New Year, New Financial Me - Week 2 Day 1

The Security Federal Building

This week we will look at saving and ways to reduced existing expenses. You will learn actionable ways to reduce what you spend monthly. You’ll also learn new ideas around saving. Let’s jump in!

Buying food is essential, of course, but if you’re not careful, it can also eat into your budget.

Reducing your food bill starts by creating a budget. To make a change, you need to know what you’re currently spending and set a goal. Once you know how much you want to dedicate to food each month, keep to it! The best way to do this is to track what you spend and cut back on unnecessary purchases.

Limiting how much you eat out is perhaps the most obvious way to save on your food bill, and the most effective. While eating out can be a nice treat occasionally, the fact of the matter is that you'll often be spending much more eating out than you would if you made your own meal. When deciding how often is right for you, remember that it’s all about moderation and being aware of where you can afford to spend a little extra and where you’ll need to be more conservative.

Groceries

The next step toward reducing your food bill is being thoughtful at the grocery store. Try to purchase staples that are affordable and versatile. This can include basics like bread, pasta, cheese, beans, and rice, but, of course, should be tailored to what you think you’ll actually eat.

If you find yourself frequently throwing out food that’s gone bad, canned ingredients or other items with long shelf lives can make a huge difference in your budget. Focusing on things that can last can help you avoid losing money on food that you’re not actually eating.

Finally, buying in bulk generally allows you to get more for less per ounce or container. But this one requires being conscientious of your choices. If you aren’t using all that you buy or are buying more than you really need, it isn’t saving you anything. The best way to approach buying in bulk is to make a plan for how you’ll actually use the food before going all in on 20 containers of it.

Cooking and prep

At least once or twice a week when you prepare big meals, try to make enough to have leftovers for lunches or snacks. While you don’t want to make extra that may go to waste, making a little more than you can eat in one meal will help those ingredients stretch longer and get you more bang for your buck.

Today’s challenge is to look back at receipts from your previous grocery shopping and dining out. How much do you typically spend per month? Set a goal to reduce that amount by 5%. It sounds small, but if you spend $100 a week on food and reduce that by 5%, you will save $20 in just one month.

Need to catch up? Tap or click the links below to access previous challenges.

Week 1 Day 1
Week 1 Day 2 
Week 1 Day 3
Week 1 Day 4