it to grind your own coffee beans. Consider investing in a filter cup that you can use to brew your own loose-leaf tea. You can buy the roasted beans and dried tea leaves in bulk save even more. Simply store them in a sealed container to keep them fresh.
4 Bonus Tips on Food From 20 Tips for Saving Money When Raising Kids
- Eat at home! Restaurants (even fast food) is expensive (and fattening). Choose to eat at home instead of at restaurants or for a special treat search for those that allow kids to eat free.
- Grow your own food. This will save you lots of money, give you fresher, healthier produce and also help your children learn where food comes from.
- Make school lunches. School lunches are very expensive if you have several children in school. Making them yourself and not using fancy prepackaged “Lunchables” can save you money.
- Couponing. If done right, coupons can help you keep money in your pocket. They are very beneficial for food and hygiene items. Take up the hobby of couponing but be careful often “name brand” items are more expensive than the store band even with the coupon.
- Cost of Living: How Much of Your Budget Goes to Food?
- Cost of Living- Real Basket of Goods
- Its Weight in Gold: The Real Prices of Things
- 5 Top Tips For A Cheaper Shopping Bill