Easy Money Saving Ideas For Your Food Budget: Best Frugal Living Tips For Food Budgeting


As I'm sure most of you are aware, what started out as a contest for me in January 2011 turned into something much more.

If I said that I was focused, that might be taking the coward's way out. To say I was obsessed might be more accurate.

For whatever reason, when the contest Money Grows on Hubpages started up, I groaned and thought "There's no way I can write for this contest. I know nothing about money or finances."

Well, over 140 hubs later (I actually lost track of how many I wrote by the time January started), I discovered much to my own surprise that I actually do know a lot about money and finance! I don't say that conceitedly either.  In writing these hubs I began to realize the tips and tricks I have learned in order to live frugally over the years. It seemed only natural to share them.

I hope you've enjoyed my many ramblings about saving money. I was not able to post up all my 140+ hubs during the contest because my arms revolted on me.  It also became painfully obvious (literally) that after I wrote them, I still needed to construct them all. Too much keyboarding is not good for anyone but especially in my case. 

At the end of the contest, I had over 40 that I had not posted up yet so I have plodded steadily on to finish them.

Enjoy my last financial advice hub....for now. I have discovered that I actually enjoyed writing about money saving ideas very much and I'm sure I'll be back with more advice on any given day!



Plan your meals.  Meal planning is the one discipline that will save you money over time and also make you more efficient in using all of your food.  At first, keep your meal planning simple and calculate for maybe a few days to a week at a time.  Post your meal plan and stick to it.  Keep portion sizes sensible and try to use nutritious but inexpensive ingredients and meats.

Use produce in season.  If the produce or fruit you want is out of season, consider canned or frozen.  Also plan ahead and if you have the time and the space, when it is in season, freeze or can your own.

Cut the junk.  Eliminate these items from your list and do not put them in your cart.  You will save money.  Soda, chips, processed foods, pre-made foods, and snack foods are all high priced items that have little to zero nutritional value anyway.

Sales and coupons.  Shop the sales in your local grocery stores or check on-line for what's on sale.  If you can use more of sale items in the near future, then buy several if the savings is great but don't overbuy.  Use coupons and know the prices for items so you know which stores have the best buys on what.

Leftovers are not a bad thing.  Leftovers are a great way to make sure you use all the food you have on hand.  It's also a great way to come up with creative second acts for some new meals.  For instance, take left over baked potatoes and dice them for breakfast for pan-fried potatoes or shred for hash browns. Making use of your leftovers is a great way to save money while using your food.  Wasting food is a waste of money!

Take your lunch.  This is a surefire way to save money.  Use leftovers from meals you have planned for the week or plan several lunch meals like salads and soups. 

Buy generic.  Check the ingredients and sodium levels, etc. but most generic brands are interchangeable with name brands and can save you money!

More may be better.  Buy in bulk if you can use it and if you can store it.  Many grocery outlet stores that specialize in large sized packaging also have great containers that store larger volumes of things like rice, flour or coffee.  Shop places like Costco, Sams Club, etc. for money-saving bulk purchases and enjoy the savings.  Just make sure you can use it before it expires if that applies.  Or divide up with friends and family.

Cook for the army.  This is a great technique that will save you money and will also give you meals ahead.  The time it takes to make lasagna sometimes seems labor intensive but if you purchase containers at the dollar store (3-4 in a package), then divide up the lasagna into 3 or 4 portions, label and freeze, you are that much further ahead.  I use the containers but slip them inside a freezer bag for extra protection.  You can make pies, cakes, casseroles, soups, etc. and divide them up, label and freeze and then keep a list.  You have meals made in advance!

Grow your own.  If you have the space, the weather and the knack, growing some of your own produce is a great way to save money and improve the quality of your food.  If you also have land and are inclined, raise your own beef and other meats and then have them butchered; freeze and stock your own freezer.

Hands off.  Anything that is processed, packaged, sliced, washed, or otherwise touched by human hands is always going to cost you more money.  Buy things in as close to their original state as possible and do the work yourself. 

Go meatless.  At least once per week, have a meatless day and use other sources of proteins such as beans, tofu, etc.  You'll be healthier for it and you will save money. 

Any way you slice it.  When purchasing meats, buy the leanest cuts and use smaller portions.  Consider buying whole or larger portions of meat or poultry (they are less per pound) and cutting them yourself.   A whole chicken is easily cut into pieces.  A prime rib roast is easily sliced into steaks.  Most meat departments will even do it for you if you ask...and for free.

Buy on sale.  If you learn to plan your meals around foods and meats that are on sale or stock up on meats and keep them in the freezer that are on sale, you will always save money!



In short, there are only so many things we can all do to save money but by following a few simple practices over time, the savings can be substantial. 

These ideas on how to save money on your grocery bills can actually be applied in many other parts of our lives as well. 

Money is a great tool if we learn how to use it properly.  I don't believe in wasting anything and most especially money since it's so hard to come by these days. 

Wishing you financial success always and hoping my tips helped even a little bit.  I'll be back no doubt on another day giving you my 2 cents' worth!

If you have more helpful ideas on how to cut your food bills every month, please leave your comments in the space provided below.  Until then....happy shopping and thanks so much for all the reads!

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Comments 11 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks for the read, Nico - and great point to add as well!!

Nico 5 years ago

About the simple fact of planning meals for the week ... the advantages are not just of financial nature, but will also improve some other aspects of your life, such as your health!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks for stopping by EYL - I believe in them and hope they help!

EnjoyYourLife profile image

EnjoyYourLife 5 years ago from New York

Absolutely right on good money saving tips. Thank you so much for this hub!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Hanna - Thanks so much!

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Although it is different of there but nevertheless they are good tips.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks Shawn - is that not the truth!!

Shawn Scarborough profile image

Shawn Scarborough 5 years ago from The Lone Star State

Thanks for sharing this hub. Some really great tips on saving money. With gas prices headed up again it is really helpful to find ways to save money.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks Darski - I really appreciate all the encouragement and glad to be of help.

Gigi - Thanks so much for stopping in!

Gigi Thibodeau 5 years ago

Great hub with so many wonderful tips!

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Audrey I love your hubs, I enjoy everyone of them and most importantly I learn, I was a spender in my life and shame on me. But, sometimes and somethings need to be taught or learned and you are my window to this. Keep on Rolling that steam roller my dear girlfriend, this is the help people need right now. rate up love & peace darski

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