Author Topic: Best ideas to cut food bills?  (Read 995 times)

truman47

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Best ideas to cut food bills?
« on: September 24, 2017, 09:05:54 PM »
Hi guys, Iím 48 and live alone other than my girlfriend who stays on weekends and my kids who come over from time to time.  Iím looking for ideas on cutting food spending. 
Also how much do some of you who also live alone spend on food each week?

Iím in Australia so costs will be higher than those living in the USA. I havenít really worked out what I spend but I suppose with work lunches etc itís around $35 a day which is probably too high.

Cgbg

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Re: Best ideas to cut food bills?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 09:58:38 PM »
$35/day seems high.

How comfy are you with cooking? What sort of meals do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Basic concept is to step down to savings so to speak. If you eat fast food constantly and have minimal cooking skills then start with some sort of already made deli items and doing some simple  doctoring to arrive at a slightly cheaper than takeout meal.

If you already do some cooking then moving away from prepackaged items and cooking more from scratch would be the next step down to save some money.

DH and I are empty nesters so we are pretty used to eating scratch made meals - we have time and after raising two teenaged boys we know how to economize. We take leftovers for lunches unless there is a client lunch planned. Breakfast is cereal for him (with fruit) and oatmeal for me (with fruit.) DH loves cheerios, so I buy cheerios for him at the cheapest price. Oatmeal for me is instant but it's homemade instant- I buy oatmeal in bulk and make my own instant oatmeal packets.

Dinner is whatever strikes my fancy week to week. I plan out five or six meals a week, and generally cook most of them from scratch. I make more than we need for the evening and we take leftovers for lunch.

We go out to eat now and then but it's a treat for us to do so. Last night we went to the trendy part of town after dinner and stopped in a fancy French bakery for dessert. Each of us had a dessert and we spent a whole $6.50 total. It was a bit of a splurge because dessert really shouldn't cost that much.

GreenSheep

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Re: Best ideas to cut food bills?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 07:59:15 AM »
Good advice above. Making your own food is essential to saving money on food. It doesn't have to be complicated unless you want it to be and enjoy that sort of thing. Some of the best cuisine in the world is just very simple stuff made with exceptionally good ingredients.

Try to center your meals on cheap things like grains, beans, and whatever produce is in season. Then if you want to add something more expensive as a treat, it will be offset by the cheaper things.

Grow your own herbs and try a few other simple foods like tomatoes. I'm in the US, but I assume these things are also expensive in stores in Australia ($3 for a handful of basil?!), and growing your own can shave off a fair amount of your grocery bill. Even if you just have a windowsill or a patio, you can grow a few things in small pots.

Use up every last bit of the food you buy (or grow). Almost anything can be frozen or turned into something that freezes well. If you don't like leftovers, save it in the freezer for 2 weeks and it will feel like convenience food rather than "Ugh, I just ate that for the past 4 days in a row!"

I spend about $300/month on groceries.