There’s so much advice out there for saving money with meal planning. Eliminating restaurant meals can be an easy thing to say, but sometimes it’s harder than it seems to stick the goal.
But not to worry, you can save money while still enjoying your trips to the grocery or dining out–it just takes shifting a few things.
FOR THE GROCERY STORE
- Compare unit price: Take note of the price per pound or ounce for a particular food.
- Check the sales: Be flexible with your recipes to fit what’s budget-friendly at the time.
- Clip coupons: Coupons can save you up to $25 a month on groceries.
- Shop multiple stores: Prices vary from store to store, and can be worth splitting your shopping list between a few stores.
- Shop local: Farmers markets are a great way to save money, buy fresh food, and meet the farmers!
- Plan your trips to the store: If you shop for groceries once a week with a list, you’ll most likely spend less time and money.
- Shop full: Shopping hungry makes everything look like a good buy–stick to your list to prevent random buys you don’t need.
- Buy in bulk: If you have the storage space for non-perishables, it’s worth getting a 12-pack of toilet paper instead of a 4-pack. For perishables, like a large quantity of meat, divide it into portions and freeze.
AT A RESTAURANT
- Order smaller: Have an appetizer or salad, then split an entrée with a friend or family member.
- Cut on alcohol: Order very little or no alcohol, it’s usually marked up 40% in restaurants.
- Watch for weekly specials: You may even find new places to try.
- Get social: Liking pages on social media can help you take advantage of discounts and coupons.
Keep in mind, no matter how you purchase food, if you have a plan and spend a little time comparing prices, you’ll save money.