5 Ways to Spend Less on Food

a man chopping food on a small cutting board while a woman beats eggs in a bowl.

When it comes to our finances, most people underestimate just how much they spend on food.  And while we can get rid of other expenses, food is the one line item that we cannot eliminate. We can however, spend a lot less with a bit of thought and planning.

Here are 5 of my personal favorite suggestions:

Plan your weekly meals around the supermarket sales. 

Supermarkets use loss leader items to draw you into the store. Take advantage of this strategy by using the items on sale to make your dinners.  You’ll save money as well as brain cells when you plan your weekly meals! 

Don’t buy pre-cut items. 

I know they are terribly tempting.  As you glide by those bowls of colorful watermelon slices, bright cantaloupes and grapes, all your instincts tell you to grab them. But fight the urge. You will pay dearly for the convenience of supermarket preparation. Buy the whole fruits instead and cut them at your kitchen counter while you chat with your siblings on the phone.

Don’t buy bottled water.

No one wants to hear this and all of us have fallen for the marketing hype. We are convinced that bottled water is cleaner and healthier than the tap variety.  But studies have shown that in many cases, the water touted as “pure” and “spring-like” is not as good as the one we get at home.  Bottle water is also 600 times more expensive than water from the tap. And the dreaded containers are a source of major pollution worldwide.

Comparison shop for the items you need. 

Who has the time to do this?  Not many of us.  But here’s where technology comes in.  You can use an app like Favado to do this for you. Favado allows shoppers to search for a product by brand name and then find out where that item is on sale nearby.

Cook and freeze in individual batches. 

This is a favorite in the Spence household.  My spouse and I double or triple up when we cook. Then we freeze our food in single-serve containers.   When we get home hungry at night or need lunch for work, we simply take out a container.  It’s healthy and convenient and has been our mainstay for 20 years!