In this post we are going to talk about one budget category that can really make or break your budget- and that nearly everyone can cut back on.
Your food budget.
Your food spending includes all grocery trips, restaurant visits, fast food trips, snacks out, drinks, and coffee.
Your food budget is such an important and make or break category because it is a necessary but often underestimated category.
Adding up all these things can give you quite a surprising number! Luckily, there are two main things you can do to reign in this spending.
First, you need to add up all of your spending and identify the areas where you are spending unnecessarily and can cut back.
This may be all the visits to the grocery store for “just one thing” in which you end up with ten items. Or buying lunches every day on your work break. Stopping at the gas station for a snack while out on the weekend. Buying a cart-full of groceries on the weekend, then not using them and going out to eat.
The second thing you need to do is identify what you can do to cut back on the area you spend too much on.
In nearly every case, meal planning can help cut back your food budget in a major way. Meal planning helps you spend less at the grocery store and avoid trips to restaurants and drive throughs. And it doesn’t have to be complicated!
In my meal planning foundations challenge, I walk you through the simple steps you need to take to set up a meal planning system. This system makes meal planning quick and easy and is catered directly too your family. You can sign up in the side bar or click here for more info.
I also recommend reading this post for meal planning beginners along with the rest of my meal planning posts- click on the “Meal Planning and Cooking” category at the top of the page.
Some of the most important aspects of meal planning that help you save are cooking with what you already have and cutting back on the amount of grocery store trips.
Others ways you can cut back on food spending include: using coupons at the grocery store and restaurants, packing your lunch, creating a budget for eating out, and bringing snacks when running errands or to work.
Adding up your food spending and creating a budget for this category is such an important aspect of sticking to your budget each month. Food spending can definitely be a budget “leak.”
This post is part of a series that will help you set up the basics you need to stay on budget EVERY MONTH. To download the workbook that goes with this series (and other money saving freebies!) and to get updates when a new post in the series is published- subscribe below!
In the next post in this series we will tackle the second biggest overlooked and under-estimated category. Stay tuned!