Posted on date 2022-03-07
15 Ways To Save On Food!
If you’re like me, you go to the grocery store or out to eat and are amazed (and genuinely nervous) at the prices. The cost of buying food is high.
How many times have you changed your meal plans to fit your budget? How many times do you wish you didn’t have to?
Well, stick with me, and I’ll give you some excellent ways to save money on food.
And again, if you think at all like me, you also want to eat out, be served, and have someone else clean up. No worries, I’ll cover that as well!
How to save money eating at home
Here are some excellent and easy ways to save money on food when eating at home:
1. Start with a grocery budget
Setting up a weekly or monthly grocery budget that fits your lifestyle is #1. A guideline for how much to allocate for food is about 5 - 10% of your monthly net income, according to Yezmin Thomas, journalist, and financial wellness coach.
2. Plan your meals
If you plan your meals for the week, write your list, and bring that list with you while shopping, you are less likely to spend more than you should. My favorite overspending area is all the endcaps in the grocery stores. You know, the chips, the batteries, the new products, the 2-for-1 sales.
When planning meals, include everyone in your household. They need to be part of the planning and “buy-in,” so when meals are prepared, they expect them and know they had a say in the planning. It can be fun if you all sit down together to do this weekly.
3. Use Coupons
There are so many places to get food discount coupons. Here are some:
- Couponsherpa.com - An excellent selection of in-store printable coupons and online coupon codes, or download the free mobile app for Android and iPhone.
- Valpak.com - Save money using the best available online local coupons for home repair, restaurants, automotive, entertainment and grocery shopping.
- Lowesfoods.com - Lowes Foods offers pick-up items from deli and bakery to meat, seafood, beer, and wine! Plugin your zip code to find if there’s one close to you.
- Dailygrocerycoupon.com - They work to bring you the best deals on groceries, personal items and more.
Get food discount coupons at these grocery store websites:
When you find items that you use a lot, and they’re at a great price, stock up on them. Set up shelving in closets, your garage, or in a pantry to store your overflow items. If you can set up an extra freezer, you can also stockpile frozen foods, i.e., meat, frozen foods, leftovers, etc.
Consider making bigger batches of food when you cook. Make enough leftovers to freeze.
5. Be willing to use a switch to value brands.
Start by buying a value brand, test it, and see if you can tell the difference. You may be surprised by the lack of contrast. I find many store brands are less expensive, organic (Food Lion), and taste great!
How to save money when eating out
I like to eat out. I enjoy having someone else cook, serve, and clean up. How about you?
Here are some excellent ideas to save money when eating out at restaurants:
6. Buy discounted gift cards
You can buy gift cards at discounted rates at the following sites:
- Alwaysreview.com - Get help comparing prices on different restaurant discounts.
- Cardcash.com - Outback, Starbucks, Red Lobster, Subway, Cracker Barrel, and more!
- Giftcardgranny.com - So many places! Olive Garden, Chili’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc.
- Restaurant.com - A national company that offers thousands in savings.
- OpenTable.com - You may know it as a place to make reservations, but they also provide gift cards specializing in local restaurants to help support their staff and pay bills. Nice!
- Neighborhoodnoshrewards.com - Dine at a participating restaurant in your neighborhood, pay with your linked debit or credit card, and earn 5% - 10% back for every $1 spent. What’s not to love?
- Giftcardmail.com - This site lets you select your gift cards by categories. For example, baby showers, back to school, Valentine’s Day, etc. Got a special occasion coming up? Check these guys out!
7. Go on Kids Eat Free Night
If you have children, then you have almost any night of the week to pick a night out. Restaurants fight for your business every night of the week. Look for your favorite restaurants and go to them on their Kids Eat Free Night!
8. Do some research online before choosing the restaurant.
Check out menus online and look for the most inexpensive dishes. Restaurants will post their specials on their websites.
9. Drink your alcohol at home
If you like to have a glass of wine or a beer in the evening, have one before leaving the house. You can save a lot of money eating out if you don’t buy alcohol.
10. Munch a little before you head out.
When you have that beer or glass of wine before you head out, add some appetizers. You don’t need to fill up, but if you take that hungry edge off, you’ll order less and save money.
11. Share Your Dinner
The serving sizes are so big that it’s not out of the question to share. My husband and I always do this. Ha! Maybe we’re just getting older, and we can’t eat as much food. Hey, it’s good for the waistline!
12. Skip dessert
OK, this isn’t my favorite way to save money, but it works! You can save another $10 off your bill without dessert(s). If I really can’t NOT get dessert, then we’ll share.
13. Eat at buffets
Without a doubt, the best way to get the most food for your money is by eating at buffets. If you eat at buffets for lunch, you may be too full for a large dinner or any dinner at all! But be careful that you don’t fall asleep at work after a big lunch!
14. Order a pizza
If you just want to eat without making any big decisions, get pizza. Two pizzas can easily feed four people. Lots of pizza places have great specials like 2 for 1.
15. Eat out on birthdays!
It’s your birthday! Celebrate with a free meal. To get a free meal from the following restaurants, you have to sign up for their clubs and rewards programs. If you sign up, you’ll get more than just free birthday meals.
Some final words
For so many of us, eating out is a relief from daily tasks, an opportunity to be served, and a fun experience. There’s no reason to give it up to save money.
By using some or all of the ideas above to save money on food, you can have fun, be served, and take a few moments out of your daily grind.
Eat out and enjoy yourself without the guilt!