Families that operate from budgets tend to have their fingers on the pulse of their finances. They are acutely aware of what their costs are and where their money is going. Having a budget is one way to save time and money in all areas of family finances – especially in the food budget.
Creating a food budget is more than designating funds for groceries. Having a food budget makes it possible to:
- Plan nutritious meals in advance
- Shop for deals and quality food
- Create a high-functioning kitchen workspace
- Reduce waste and unplanned expenses
Meal planning saves time and money
Making a menu ahead of time allows you to pre-plan your week’s groceries. If money is tight, you can plan meals that won’t break the bank and use similar ingredients to make shopping easier and keep costs down.
Pro-tip: Use a menu planner like The Dinner Daily to discover easy-to-prepare meals and save money in the process! Coupons and shopping lists are included.
Shopping wisely saves time and money
Nowadays most markets have apps that make it easier to follow their sales. Be aware of what stores offer the best produce, have the best sales on staples, and set aside time on your schedule to maximize the savings. Having a budget makes it possible to know exactly what you have to spend weekly, monthly, or quarterly on groceries.
Pro-tip: Create a master shopping list in a spreadsheet that you can easily access and print on the fly. You can save time and money by keeping a list of the items you generally buy. It can make it easier to get help from teens if they run grocery errands for you during the week.
High functioning kitchens save time and money
Having a well-designed pantry can save a lot of time and money. Being able to see what items you have, what is running low, and what needs to be replaced helps keep your shopping list up to date. No more grabbing take out because a key ingredient is missing from your meal plan. High functioning kitchens make meal prep easier when you have the tools you need. Sometimes bulk items are cheaper, so it makes sense to prep food at home instead of paying the store to prep for you. Having the tools you need at home makes shredding, chopping, and creating portions easier.
Pro-tip: Investing in tools like food processors, vacuum sealers, and other gadgets can save time and money in the kitchen. Consider making a small investment in the tools that complement the foods and meals your family uses most.
Reducing waste saves time and money
When money is designated for food, a menu is pre-planned, and the family is maximizing their budget, they tend to buy what they need which keeps fresh foods from spoiling. They also tend to eat at home which keeps the unexpected trips for take-out to a minimum.
Having a food budget is one of the many ways families make the most of their resources. Having what they need at the ready for easy meal prep makes feeding families easier, cheaper, and healthier.