Food Bank: 5 Ways to REALLY Boost Your Food Budget

1 08 2008


Photo courtesy of shine_dorydevlin

You’ve heard yourself say it a time or two… “I cannot possibly cut anything else out of this budget!” But just humor me by going along with this mental exercise.

The biggest and often most overlooked place for savings is your food expenditures. There is no way around the truth in this statement: “You ARE what you EAT.”

If you have expensive tastes, your bills will be too. This can quickly be compounded when you are married with no kids, because you will most likely eat what your spouse eats in the evening. So if he/she has a thing for eating out frequently… good luck!

It is with this in mind that I came up with 5 simply profound ways to impact how much money you spend on food. This applies to both your grocery shopping and dining out. If you even try just 2 of these I promise you’ll see a noticeable drop in what you spend.

If you don’t have time to read each of the 5 points below, I think I can sum them up in one sentence.

Don’t spend money buying things that are available for FREE!

While reading these points ask your self how that statement applies. Except for point #3, just don’t do it.

1. Drink more WATER

Water is the cheapest most plentiful food resource we have available to us. Usually it can be found for FREE where ever you may be. If ‘public water’ is just a little more adventurous than you can handle, invest in a filtration method for your home. They can easily be added t your sink, or you can buy various pitchers from Brita or PUR on the cheap.

Drinking water throughout the day will also help you eat less, loose weight, and stay properly hydrated.

2. Buy less COFFEE

I’m not Anti-$tarbuck$ or anything… but $4? Everyday? Plus a pastry or sandwich or CD….

7-Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Panera, McDonald’s, Seattle’s Best, & Bengal Traders (Exxon) are not exempt either… it’s a ripoff!

I would venture to say there is not a workplace in America that doesn’t offer free coffee and tea. Does it really taste better just cause you paid for it?

3. Stop buying ALCOHOL… period

Literally, It’s one of the oldest sayings in the book, (and yes I AM talking about the bible)

“EAT, DRINK, and be MERRY”

It’s found in Luke 12:19 (NIV) , but it’s not an endorsement for “buying out the bar” as hiphop loves to proclaim. In fact it’s the opposite. Let’s read it in context:

18″Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20″But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

I just have one thing to say about that…OUCH!

If you drink socially, odds are you pay almost as much per alcoholic drink as you do for your entree… and lets face it, who buys just ONE drink? (Whew, I thank God I don’t drink alcohol anymore!)

4. Stick with the Small or Medium sized “Value Meals”

Since the start of the year I’ve really cut down quite a bit on eating fast food. (It helps to mention that I’ve completely QUIT drinking soda as well, as this truly makes a difference.) Ah but Wendy’s still has a hold on me. Sometimes when standing in line, I hear other people order a #6 (mmm the Homestyle Chicken Breast meal…) but they make one mistake. They order the “Great-Big-Ole-Biggie” size for the soda and fries. When they do this it ends up costing nearly $8 bucks! Then later when I’m eating in the restaurant, I see them toss the half-eaten meal in the trash.

Solution: Stick with the small. I only buy one meal from Wendy’s now. The “DoubleStack Attack”. It’s $3.49 and it’s more than enough for me to eat as a lunch meal. I just ask them to add lettuce and tomato (which they do for FREE!) and I’ve got the equivalent of whatever ‘Feature’ burger they’re offering.

Another tip that I’ll throw in for free is to not buy a ‘meal’ at all and just get the sandwich. I do this when I go to Burger King. I get 2 Whopper Jr’s, no cheese. (They charge .40 cents per slice!, which after tax drive the cost up a full dollar.) 2 Whopper Jr’s = $2.10 and I’m FULL! Need something to drink with it? Wait till you get home to eat it! I know you have juice/soda at home c’mon.

5. Brown bag it

It’s unfashionable, It’s borderline miserly, and it can be boring. But it save a whole heckuva lot of money! (and time)

The only con, if you can call it one, is that you have to prepare this ahead of time. But it’s time well spent, rather than money spent poorly eh?

I apologize I know this post was a bit lengthy, but as I said if you incorporate just 2 of them you’ll see improved results.

God Bless ya,

@W

If you liked this post, please help us decrease our debt by donating.

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