Save Money on Your Monthly Food Bill

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Here is a fabulous Money Saving Article written by my Bargain Network friend Nirra over at Diary of a Mystery Shopping Teacher. Be sure to check her site out for many more great articles and money saving ideas!

Food is a necessity. It is not something that you can eliminate! Some people might not think it will pay off to save a few dollars on food, or they may not know how. Some might think it is way too complicated to even start. There are some ways, however, that you can save money on your food. And, it’s not really all that difficult to save a significant amount of money on your food each month.

What is significant? What about making an effort to save at least 20% on food? That is an amount that is a realistic starting point. If you are a family of four who spends 400-500 dollars a month on food, could you possibly reduce your bill? Okay, that is a lot of question marks. So, if a family of four can make a reduction in their food bill of just twenty percent, that would mean that a five hundred dollar a month food bill would be reduced to four hundred. They would then have an extra one hundred dollars per month, or twelve hundred dollars per year to save.

Now, if four or five hundred dollars seems like a lot to spend on food keep in mind that includes groceries and eating out. With a family of four, you can spend fifty dollars easily when you go out to eat. If you only eat out twice a month, that’s one hundred dollars right there. And fifty dollars is for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant. Surely, every now and then families eat out at more expensive restaurants as treats.

What about fast food? If your family is notorious about eating fast food and you eat out in a restaurant once or twice a month, your food bill is even higher. What about prepackaged meals like those one pot deals? Those offer convenience but can be pretty expensive for families of four because usually these meals are only meant for two.

What’s wrong with eating out with your family? Nothing’s wrong with that, in my opinion. I wouldn’t want to have to sacrifice that to save a little cash. You can save money without changing the quality of your life by shopping smarter. It does take some planning to do, but once you get used to planning your food buying, you will be happy to have so much extra money left over at the end of the year.

The best way to save money on your groceries is to use coupons and sales. Coupons come in sales papers that are sold on Sundays. Most Sundays have two coupon books that you can go through and find coupons for name brand items.

Some people don’t care to use coupons because of the incorrect assumption that they take too much time to use. That is simply not true. If you’ve seen the Extreme Couponing show on TLC you know that those people spend a lot of time couponing. However, if your goal is not to be an extreme couponer, you won’t spend NEARLY as much time as they do. If you don’t want to purchase a sales paper each week, you can check out the following sites that allow you to print coupons. My favorite is Coupons.com. Two more good coupon sites are RedPlum and Smart Source. I will go into more detail on how to get started couponing on a future article.

Another way to save money on food is to look for coupons to restaurants. If you are going to eat out anyway, why not save some money? Sites like Groupon offer daily deals that can save you fifty percent or more on a variety of businesses. If you haven’t signed up for Groupon yet, do it! You are missing out. The way it works is you sign up to be on Groupon’s email list and they send you discounted deals daily. If you purchase the deal from Groupon, you get a discount. I’ve seen deals going for as much as 90% off. They are limited time deals so you have to act quickly. Groupon deals are not limited to food. They have deals on lots of other things like salons and spas, boutiques, entertainment, etc.

Other ways to save money on food is to go and sign up for restaurant email lists. Many restaurants offer discounts to customers who sign up to recieve emails. A few that I’m signed up to are Chilis, Beef O’Bradys, Red Robin, and IHOP. I’ve never eaten at Quiznos, but I think they do something along those lines too, or they often have coupons out. Some restaurants send you a coupon for something free on your birthday. I’m sure though that if you search, you will find other restaurants that do the same thing.

These are just a couple of ways that you can save money on your food bill. Come back next week for more ideas on how you can save money!

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