Monday, March 10, 2008

Saving on the Food Bill

Yikes! Gas is getting expensive and so is food. Listening to Dave Ramsey has taught me the importance of budgeting. Budgeting is telling every dollar you bring in exactly where to go. If you don't, they seem to just scatter everywhere and you're wondering why there is more month left over than money.

There are so many amounts that people say is reasonable for a food budget. My monthly budget for groceries is $500.00 for five people. I also designate $200.00 monthly for miscellaneous items-toiletries, cleaning supplies, seeds, chicken feed etc... I know I don't have boys. I've heard they eat their weight in food daily. It's just me, Byron and our three little girls (12, 9, and 8). I still think my budget is pretty good.

Here are some things I do to help with the food budget and our health:

Do not buy pre-packaged-tempting I know. Especially if your super busy. Proper planning eliminates the need for these items. Also if you're that busy, SLOW DOWN. You only have one life on earth so actually live it!

Do not waste- Eat leftovers. Re-invent them.

Buy whole-As close to nature as possible. They say these items are mostly found on the outer perimeter of a store. Simple noodles or rice is much cheaper than packaged precooked mixes.

Do not overeat- Since Byron has been cutting back on calories, we were commenting on how much longer milk lasts now. (and other food as well :)

Learn to cook- Some items people buy prepackaged are so quick and easy to make at home, are sometimes more nutritious and always taste better. Such as icing, pie crust, biscuits, bread, soups, casseroles.

Skip the packaged snacks- Say no to cookies, chips, puddings and such. Instead buy mini carrots, pistachios, grain crackers, cheese, yogurt, fruit, broccoli...

Don't drink your money or your calories- Say no to soft drinks and juices. They are high in calories and expensive. Eat your fruit, don't drink it. We drink water, tea, milk and coffee.

Bring a list- and stick with it. Avoid impulse buys. Only buy what you need.

Grow your own- You would be amazed at what you can grow on a patio in pots. Just start small and grow as your skill grows. Don't buy expensive supplies either. Just use a five gallon bucket with holes in the bottom, or a wooden box!

I also buy local and organic whenever possible and still stay within my budget.

If you run out of money before the end of the month, be creative with the food you have in your home. With patience and perseverance you can bring down your grocery bill significantly. Improved health will be an added benefit. Sometimes you have to gradually sneak these changes in on your family.

What is your budget for food? What do you do to save money on groceries?

Here's some sites to help:

Dollar Stretcher
Dave Ramsey
How to save money on groceries at Blogher

1 comment:

Egghead said...

Great tips and you sound like you practice them so well. Some I already do and there are others I would love to try to put into practice.