Rethinking Your Grocery Budget

According to the USDA Center for Nutrition, the average family of four spends between $150 and $300 per week on food. That amounts to a budget of $600 to $1200 each month for groceries. The wide range in spending makes it possible to cut your grocery bill in half if you typically spend at the upper end of that statistic.

You can reduce your food bill without extreme couponing, or eat an unhealthy diet. In many cases, you can eat better on less by making a few simple changes to how you shop.

  1. Plan a menu before shopping. Start with items in your pantry and add in weekly sale items to create a cost-effective menu. res. You reduce waste by eating what you have and cut weekly costs by eating items on sale.
  2. Plan menus around your life. Think about all three meals plus snacks and purchase food to fit your lifestyle. Having an easy dinner planned before you get home from work will help get dinner on the table faster without the temptation of ordering out.
  3. Rethink menu planning. Not every meal must include a protein, two fresh vegetables, bread, and dessert. Have breakfast for dinner, soup, and salad, or a premade casserole. Elaborate dinners are not necessary and simplifying can speed up meal preparation most nights of the week.
  4. Try something different. Changing where you shop, and the brands you use can lower food costs without changing your diet. Choosing generic brands over name brands can lower your food bill as much as 25%.
  5. Reduce premade food choices. Frozen meals tend to be more expensive than fresh and raw ingredients typically cost less that prepared alternatives. For example, raw chicken is healthier and lower priced than breaded or stuffed chicken.

With a little planning, you can eat healthily and while saving money.