Weekly Money Tips – Food & Beverage Edition
This week, we’ll look at a few ways to save money on food & beverage spending.
Track Your Spending
The first important part of this week’s tips is to know where your money goes. Don’t lump all your food and beverage spending in one area, but map out a realistic spending plan according to your actual habits. For example, consider tracking work lunches, groceries, eating out, coffee runs, drinking at the bar with buddies, happy hours with coworkers, etc. Lumping all these expenditures into one category called Food and identifying $800 in monthly spending in this area does not accomplish anything. The point is to be able to identify each area and then find ways to cut the spending on the areas that are possible.
Work Related Food Spending
An easy target for many, including myself, is the money that is spent on food as a result of going to work each day. It might be coffee on the way to work, eating lunch out, an occasional snack in the afternoon, or happy hour drinks after work. These are very real and regular spending items for me and many others. After tracking your spending, identify one or two areas to work on and put forth a real effort to cut the spending. You can probably save a significant amount of money.
Here’s an interesting idea. Stop drinking altogether. You’ll save a ton of money and arguably be more healthy. Most young people don’t want to consider this, and you are free to do what you want, but track your spending in this area and see what it costs you each month. Then, make up your mind.
Brew your own coffee at home, cook dinner at home and use the leftovers for lunch the next day, drink water when you go out to eat as opposed to ordering more expensive beverages, buy your groceries at Wal-Mart (I’ve noticed close to 20% on average savings on a typical grocery run for us).
Read other articles in the Money Tips Series.