5 Tips For A Better Food Budget

Most families' food budget is spent in two categories; Groceries and Restaurants. You MUST place a dollar amount for both. Remember that you are trying to save money all around to place on your debt. It is unrealistic for a family that ate out often to jump on a budgeting plan and automatically switch over to daily cooking. You will fail and blow your budget. Sometimes life is busy and you need to end the day with someone else standing over a hot stove.
Here are 5 tips to help make room in your food budget.

1. Review your grocery budget and calculate the number of meals that it CAN create.
If you filled up your grocery cart with enough food to make 10 meals and only cooked 4, you have 6 meals at home to make. Adjustments are now in order. You can either buy less food or eat at home more often. Cooking at home is cheaper and your best option for saving money.

2. Count the number of times you eat at a restaurant per week and consider why.
This should include all meal times and food purchased rather for yourself or the whole family. Most families are rushing from place to place and that is why they do not eat from home. Once you know why you eat out, you can combat the struggle with Tip #3.

3. Make room for a food prep day.
Hubby and I make time in our schedules on Sundays to prep for the week. Hubby loves football but he often washes, peels and cuts vegetables and fruits while watching games. I usually make large batch items on Sundays. I will make pasta dishes, granola, chex mix, cookies and quick breads such as lemon poppy seed and pumpkin. All these items compliment my main entrees at lunch that week.

4. Prepare for the hectic day.
Wednesdays is our busy day. We don't walk into our front door until 8:30pm. I make sure that day's dinner is prepared the day before or during our food prep day. Crock-pot is our friend on this day!

5. Know your Restaurant Day and Don't Add a Day
What day is usually spent a restaurant for your family? Our day is Saturday because I'm too darn tired to cook another meal by this point. Hubby and I budget for Saturday night dinners. Some weeks it's cheap carry out and other weeks it's a little fancier. We save $20 a month to spend just on restaurants.


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