usatoday.com – In this week’s installment of USA TODAY’s Taming your budget-busting bills series we look at how to cut your food costs and save money but still eat well.
Food can take a serious chunk out of your budget, whether you’re a college student trying to get by on ramen noodles or you’re cooking for a family of five.
The average American household spent about $600 a month on food in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 44% of that was spent outside the home at restaurants and bars.
Americans are spending more on food each year and may soon spend more on dining out than groceries. Millennials in particular have been criticized for prioritizing avocado toast over home ownership.
The good news is your food budget is a lot more flexible than fixed costs like rent. We all have to eat, but here are some ways to cut down on your food spending.
Before you go shopping: Plan your meals
If you want to cut down your grocery bill, planning ahead is the only way to do it. Start small by planning out your meals one week at a time.
Instead of finding recipes and then looking for deals, Joanie Demer, co-founder of a couponing site, recommends building a menu around the sales and coupons already out there. Check websites like Demer’s The Krazy Coupon Lady and Coupons.com, and apps like Ibotta.
Demer estimates that by couponing for just an hour a week, shoppers can save as much as $200 per month.
Look my broke ass will always appreciate articles like this, so I’m just paying it forward