Looking at your monthly income and your monthly fixed expenses, have you ever felt the pinch of having a meager or nil discretionary income?

But if you plan your money wisely, your money can really work for you. While cropping up a spending plan to budget your expenses, food can be the most contingent place to start with. With quite elementary changes in your life, you can actually cut your food budget to such an extent as to achieve your goals such as going on a vacation, paying off debt, buying a car or a home. You can actually try to mutate your food expenses a bit to squeeze out more of your money to see you savings pile up like never before. Here, we will talk about how you can make the most of each penny that you spend on your food without compromising on its deliciousness and nutrition.

But if you plan your money wisely, your money can really work for you. While cropping up a spending plan to budget your expenses, food can be the most contingent place to start with. With quite elementary changes in your life, you can actually cut your food budget to such an extent as to achieve your goals such as going on a vacation, paying off debt, buying a car or a home. You can actually try to mutate your food expenses a bit to squeeze out more of your money to see you savings pile up like never before. Here, we will talk about how you can make the most of each penny that you spend on your food without compromising on its deliciousness and nutrition.

Avoid waste of food = Avoid waste of money

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An essential and dominant part of your monthly expenses is food. As you may go grocery shopping several times in a month as and when a need arises, it becomes all the more important to keep it in check. So, you need to be more creative and responsible when it comes to spending on your groceries. One of the important aspects to be considered that can affect your grocery needs and spends is food wastage.

Throwing your food in the dustbin would mean throwing your hard earned money in the dustbin. To start with, a good idea would be to jot down what are the things that you usually end up binning. Most common foods that you end up throwing would include perishable foods such as vegetables, fruits, bread, etc. Throwing away food is a sign of bad eating and spending habits. When you keep a note of the food that does not get used and ultimately goes into the thrash during a week, you will be able to determine what food actually gets used in your house and how much quantity of it gets used. This habit will lead you to buy only what is required, in the quantity that it is required in and not stock up food in large quantity without proper anticipation and planning about its actual requirement. This way you can minimize wasting your food in a significant manner and thus saving a lot of your money.

Plan your meals, avoid impulsive bulk buying and strictly follow the shopping list

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One of the effective ways to reduce and eventually eliminate wastage of food is planning your meals in advance. Many a times, first you visit the food store and then think about what you are going to cook for lunch, dinner or breakfast. You then buy the ingredients for the same, eventually to find out that you already have half of them stored in your home. This habit of abrupt buying leads to wastage of food. Planning your meals for a week, a few days or even every single day could be a good habit.

Make a shopping list of exactly what items would be required and stick to the shopping list. Before you step out for food shopping, browse through your cupboards and refrigerators, to know foods that you already have and accordingly plan foods that need to be bought. With the help of various websites, blogs or apps and a bit of creativity, you can come up with some exciting recipes, where you can use up more of the same ingredient you bought or those ingredients nearing expiration.

A very important highlight here would be to stick to your shopping list and the meal plan to avoid impulsive buying. Many stores and supermarkets have a lot of offers put up convincing the customers that they will save money by purchasing in bulk quantities. Wee bit of self-discipline and keeping your objective in mind will help you save loads of bucks.

Still if you do buy in bulk, you have to be alert and brisk enough to differentiate between perishable and non-perishable items, as per your requirement. It would be a good idea to stock up non-perishable items, as they can be stored for a longer time. One more thing to be taken care of is to check the expiry date of the product to decide how long you can stock it up and whether you can consume that much quantity in the specified time. Given such situations, bulk buying could be a good idea to save money.

Take advantage of offers, discounts and promotions

You can definitely keep an eye on your food budget by keeping an eye on the various discounts and offers announced by supermarkets and stores from time to time. You can plan your meal keeping in mind the items which are on sale and prepare your shopping list strategically. There are plenty of search engines that can help you to search what is on sale and also compare multiple sale items at multiple stores for you to decide what you want to buy and from where. There are umpteen number of apps available that help you to search for the best deals offered on items, as per your requirement.

Many supermarkets and departmental stores have various products within their in-house brand name, where these products are offered at discounted prices or lesser prices than many well-known brands. This can help to trim your food expenses to a great extent.

Freezing and use of leftovers

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Another way to make your food budgeting effective is to freeze leftover foods and bulk items until you need them. When you cook food, at one time you can cook the food in a few more portions than actually required and store it by freezing it. This way, on days when you probably cannot cook due to various reasons, you can reheat the stored food rather than ordering a meal, saving that extra expense. An option of freezing your foods eliminates the wastage that can happen due to stocking up of foods at the time of discounts, sales and promotions.
One should keep in mind; saving money on your food can be achieved with a little bit of creativity, planning, self-discipline and determination. A lot of money can be saved without bargaining on the quality and lusciousness of the food. We have garnered some good suggestions on how you can reduce your food budget. Initially, you can start with adopting a few tips and once you see things working out, you can take into consideration the rest. As you struggle to save your money on electricity bills, fuel consumption, telephone bills, etc; you should not miss out on one of the easiest options to reduce your expenses and save for your goals – ‘food budgeting’.