New Year's Resolution: Spend less money on food

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It's so easy, there is little room for an excuse!

Saving money is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions. People also promise themselves they will lose weight. Here’s how you can achieve both by learning how to save money on food.

15 easy ways on how to save money on food

1. Start budgeting

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It might be a new thing for you. Maybe you avoided it because it can seem intimidating. But budgeting can be done very easily. You can download an app that will calculate how much you can spend based on your income or what you want to eat for the week.

2. Encourage your children to start budgeting

If you find yourself always giving in to your children’s demands when you go food shopping, this might help cut down on spending. You can implement a kiddy budget and ask your children to spend their own money on items they want. Just remind them to only pick things they can afford!

3. Start to plan your meals

Planning ahead is the name of the game when you want to save money on food. Knowing which meals you will eat throughout the week will make preparation so much easier and stress-free.

4. Organise your pantry

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Follow up on your meal planning by sorting out the pantry. You may already have ingredients you need, but have forgotten about since it’s so cluttered. This saves you time and money.

5. Pack your lunch

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Instead of dropping $10 a day on a mediocre sandwich from the corner deli, start packing your lunch. You can bring food you actually want to eat without spending a ton of money.

6. Buy only what you need

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If you’ve planned your meals, only buy what you are definitely going to use. This takes the uncertainty out of grocery shopping. Save money on food by spending only what you need. Efficiency at its best!

7. Use coupons

Keep an eye out for any coupons found in magazines or online. There are apps that help you find the best coupons. However, remember rule six – don’t spend it on anything you don’t need.

8. Learn how to enjoy leftovers

You might not really enjoy eating leftovers. But when you want to save money on food, it’s a good way to cut down on waste while minimising spending too much on future meals.

9. Buy your own coffee

If getting a cup of coffee on your way to work is part of your routine, consider cutting that out. That isn’t to say don’t drink coffee at all, but you can make it at home. Or better yet, make a switch and drink more water!

10. Stop buying takeaway

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As obvious as it sounds, it still needs to be said. Buying takeaway is convenient. But if you’ve planned your meals and got your ingredients for it, you can save money on food by cooking at home. Getting takeaway quickly adds up!

11. Go for lunch specials or share meals

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life a little! A special occasion might call for an appropriate celebratory mood and ventures. If you do eat out, you could share a meal or order from the set menu. It usually works out cheaper.

12. Buy groceries in season

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Ingredients that are hard to find and out of season will normally cost a lot more due to the difficulty obtaining it. You could spend up to 10 times as much on an item during the off season compared to when you buy it in season. This also helps you change up your menu and what you will cook.

13. Frozen, canned or dried food

Some recipes might call for more exotic ingredients that are expensive. Consider using the frozen, canned or dried alternatives. It could be cheaper and just as nutritious. Also, if it’s stored and packaged correctly, there will be minimal wastage.

14. Grow it yourself

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You may not have thought of yourself as a gardener before. But when you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, having your own produce ready when you need it is invaluable. And it’s inexpensive to grow your own ingredients. You don’t need a lot of space. Invest some time to take care of a few pots with some herbs and enjoy your own mini orchard growing on the balcony. A great way to save money on food!

15. Buy loose ingredients

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You can save money on food by going to markets or places that sell ingredients loose. Since vendors charge by weight, this is great for portion control and cheaper costs. When you buy pre-packaged ingredients, it is usually more expensive.