Eliminate high food costs - buy only what you need

Immediate Practical Suggestions to Help Reduce Food Costs

Next to the mortgage, food is one of the largest monthly expenses for most households. While grocery stores haven't gone out of business, current economic conditions have affected the overall cost of food. For those with teenage boys especially, the rising monthly food costs can often cripple the budget of a family that is already struggling financially. The good news is that there are ways to trim the food spending without sacrificing one's dignity or letting the children go hungry.

A large percentage of the world is sustained daily by only a single bowl of rice. Some may be lucky enough to also have beans. Others may even be granted a small piece of fish. While it is not suggested that one reduce their existence to simply rice and beans, it is important to remember that a human body can survive on much simpler foods than what Americans and others around the world are accustomed to eating.

Throughout the Scriptures there are accounts of individuals feeding on less luxurious kinds foods. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness on locusts and wild honey. Elijah was fed morsels of bread and meat by ravens. The Israelites lived for 40 years on manna and quail. The widow of Zarephath and her son both survived a time of famine on cakes made from flour and oil. During a time of financial hardship, it may be necessary to significantly alter the food shopping so that money can be allocated to other monthly bills.

First, the initial and obvious way to decrease food spending is to simply reduce food intake. Perhaps a second helping of mashed potatoes isn't necessary. Even a late-night club sandwich can be passed over. The less food consumed in one sitting, the more servings will be available for future meals, thus reducing the frequency of food purchases. The math is simple, though it often is overlooked.

Here are a handful of other simple ways to trim off some of the excess food spending each month:

  • Don't make random trips to the grocery store simply because an item has run out. Perhaps it is an item that can simply be missed until the next appointed time for grocery shopping.
  • Reduce or eliminate dining out. This can be a huge expense each month for many families. Instead, pick one or two nights a month for a dinner out at a low-cost restaurant.
  • Eliminate vending machine purchases.
  • Use coupons as often as possible, and watch for sales. Just avoid shopping at thirteen different stores; the gas to drive to each one will eat up the money savings from the coupons or sales.
  • Shop at warehouse stores for non-perishable items.
  • Eliminate unnecessary junk foods like chips, sodas and sweets. They are expensive to buy and add no real nutritional value to one's diet.
  • Reduce or eliminate brand-name items where available.

    It is not necessary to practice a stoic lifestyle, denying oneself of all food pleasure entirely. Rather, bring a balanced perspective about food based on Biblical examples so that it does not continue dominate the monthly budget. There are some simple and practical ways to help bring the food costs down while still maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Written by: Amy Miller