There are several things you can do to save money in the food and grocery category. I share tips and how we do it.
I think there are a few different areas to focus on when it comes to saving money on food and food.
- First and foremost, it is about planning their cooking, doing planning and utilizing the stores’ offerings. This also includes not throwing away food which is part of the planning.
- Secondly, it may be about choosing to make a lunch box instead of having lunch outside. I was going to talk a little about the food box, how much you can save and how to make fun food boxes to bring to work.
- Third, by choosing a focus on your cooking, you can save a lot of money. It is possible to avoid expensive meat cuts and eat more vegetarian / vegan. It also doesn’t have to be one or the other, but starting with cooking a vegetarian dish a week can be a first step towards saving money.
- The last point may be a bit controversial, but it’s about cutting down on snacks, sweets and alcohol. Based on our own experience, we have seen that snacks and alcohol have the potential to become a major expense item in the food budget.
Planning and offers
We all have different conditions with large / small freezer, no pantry, timing with other activities, far to the grocery store, close to the grocery store etc. Whatever your conditions, you can plan your grocery shopping and what you plan to cook for food.
At home, we plan weekly. Normally we plan on Monday what to eat for the rest of the week. We are two in our household and cook 3-4 times a week. The rest of the meals will be food boxes. This means that when we plan, we go through our recipe binder that we have built up over the years with good recipes. Based on what we have in the freezer and what is on offer this week, we are planning 3-4 different dishes. In addition to the dishes, we add other consumables that are needed. It can be soap, baking paper, breakfast items, fruit etc.
I would say that we spend between 1-1.5 hours a week planning, going to the store and buying our food.
Regarding that we only shop once a week, some object and say that they have to shop twice for things to get bad otherwise. I buy it to some extent. But we usually make sure that if we have one / more dishes it should be fresh vegetables for example. so we fix them at the beginning of the week. Those who will use frozen or other products that last longer this week. It is possible to plan so that one weekly purchase works.
Our system also relies heavily on the stores’ offerings. We have both fridge / freezer and a fairly large pantry. This means that we can buy crispbread, shampoo, tortillas, tacos sauce, frozen chicken and dried chickpeas for a week, although we do not need it this week. Why? Well because it is a discount which saves us money and we will use up the goods sooner or later anyway. It is of course based on the fact that the goods last a little longer and that we are sure that we will use it. It does not work for fresh items like dairy and fruit / vegetables in the same way.
In the past, we were more discount hunters than we are today. Then we could look at the discounts in several stores and then go around and buy the offers in several stores. We don’t do that anymore because we don’t think it’s worth the time. We shop once a week at Willys. Had we lived more centrally and been able to take afternoon walks to buy the offers in other stores maybe it would have been different but our conditions are not right now.
It should be said that my example above is hypothetical, we buy goods every week at full price too. It is not possible to just buy things at a discount and reuse what we have bought in the past weeks. Or rather, it might be possible, but we can’t be so careful about it and the variation could possibly suffer. We have put it on a level that we think works for us.