I picked up, as I said in an early entry, a copy of Mother Earth News for the first time in decades yesterday. The magazine itself is providing me with a lot of helpful information on gardening which I am set to attempt again this year. The website – http://www.motherearthnews.com – is providing me with information on one of my current interests – shopping on less money.
In times when we are all tightening our belts – that extra $13 a week in our paychecks is not going to go far for the average family with teenagers, making the most of our food budget – yes, I said budget – is at the top of my list. I hate spending money on foods that are not as nutritious as I think or that do not sustain my family. I also cannot fathom the eating out that is done in this country when you can fix it yourself and have control over ingredients.
To this end, I point you in the direction of an article I read this morning entitled “Cut Your Food Bills in Half.” I will warn you. There are items in this article that the average person is going to balk at. No one likes to figure out where waste is.
You do need a budget, first of all. The article gives some basic information on how to figure out what you are spending on food. It is fairly straight forward. Save receipts for several weeks. I recommend a full month if you can as that gives you a better snapshot of your food habits than a week or two will. This is tedious and time-consuming but well worth it. You will realize that all those quick runs through the drive-thru are costing you a fortune. Eating out at lunch is a big expense, also. I have this discussion with my senior in high school son on a regular basis.
After you get a budget in place, the article goes into hints for cutting that budget. Please be sure to read through all seven pages as I think the most important piece of advise is on page seven – “Keep a shopping list and stick to it.” I know that weeks when I go to the grocery store with a list and a menu all planned out for the week, I spend less on groceries. I have a plan and work it and the savings show.
Tell me how your cutting your food bill works.