Save Money on Food

You’ve got to eat – but spending money on food can be costly. Did you know the average household spends on average $3,008 a year on dining out?1 Add to that the modest average of $7,200 per year U.S. families spend on groceries ($600 a month)2, and you’re talking about some serious dough! Here are some tips on how cut your food spending:

Only Buy What You Need: A general rule of thumb has been that buying in bulk will help you save money in the long run. However, a recent survey found that shopping at club stores could actually be bad for your budget, and your waistline. Specifically, the study found that those who shopped regularly at club stores had a 5% increase in the amount of money spent on packaged food per person in the household, a 15% increase in the amount of time spent shopping, and an 8% increase in calories consumed.3 Instead of “saving money” by buying in bulk, start by making a list of what you need to feed you or your family for a week, decide how much you can spend, and pick a day to shop for only those items.

Don’t Waste Food: Despite being a cost-effective way to feed your family, a growing aversion to eating leftovers accounts for a large part of food waste at home. A recent study found that American consumers throw away 27 million tons of food each year.4 The reason for this? They either thought it had spoiled or they didn’t want the leftovers. While one solution is to learn to love your leftovers, another (and perhaps, more practical) way to stretch your budget is to plan meal your portions so you don’t have any leftovers in the first place.

Be Smart About Food Storage: Knowing how to stock your refrigerator and pantry to maximize the shelf life of your food is a great way to stretch your dollars and cents. Milk, eggs and raw meat are best kept in the lower shelf of your fridge, where temperatures tend to be colder, and the upper shelf, which is the warmest part of the fridge, is where you could keep condiments and items less likely to spoil quickly.5



1, “90% of Americans Don’t Like to Cook — And It’s Costing Them Thousands Each Year,” September 27, 2017
2, “Take a Bite Out of Your Food Bill: How to Save Money on Groceries and Dining Out,” November 27, 2017
3, “Club Store Shopping Makes You Spend and Eat More,” November 24, 2017
4, “Why Americans Have Stopped Eating Leftovers,” October 31, 2017
5, “How to Organize Your Fridge so You Don’t Waste Food (And Money),” November 16, 2017