How a Couple Spends $200 a Month on Food
As millennials, we absolutely LOVE to eat out. We are either foodies at new trendy places, or we view eating out as a social gathering. Food is no longer just something that fuels our body, but it also is a source of entertainment. Now you can probably see why this is a problem: We are turning a need into an extravagant want! If you eat out for lunch every work day for a month, you are spending close to $150 for the month just on lunches! Food can be a budget breaker, but here are some ways that we spend less than $200 total on food each month:
You know that terrible feeling when you have to throw food out? Me too. It’s the worst. I feel like I’m throwing actual money in the trash! While we still do unfortunately sometimes throw food out because it gets bad, we meal plan as much as well can to avoid it. Every weekend I decide what we’ll be making for dinner each night, and then we hit up the grocery store on Sunday to pick up our groceries. We make a meal plan and keep a grocery list to make sure that we only buy items we need and know we will eat. We spend about $40 a week on our grocery shopping.
Cooking Cheap Meals
As I meal plan for the week, I think about meals that are going to be cheap and easy to make. Since I work full time, I don’t want to come home and slave over the kitchen. So I keep it simple. Making simple meals with few ingredients are going to be cheaper because you aren’t buying as many items!
It’s always a joke that when you’re poor you need to eat beans and rice. But this is actually a great tip! Beans and rice are very cheap and versatile. Have you ever tried searching for recipes that feature beans and rice? So many options! We have done our own beans and rice meals from burritos, nachos, and even make-your-own Chipotle bowls!
Shopping at the Right Stores
If you’re a millennial who shops only at Whole Foods and Market of Choice, you may want to re-think your grocery store! Jacob and I shop at Winco, Walmart and Costco for all our food. While shopping at Winco and the local Walmart Neighborhood Market aren’t my favorite, they sure have great deals. Costco is a great place to shop but you have to be really smart about it! Buy in bulk preparing to eat it all in your meal plan or have room to put it in the freezer! Don’t buy food that you’re not going to eat!
Don’t Eat Out!
If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you know that this is basically my motto… You spend significantly so much more when you eat out. We eat out once a month and spend about $30 on the meal out. It’s OK to treat yourself, but this category needs to be budgeted separately from groceries to ensure that you don’t overspend!