Now onto our topic of the day, for you regular readers you already now about this ongoing (10 week) series about ways to cut spending on your Household Budget to Save Money. We are now in the home stretch, so without further ado, here from one of my most recommended sites DailyFinance.com is the article written by Brian O'Connor.
The $1,000 Challenge, Part 9: Nibbling Away at the Family Food Bills
We'd already been cutting back on food and other supermarket sundries, buying paper goods in bulk at a warehouse club, splurging on premium steaks only when they were on a big sale, and switching mostly to store brands and generics for canned goods and staples.
Doing the latter "puts people in a vicious cycle of paying full price for 70 percent to 80 percent of what they buy," Gault says. Surveys of Grocery Game users, who pay $5 for the weekly guide, find the savings for a family of four averages $512 a month, she adds. That's partly because she includes the savings that come when strategic grocery shopping replaces any meals eaten out simply because there's nothing in the house or no dinner has been planned.
The really big savings in this scheme come from using leftovers. Think about your total family food costs, including lunch, carry-out food, and meals you grab at a restaurant when you haven't planned anything to cook, don't feel like stopping at the store, and are just too tired. That adds up to a lot of needless spending, often when you could cook something cheaper, better and more tasty at home if you planned just a bit.
Substituting or skipping ingredients is another option. That flank steak in the grilled Caesar stands in for a rib-eye. A fish recipe with ginger, chiles, soy sauce and sherry can call for red snapper all it wants, like some piscatorial Stanley Kowalski crying out for "Stella! Stella!" but I've made it with tilapia, it works great with catfish and, if you're in the right mood, the cheap, farm-raised salmon from Costco. A 99-cent package of manager's special hamburger buns can stand in for toast and sandwich bread this week.
"It doesn't surprise me that you're not saving a lot yet, because you were already a good saver," Gault said. "What you're doing is amassing things you'll use beyond the next 12 weeks. After that, your needs are basically just your produce and milk and replenishing your investments."
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