Grocery bills are essential expenses that can get out of hand quickly. There are just so many tasty options available, and it can be hard to stay disciplined for the sake of your finances. If you’ve had trouble making ends meet and want to cut your expenses, consider looking at how you spend money on food. If you’re worried you’ll be stuck living on ramen and water for the rest of your life, we’re here to help. Here are six easy ways to keep eating well without sacrificing your budget.
Use a Credit Card That Earns Rewards for Buying Food
While this might seem like a strange way to save money, using the right credit card for your groceries or takeout orders can earn you rewards or even cashback. Check out the latest balance transfer credit card promotional offers to see if there’s a card out there that will give you extra points on groceries that can then be put towards statement credits that decrease your monthly credit card bill.
Grow Your Own Food
Just because you live in a small apartment doesn’t mean you can’t grow your food to save money on your grocery bill. Try creating a small window garden for spices and herbs like rosemary, chives, cilantro, and peppers. If you’ve got more space like a small yard, consider growing vegetables or herbs you often use such as garlic, onion, potatoes, and carrots. Your homegrown veggies will help reduce your grocery bill and develop your green thumb.
Join a CSA
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, have risen in popularity over the last few years as buyers are looking for ways to better support local farms. CSAs typically offer monthly subscription boxes of fresh produce sourced directly from small, local farms. If you like to cook with vegetables often, CSAs are excellent resources that are both cost-effective and great for the local economy.
Learn How to Cook
The easiest way to save money on your food budget is by staying in and cooking your meals instead of eating out. Many people feel intimidated by cooking or think it could take too much time, but even just preparing one meal you’d typically order out for can save you hundreds of dollars every year. Start small and buy ingredients that won’t go bad quickly so that you won’t feel pressured or overwhelmed. If you’re unsure what to make or how to start, try looking up free recipes on Pinterest, Reddit, or TikTok.
If you’re an elaborate chef and love to prepare multi-course meals but are feeling the pinch in your monthly budget, try simplifying your meal planning. You can still enjoy your cooking hobby if you focus more on versatile ingredients that can be used in multiple ways instead of rare or expensive, one-off foods. Buy things you’d use across many meals in bulk, such as potatoes, grains, and meats from wholesale clubs or local markets to save money on your grocery bill and develop meal plans that use the ingredients in different ways.
Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Unfortunately, meat can increase your food budget fast, so if you’re looking for places to save money, it might be time to stop buying that prime rib and consider a vegetarian diet. If you’re not interested in cutting out meat entirely, consider reserving it for only a few meals a week.
Hack Your Way to Savings
These six simple life hacks can save you a significant amount of money every month on your grocery bill. Implementing these strategies will not only help you to reduce how much you spend on food but also help you improve your overall budget and ability to save money.