I’ve noticed a lot of people talk about food and money or just money in general lately. I would like to throw my hat in the ring as well, I think I have some tips that lots of people could find useful. There are a lot of real food budget blogs out there and I will be mentioning them all soon, but here are my thoughts on being frugal, saving money, and buying expensive food!
I fancy myself someone of a money expert, really because I have a degree in Finance, love numbers, did a few years as an accountant and I manage our household budget. Numbers are black and white, where choices, diets and relationships are NOT. Plus it makes me so sad when I hear of or know people who are afraid of their money, or lack of it. If you learn one thing ever from me, please don’t be afraid to open your bills! Knowledge is power!
Before I go down a rabbit hole, I wanted to talk about a few ways to reduce your food bill, and take control of your money!
Save Money Eating Real Food!
- Use a budget. I cannot recommend this enough, as it has changed our lives. My husband and I started our married life with a bit of debt to our names, and budgeting is the biggest thing we have done while reducing and eliminating the debt. I highly recommend YNAB, which stands for You Need a Budget. It’s a cheap program with a companion app that makes budgeting fairly early, we have been using it for almost a year now and have saved so much just by tracking. Learn more about YNAB here!
- Know your priorities. For my family this is grassfed beef, but we settle for organic chicken. We buy large cuts that are cheap and smoke them. My husband complained about washing greens from the garden, so now I focus on onion, garlic, tomatoes and broccoli and buy organic greens in bulk. I try to buy cultured, raw, and grassfed dairy, but we don’t eat much of it. We use half and half and some milk and cream for ice cream, but that’s about it. I love kerrygold butter, but we don’t use much either.
- Create a meal plan. This is something that I just started and why I am writing this post. This doesn’t have to be fancy and I guarantee it will improve over time. I can figure mine out in 30min or less now and I am on week 7! One bonus is, I can see if I am over doing it pretty easily. Meaning if I have too many dishes that take a lot of time/money/effort in one week I can move it or delete it. I love to experiment and I also love to over do it, so when I have too many goals for one week I just pop it into the following week’s grid. Want to see mine? I pasted a screenshot below, from the google doc I share with my husband!
- Know what you can use twice. Eating food twice? Seems impossible, but as the saying goes, waste not want not. I have been talking a lot about this in my “No Judgement Newsletter” which you can sign up for in the right sidebar. A few things, saving bacon grease, and making bone broth from meat bones.
- Learn the seasons and meet some farmers, I love strawberries. But the real awesome berries that arn’t always pretty and golf ball sized. Instead I have strawberry season marked on my calender and a few friends who like to U-Pick with me. I have an upcoming post on what I did with my 20LB of berries this year. The first thing I did was make ice cream, because, DUH, Ice cream!
- Make friends and eat local, I covered this topic in depth in my Eat Local post, please check it out!
This is not an exhaustive list. This is a topic I am passionate about and think is very important. Stress and stressing about money can un-do a lot of the healthy work you’re doing in the kitchen! Stay tuned and sign up for the newsletter for more money talk and savings tips!
Look out for part 2 soon, where I link to my favorite real food budget blogs as great additional resources. I’m passionate about not spending more money than I have, and saving as much as I can, so I have lots to share on this subject!
Shared on Mostly Homemade Mondays
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