This article examines 8 practical ways to save money on Food and Beverages. Each method is not a magical bullet that will solve all your financial problems. But in their aggregate, they will provide you with significant monthly savings. Each tip will give you an estimated amount of savings based on a family of four.
Learn How to Cook
Eating out is very expensive – full stop. Even a standard meal at a food truck will cost you around $7 – $10 these days, for restaurants and take-out it’s closer to $20 per person including taxes and tip. In contrast, a typical home-cooked meal costs about $1 – $3 per person, depending on how fancy you want to get.
If you don’t know how to cook at all, and you need initial guidance, consider registering for a cooking class at the local community college. Alternatively, you could sign up for a fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service that helps chefs of all levels cook incredible meals at home. Of course, you can always ask your parents for free cooking advice as well. I’m sure they will be delighted to help you out!
Total savings:$500 – $1,000 per month depending on your previous eating/cooking habits.
Groceries: Buy what is on Sale
Simply put: decide what to put on the dinner table based on what is on sale in your grocery store. If chicken breast are on sale, today’s dinner could be chicken curry. If the watermelons are half off because it’s the end of summer and there is a glut, dessert will be watermelon slices…you get the idea.
Another side benefit of this method is that you don’t end up cooking the same things. Instead, you are forced to get creative and look up new recipes based on what is on sale. If you’re bringing home a rack of ribs, but have never made short ribs before, here is your chance to learn something new!
Total savings: $100 – $200 per month
Cut Down on Beer and Wine
This is a tough one for me as I love to have a beer or two in the evening. Still, with prices being where they are (about $2 per IPA), cutting down on alcohol will pay dividends, both financially and physically (beer belly anybody?)
Granted, a life without beer (or wine) has lost some of its appeal – this is a fine line to walk. How about a compromise: have two days per week where you don’t drink. This will still save you some money while giving your liver a break and cutting down on calories. Not a bad outcome considering the premise…
Total savings: $30 – $90, depending on how much you want to cut down