dark logo

Eat In, Save Big

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | Jun 10, 2024


Show Notes

According to some estimates, the average household spends an astonishing 40% of its food budget on eating out. That’s a lot to digest.

After housing and transportation, food is probably the next biggest item in the budget. It’s also a place where you can easily make changes that will save you a lot of money.

The Cost of Convenience

Eating out is convenient, especially for busy families with two working parents or parents shuttling kids to various activities. However, this convenience comes at a cost—not just financially but also in terms of health. Fast food often leads to weight gain and less control over nutrition. To combat this, consider preparing more meals at home. It starts with planning, particularly menu planning.

The Power of Menu Planning

How often have you looked in your cupboard and wondered, “Why did I buy that?” Before you go shopping, you can avoid this by planning your meals for the week—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This also allows you to choose healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and nuts. When planning your menu, select meals you can prepare ahead of time over the weekend, eliminating weekday guesswork and last-minute scrambling.

Creating a Shopping List

Once your menu plan is ready, list all the items you need. Inventory your fridge and cupboards, crossing off what you already have. What’s left is your shopping list. Stick to this list when you shop, and you’ll start saving money immediately. To avoid impulse buys, eat a meal or snack before heading to the store.

Strategic Shopping

Avoid the middle sections of the grocery store where cookies, candy, and chips are typically placed. Instead, focus on the outer sections where you’ll find meats, vegetables, fruits, and yogurt. Of course, you’ll need to venture into the middle aisles for certain items, but make these trips quick.

Stocking Up and Choosing Budget-Friendly Options

Stock up on staples like cereals, rice, cornmeal, and oatmeal when they’re on sale. For protein, choose lower-cost options—hamburger costs less than steak, chicken costs less than hamburger, and incorporating a meat-free dinner into your weekly plan can save even more. Also, making coffee at home and taking it to work is far cheaper than buying it out, and the same goes for water.

Utilizing Free Pickup Services

Many larger grocery chains now offer free pickup options. This service helps avoid the temptation of unnecessary purchases while pushing a cart around the store. You can also keep a running total of your spending, making it easier to stay on budget. If you have little ones, curbside pickup avoids the “buy me this!” requests.

Smart Shopping Locations

Be mindful of where you shop, as prices vary. Generally, larger stores or chains offer lower prices, though the service might not be as personalized. Some big box stores have membership fees, but shopping there even once a month can be worth it. Just be sure you can use the large packages before they expire and have space for them at home.

Online Shopping for Essentials

You can also save by buying household necessities online from sites like Amazon. Look for free shipping offers to save even more.

Preparing more meals at home can save you a lot of money and help you eat healthier by allowing you to plan meals, shop strategically, and utilize modern conveniences.

On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:

  • The $50,000 my husband and I had in a CD expired. The new rate we're being offered for 12 months is only 4%, and I was wondering if there might be something better we could do with that money, given the bumpy roads that may be coming up with the upcoming election. Also, would it be a good idea to invest in gold? 
  • I have only studied the Bible for over a year, so I wanted to understand who should receive my tithe.
  • My mother has $116,500 in a John Hancock safe access account, paying only 1% interest. She uses it mainly to pay taxes and her mortgage. I wondered if she could move that money elsewhere to get a better interest rate since she also receives a pension and social security.
  • What would happen to my social security benefits if I were to pass away before my wife? As someone with a government pension from working in a police department who was not married when I retired, I know my pension will end when I pass away. I also know that because I have a government pension, my social security is cut in half from what it usually would be. I wanted to know if, if I pass before my wife, her social security benefits would go back up to the normal rate.

Resources Mentioned:

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.

dark logo

Where Faith Meets Finance

You May Also Like