Learning how to save money on groceries has benefits other than saving money.
Once you learn how to save money on groceries, you can invest more money and reduce the number of years you have to work for money. We’ll get to exactly what that can mean for your financial future. But first I wanted to know if this ever happens to you.
I’ll be working on something and hunger strikes. I’m hungry so I walk into the kitchen and pull the refrigerator door open. I see nothing of interest and to the pantry I go. I grab a few cookes and chips and then get back to work. This happens to me far more often than I like to admit.
This bad eating habit (not subjective, I’m fairly sure this is a univerally understood truth) really has no place in the life of someone who claims to be intentional and living a life of their own design.
A little bit of junk food now and then may not be that bad – who really knows? But the issue is that I wasn’t prepared for an occurrence that happens regularly. I can do better.
Three tips for not eating junk food.
- Cook in bulk – Pick a day or two during the week that you’ll prepare your main meals. These meals will be packed and ready for mealtime. This saves a ton time and effort throughout the week. Making the act such an intentional one will lead to you making a smarter choices when creating your grocery list and deciding what the family will have during the week. It will also reduce the impulse to eat out at restaurants.
- Prepare snacks ahead of time – this can be washed fruit in a fruit bowl, sliced veggies in the fridge, or a container of nuts at the ready. So in the middle of the day when your stomach gives that subtle growl, your hands may reach for something nutritious.
- Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach – It seems like I do this every time and I end up with much more junk food in the cupboard that I otherwise would.
Healthy eating, healthy budget, healthy savings rate
Your food bill can dramatically impact your savings rate. Food is one of the big three household expenses so it warrants a closer look as you attempt to gain full control over your spending.
Here you’ll experience a potluck of ideas and resources for a fresh look at how to shop for and prepare meals.
It gives us plenty to chew on with healthy eating recipes to reduce our meal costs and time in the kitchen from a boil to a simmer. We can have our cake and eat it too by eating healthier and keeping a heaping tablespoon of money that can condense our Financial Independence timeline!
(Note: This marks the end of the intentional food puns.)
The future financial impact of learning how to save money on groceries
Currently, the average American eats commercially made meals more than 4 times a week. Whether we consider eating out social events, necessities due to time constraints, or both, this choice is costly and can make our FI journey more challenging.
Do you think you could eat out a little less and shop a little smarter without crimping your lifestyle?
Imagine you were able to cut your monthly food bill by a hundred bucks and you decided to invest that difference. You may have an additional $18,128 dollars in ten short years. This assumes an 8% return annualized. Using a 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR) that would be an additional $725.12 a year in retirement income.
An example of healthy eating on a budget.
Consider this example: oatmeal takes under 10 minutes to cook and costs about $0.15 per serving. Buying it ready-made in your go-to breakfast shop will cost close to $4. An egg sandwich takes about 3 minutes to cook and costs about $1. With just a little planning, we can experience breakfast without the inflated expense. The price differences for lunch and dinner can be more radical.
Many small improvements in our meal planning can make a significant difference.
Fiology thanks former dietician and nutrition educator Earlier FI for shaping this lesson.
- Frugalize Your Groceries by Mrs. Frugalwoods of frugalwoods.com
- Monthly Savings: Food by Joel of fi180.com
- Aldi vs Costco vs Walmart by Frugal Professor of frugalprofessor.com
- 5 Days Of Meal Prep | Try Living With Lucie | Refinery29 by Lucie Fink of Try Living With Lucie on YouTube. There are many meal prep videos on YouTube. From meal prepping for a bodybuilder to a family of six, you can find a video that matches your specific situation.
- MEAL PREP » & minimize time in the kitchen by Sadia of pickuplimes.com on YouTube
- Michael Pollan: Eat All the Junk Food You Want as Long as You Cook It Yourself by Michael Pollan of mindbodygreen.com
- Podcast #24: Meal Prepping To Save Money & Time with Marek Strojvus by Carrie Forrest of cleaneatingkitchen.com
- This is personal. Look closely at the food you eat. Is it the best choice for your health? Is it the best choice for your savings rate? Unless you live a considerable distance from a grocery store, eating a healthy diet does not have to be pricey. In fact, it’s less expensive than processed food. Once you decide what you want your meals to look like, break them down into ingredients or food lists. Building a grocery list around planned meals reduces wastefulness of food and of budget. Family size and personal preferences will factor into this process greatly. Take advantage of the resources here that show you how to save money on groceries. Be sure to compare local stores in your area to determine where you will save the most without compromising on quality for the items you purchase most often.
- EATING AT HOME VS. EATING OUT by Kelli Gardener of groomandstyle.com
- Don’t Eat Out as Often (188/365) by Trent Hamm of thesimpledollar.com
- THINK LIKE A FOOD WASTE WARRIOR of savethefood.com. This is valuable if we sometimes find ourselves throwing away food.
“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” – Fran Lebowitz