So how much money do you spend a month on food?
That is a very tricky question and usually people don’t realized how much money they actually spend. I just did some monthly accounting and last month I spent over $700 on food (fast food, grocery, restaurants). I’m not married and have no kids so this is a pretty high figure. I did do some traveling last month so I did eat out a lot more then I usually do. Also, I do live in Honolulu, Hawaii so things are a bit more expensive but still I think I could trim that figure down quite a bit.
Create a Weekly Menu – The Food Bill BusterThis month I have decided to follow the simple and effective money saving tip of creating a weekly menu. Every Sunday I take out all my favorite recipe books and create a weekly menu. It is pretty fun because it is like ordering seven meals (dinners) at a restaurant. You also get to choose meals that you always wanted to try. I recommend checking out online recipes sites, there are a many good ones out there just use your buddy Google.
When I select a recipe I check what ingredients I don’t have and create a quick grocery list. When planning your meals ahead of time it is important schedule longer cooking meals on days that you have more time.
The Benefits of Creating a Weekly Menu
Eat Healthier – I have definitely been eating healthier because in general I choose healthier recipes to cook. Most fast foods and restaurants serve meals that are high in fat and calories anyway.
You Save Money – By creating a weekly menu you save money because you prevent yourself from eating out. A lot of time I eat out because I just don’t know what to cook or what I have to cook.
Family Time – If you have a family then this is a great idea to spend more quality time together, plus you can teach your kids how to prepare meals and even make them responsible for certain things like a salad or setting the table.
Waste Less Food – Because you know exactly what food to buy and what food you already have you end up not waste as much food. I’m totally guilty of throwing away a lot of food either because it spoils in the refrigerator or it gets freezer burned but will not waste as much now.
My Example Menu
- Sunday – Korean Style Short Ribs (Using Crock Pot)
- Monday – Corned Beef Hash Patties
- Tuesday – Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi with Asparagus
- Wednesday – Chicken Stir Fry with Bell Pepers and Brocolli
- Thursday – Tofu Salmon Patties with rice
- Friday – Eating Out
- Saturday – Seared Ahi (Tuna)
I recommend picking recipes you really love, be creative and don’t forget to try something new. Again, if you have kids they will enjoy picking meals they love or love to help make. You can double dip on savings by eating leftovers for lunch.
I have noticed that my food bill has dropped dramatically since doing this. Probably because I just eat out much less now. Go ahead and give it a try.