I get questions all the time from people all the time, asking how in the world I feed my family of 3 (plus a few extras) on an average of $100 per week. And NO, we don’t eat Top Ramen (disgusting); I’m a gourmet cook or learning to be!
I learned this with Dani Johnson in her War of Debt program. Now, if you’re not in debt, that’s great and I’m really proud of you! But don’t tune me out here. If your debt free then WooHoo! This is about living a financially independent life. The money you save can be used for investments, savings, and vacations, paying down debt or any number of other things.
One place where people spend the most money is on food. Yes, food is essential. You cannot avoid having to buy food (unless, of course, you grow everything yourself). This is part of life. You really have to look at how much you’re spending and what you’re spending that money on. Remember that grocery stores are a marketing ploy and they lure you to the sales.
- Eat out of your pantry. The very first place you can save money on your grocery bill is actually not at the grocery store – it’s in your own kitchen! If you have food in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer (and for a lot of people, in your second freezer), you do not need to be at the grocery store! Use what is in your kitchen first. You may need to get creative here, and create some new meals with the ingredients you have. You’ll be surprised by what you can come up with! Some of my family’s favorite meals have come out of this. Really, my guys were like this is pretty good what is it? I shop for food once a week now and then we eat all of that food and sometimes run out.
- Plan ahead. Planning ahead saves you time and money. If you do not have a strategic plan in place to keep you on track, you are setting yourself up for failure. If you do not plan ahead, you will be controlled by your cravings. Your brain shuts off and your body tells you what it wants. The marketing of the store and sales will call your name and you spend 2 to 3 times more than you can afford. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, make a list and stick to it! When you make a plan each week, you will save yourself from making those extra trips to the store for one or two items (which always turns into buying 5-6 or 20 extra things you didn’t even need). This really works so place your list on the frig and add when you run out of the staples. Be a good stewart of your money with simple planning. It will save you time and money, and you will be healthier as a result of making smarter choices ahead of time! It will seem foreign at first then the family will look to the menu to see what’s for dinner!
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Believe it or not, everything you need at the grocery store is around the perimeter. I want you to go to your grocery store, and think about what is along the edges. Look at the processed foods and where they are located. At the perimeter, fresh produce, meat, cheese, eggs. You may have to step into the middle aisles to get bread or a few other things, but go grab those few things and get outta there! The middle is where you find the boxed, canned, and pre-packaged foods, chips, sodas, ice cream, alcohol, etc. Those things are expensive, and they are not good for you, anyway! We are talking healthy foods here on a budget and it can be done!
So today I want to challenge you, I want you to use these strategies this week, and let me know what happens. I learned I was spending over $750 a month or more on food. Ouch! After using this system I spend on average $100-125 per week. It can be done! To your health!