If you are like most who live paycheck to paycheck so it may be tough to free up extra money, but maybe you don’t realize that much of your budget is taken up by, well, the need to eat, but may be spending more than you should. Between going out to eat and grocery shopping, not to mention stopping for coffee, can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars a month, so any way to free up any money off your food budget will definitely help you in the long run.
Skip the Extra Courses
We’ll start with going out to eat. Sure, it’s nice to order an appetizer to start, or even a soup or salad, but in addition to the wasted calories, they’re also a waste of money, as they are unnecessary, unless it’s a special occasion when you order dessert, but for a normal meal out, can be avoided. Same with ordering a Coke or drinks, unless you are specifically going out for drinks. Sure, these may be tough corners to cut, but your $50 dinner bill will quickly turn into $25 if you’re careful.
Avoid Going Out to Eat Altogether
Now let’s try to save going out to eat for special occasions and stick to the grocery store so that we can prepare meals at home. Unless you try a 52 week savings plan, between breakfast, lunch, snacks, and even brewing your coffee timed just right so that it’s ready for your travel mug by the time you are able to walk out the door to work can save you significant amount each month. Now I realize that it will be tough to avoid 100%, especially after a long week and it’s nice to have someone wait on you, but maybe try saving for going out once a week instead.
Coupons Still Work
Sunday newspaper subscriptions may be coming to an end in the upcoming years, but that doesn’t mean that coupons are over with. If you go to your grocer’s website you can load coupons to your shopper’s rewards card, although you may need to print the list so you remember what you bought. In addition, by using your shopper’s card, you can find plenty of in-store sales and promos such as “10 for $10”, that you can see the total go down at the register, not to mention you can gain fuel points from eat order to get discounts at the pump.
Use Your Rewards Credit Card
Rewards that are even more lucrative are with your credit card, that you can earn points to redeem for gift cards, airline miles, or plain cashback just by making purchases that you would have made anyways, so you could make the case to switch to using your credit card for every purchase, you’ll just have to make sure you can pay the statement balance by the due date to avoid paying interest, otherwise the rewards you earn won’t make much difference when you’ll be paying more in interest with your spending going a little out of control.