Eating food is essential to our survival. So when it comes to our spending habits, its pretty obvious that food will rank pretty high on our list of needs.

That being said, many of us spend way more than we need to on groceries. This post will show you a couple of useful ways that you can cut down your food budget with hardly any sacrifice or compromise.

Eating healthy and tasty food is something I’m passionate about. Grocery shopping is definitely an area that we should be spending money on, it’s like investing in your body.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t be smart about how we spend our money when it comes to food.

Buy cheaper groceries

One of the simplest ways to cut down your spending on groceries is pretty straightforward. Spend less on your food shopping.

The way to do this can be broken down into a couple of different sections:

Shop at cheaper stores

This might sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how much money you can save on groceries by shopping at cheaper stores.

In the UK & Ireland, the easiest way to do this is to shop at places like Lidl & Aldi. Aldi is in the process of opening up a network of stores in America as well, which is fantastic because the US is one of the priciest places in the world for buying groceries.

Shop local

In Australia, I was able to shop at local fruit & veg stores which saved me heaps.

Buying at local stores and markets will not only save you money but it’s better for the economy of your community, it’s better for the environment because of less transportation and plastic, and it’s a great way to become more involved/get to know people in your area.

Avoid brands

We’re all brainwashed into paying a premium for grocery brand items.

This brainwashing has another name, advertising.

Once upon a time, I was also loyal to my favourite food brands. Then I woke up.

If you do some research you’ll find out that a lot of the time, branded food items are actually made in the same factories and use the same ingredients as the cheaper non-brand versions. Our buying habits are mostly psychological and emotional. If you were to blind taste test a brand against a cheaper competitor you’d struggle to spot the difference or pick a winner.

Why not try it?

Buy fresh fruits and vegetables

I’m not sure where this rumour started, but many people believe that it’s expensive to eat healthily. That’s just simply not true.

The other food myth that puzzled me, is the perception that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet is expensive. Again, this is absolute baloney.

If the majority of your grocery shop is made up of fruit, vegetables and then some grains like oats, rice, and pasta; it will really keep the cost down. It’s when you start adding in packaged man-made food products and meat that your bill will start creeping higher.

Not only is buying fresh food better for your body, but it will save you money.

Even better than saving short-term on your groceries, you’ll save money in the long-term by looking after your body and keeping it healthy!

Plan your meals for the week (or meal prep)

Meal planning or meal prepping is such a great way to save time, save money, and cut down on food waste.

Lots of us are used to the idea of grocery shopping with a list. Most of the time though, it’s just a list of stuff we normally stock up on, rather than a list for specific meals.

By taking a few extra minutes to decide in advance what meals you’re going to cook during the following week, you can become much more efficient with your grocery shopping.

So many households throw out literally tonnes of unused food each and every week. Planning your meals will mean that you only buy food that you’re going to eat.

Deciding what you’ll be eating in advance will save you time in the evenings trying to decide what you can cook with what you have available. It will also mean you can cook big batch meals that can be eaten throughout the week. Making these big meals means that you reduce the number of times you have to cook, giving you extra time throughout the week for yourself.

Doing all this will really shave the unnecessary excess from your weekly shops. It’s so satisfying to fill up the fridge and then proceed to eat your way through everything.

Buying more food than you need is bad for the environment and bad for your wallet!

Give it a try

Food and grocery shopping is something that we all have to do.

But we can do it better.

It took me quite a while to refine my food shopping to what it is today but it was so worth it. With just some small tweaks and changes to my habits I was able to reduce my spending on groceries massively whilst also improving my health.

Compared to most people I eat pretty healthily, and if I can do it so can you. These days I don’t even consider my food spending as a major part of my budgeting because by following the steps above, it’s rare that I spend more than £25 (€28/$33US/$46AUD) on a weeks worth of food.

That’s a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner for just £3.50 per day!

You don’t have to be wealthy to be healthy.