Did you know that just behind your mortgage and car payments your food bill is the next biggest money gobbler that most families have?
Dining out for many families IS their biggest expense. Let me show you some startling facts.
A family of four, if they were to cut-out the below expenditures every week for a year, see how much money they could save!
Dinner @$30.00 1/week $1560.00
Dinner @$40.00 1/week $2080.00
Lunch @$5.00/person 20days/month $1200.00
Pizza delivered $20.00 1/week $1040.00
Cutting out the above expenses of dining out you could save a whopping $5880.00! These are from the year 2009 average price of these items. How much more savings in 2014 would there be?
Do you get my drift? Can you see how just a little bit of planning can save you all kinds of dollars?
Living frugally doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy eating out, or getting pizza delivered, on occasions. Living frugally means you will by necessity be changing how you eat. You will be basically changing your diet.
If you incorporate these changes a little at a time, The pinch will not be felt but the money saving will already be growing!
The way I see it is this: If I can save $60.00 in my grocery shopping for my family for one week, that means I just saved myself four hours of working. I would rather do that so that I can spend my time at home with my family.
You will need to gradually learn how to stop spending money by saving money by learning how to cook frugally. It won’t happen over night. Don’t expect to start saving $150 dollars a week if your family already is spending $600 a week for food.
Try cutting just $25.00 or $50.00 a month. You know if you were to cut back just $50.00 dollars a month you would be saving $600.00 a year. If you were to save just $1.00 a day, that adds up to $365.00 dollars in a year.
If you take that $365.00 savings and put it toward your credit card bill, for example, you can start working diligently to paying it off. At 21% interest you would save more than $70.00 a year, just in interest! Eventually this snowball effect will continue to grow and grow.
By making your cooking frugally a challenge you can now be in a game where your winning is actually paying you real money! How sweet is that? Make this a game to see how low you can go on your grocery budget and still have the delicious, exciting foods, without feeling deprived.
Mothers always want the best for their families. They usually go out of their way to satisfy everyone they are supporting. Having young children if you start cooking frugally it will be easy to instill these new ideas into them.
If you have young teenagers and husbands, they may complain. Some of the ways to avoid these complaints are by changing the way you cook your meals:
- Use home made beans instead of canned in your meals.
- Use homemade sauces and cut back on the amount of meat in a recipe.
- Start serving more soups and pasta dinners.
- Cut back on the milk, and soda pop that is served with your meals, use water instead – just like they serve at a diner.
More than likely these family members will not notice the difference.
To save even more money, make the kids spend their own allowance money on extras like, candy bars, potato chips, and soda pop if they still insist on these items. This will also teach the younger ones the value of money.
If your family doesn’t like homemade foods: Try putting them in the name brand package. Then if they like it tell them later that it was a homemade item. At least try it… it is inevitable that there are going to be some name brand foods that your family doesn’t like – and that is fine. But if you can find at least one homemade item your family likes, that is better than not saving anything at all.
Drink water with your meals. If your family is use to drinking milk, juice or soda pop with their meals then start by trying to cut out juice and only drink water for one meal or snack a day. Then increase that until you are drinking water for every meal.
Drinking water for every meal is not only saving money, but it is much, much healthier for you and your family. You are avoiding all the extra ingredients like sugar, caffeine, etc.
Or another idea is after the food is all eaten offer one glass of milk, juice, or pop; or allow one glass of juice at meal time, but then water after it is gone.
Try buying extra food items when shopping that are on sale. Stock up when the food item is on sale. If you don’t have the money to spend to stock up on an item, try cutting out the meat on one or two meals a week, or by cutting out other extras. Take these savings and stock up on one item that is on sale.
Then take the additional savings and buy something else on sale the next month. There will be a snowball effect of savings each month that will reduce your grocery bill considerably.
Try using dry milk for baking if you don’t like it for drinking. Be sure it is cheaper by the gallon than buying whole milk.
You can even try mixing half whole milk and half dry milk. Most people will never know the difference. *tip* Dry milk taste better when it has chilled after mixing.
You can later incorporate generic brands or store brands. That will produce some additional savings. Many of the off-brand food items are made by the same company as the name brand, but are relabeled and sold at lower prices.
Another tip is that most foods have satisfaction guarantees on the products. If you don’t like the product, return it to the store or call the toll-free number on the back of the box. A lot of companies will either give you your money back or send you a coupon for another product.
Stop eating instant toaster pastries and breakfast bars for breakfast. Eat oatmeal, pancakes, eggs and toast, or fruit instead. Another great choice is to have a green smoothie for breakfast. (Go see http://detoxmysystem.com for green smoothie ideas).
If you have a source for free or very inexpensive walnuts, or pecans in your area, purchase or collect nuts there and use them in recipes calling for them. If not, omit these very expensive items.
These are some Basic Frugal Tips and Ideas to help you learn to eat and cook frugally. You saw earlier how much money you can save by living this frugal life style. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your family.