Saving Money on Food and a GIVEAWAY

sushi

I love sushi, but it’s just too expensive!

It’s no secret that I’m really trying to save as much money as I can so that I can pay off my student loans as quickly as possible.

The thought of still having them in the summer time would make me sad (and a little mad), so I’m trying as hard as I can to keep with the goal of having them gone by March or April of this year.

On a side note, Sharon over at Midlife Mom Musings switched from Blogger to WP and wants you all to follow her on over there. I know what it was like when I switched from Blogger to WP, and I hated losing so many readers because they couldn’t find my link. I thought I’d make it a little easier for her :) And if you haven’t yet, please read my post about how to start a blog!

Anyways, my $38,000 Student Loan Payoff Plan is going well and I’ve already knocked out a big chunk. The other day I also completely knocked out a private student loan that I’ve had since 2007 that was almost up to $6,000!

I’ve been ramping up the ways that I make extra income and this has helped me a lot with paying down my student loan debt. I’m all about increasing my income!

However, even with all of our increases in extra income, we have been spending way too much on food. I know that if we didn’t eat out so much, then we would be saving even more.

Here are some updates:

Meal Planning – not going so well

I have hardly been doing any meal planning lately. This means a lot more food waste in our house. I just buy stuff at the grocery store and have no plan for it. I need to dig through my Pinterest food board and start making some of the yummy looking food on there.

Stop buying snacks – going well

We buy way too many snacks. Whether it be Gushers (yes, I have an unhealthy addiction), chips, cookies and so on. Lately I’ve been to the point where I’m running past the snack aisles at the grocery store so that I can’t even think of buying any snacks. This actually works haha :)

All of this is expensive, and we pretty much just eat it when we’re bored. No nutritional value and it’s a waste of money! Plus, we need to eat more healthy.

STOP EATING OUT – getting better

Yes, this is my number one goal. We eat out a lot. I will not tell you because I know a lot of you will yell and rip me apart. Lets just say it’s “a lot” and leave it at that. I need to start coming up with exciting dinners so that I don’t feel the need to go out and eat.

However, this past week we have been doing MUCH better. Our goal right now is to eat in 5 days every week. We were able to accomplish this last week and are doing good so far this week.

Use coupons – nonexistent

I don’t remember the last time I used a coupon that I actually clipped and brought with me. I get them in the mail all the time but don’t even bother. I hate whenever I go to a store and realize that I threw the coupon away because I thought I wouldn’t use it, but then it turned out that I needed it!

Do any of you coupon? How much do you usually save in a week or month because of it? If any couponers want to do a guest post for me about how you save money, I would love to have you on my blog by the way.

Also, if I do go out to eat, my goal is to use a coupon every single time. I need to use more Restaurant.com gift certificates (these are wonderful if you haven’t used them before) because you are usually paying $2 for a $25 gift certificate. Also, search for mobile coupons before you’re about to buy something! This is something that I do more often now and the other day even saved an extra $30 off a pair of shoes for W (yes I do realize shoes are not food).

What are you doing to save money on food?

Why are you trying to save money? Tell me your goals!

 

The giveaway today is for a $500 PayPal cash prize! This giveaway was brought to you by Rather-Be-Shopping.com, helping consumers save money with online coupons since 2000.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. Holly@ClubThrifty says

    We only eat out twice per month and we always shop sales at the store. I don't really use coupons anymore, don't have the time!

  2. John S @ Frugal Rules says

    Great work on paying off that loan! That always feels good to get one out of the way. We're doing pretty good with saving on food. We use some coupons (on stuff we'd buy anyway) and buy generic quite a bit. The one thing we always tend to struggle with is meal planning. We're always ambitious to make one and then something comes up and gets us off of it.

  3. myfijourney says

    You and I are basically on the same page when it comes to food. I make a meal plan every week, I've stopped buying snacks and desserts, I only eat out if invited by friends, and I still fail at using coupons. I need to try out mobile coupons now that I have a smart phone. Thanks for the tip.
    My recent post Should Americans Be Forced to Save For Retirement?

  4. Laurie says

    Meal planning has been a budget lifesaver for us, allowing us to feed our family of 6 on less than $500 a month. That, and planning for a whole month of meals at a time. That might not work for you, but even if you can commit to going back to weekly planning your budget will thank you. :-)
    My recent post Mom’s Spanish Rice

  5. Sara says

    I can't make myself plan meals each week either…so I've switched to doing it just once a month. I come up with four or five meals for each week, as well as full shopping lists. Then when it comes time to do the shopping, sometimes i'll move stuff around from one week to another. It takes a while at the beginning of the month, but then shopping is so much easier every weekend.

    We don't use food coupons, because we tend to find that they're for processed/junk food. For household supplies though, coupons do save us money, especially because we're not very brand loyal.
    My recent post Health update, February 2013

  6. Lindsay says

    I coupon like a crazy person! My coworkers even bring me their coupons that they don't use and put them in my mailbox. I disagree with Sara above – many coupons are for processed junk, but a lot of them are not. I saved over $7 on ham, pork loin, and bacon right after the New Year with coupons for Smithfield. I regularly get coupons for yogurt, chicken, and pork products. And the obvious coupon savings like deoderant, detergent, shampoo, etc.
    My recent post Reflections

  7. christineslittleblog says

    Meal planning and not eating out was the key to our financial well being while I was unemployed. When we both worked before, we ate out ALL the time, sometimes spending $100/wk. Then we moved and were a single income family for 5 months while I looked for work. Not eating out and making sure not to waste food was the easiest way we cut our spending during those months. Now that I do have a job I'm sure we'll loosen up a little, but since I make about half of what I used to we're not going to go crazy!
    My recent post Goals. Do I Need (or Want) Them?

  8. Brian says

    We have been eating at home more because it is such a pain to eat out with an 8 month old. He is just so busy now (which is great) that eating out just isn't happening, unless of course one of the sets of grandparents takes us out because I NEVER turn down a free meal.

  9. Desi says

    I'm a couponer! I track my savings, and in January, I saved $230.38 on food, and spent less than $150 to feed two twenty-something career girls (and my roommate's two cats.) I only ate out twice. So far in February, I've spent less than $50 and saved $94.25, and don't expect to need much more throughout the month except fresh fruits.

    If you are still looking for a guest poster on it, I'd love to contribute :)
    My recent post I’m moving :)

  10. Jennifer says

    I use coupons. I started in October of 2011. My weekly grocery budget was $40 a week for just me. Then after 6 months of shopping like that and stock piling I dropped my grocery budget to $20a week. I'm moving at the end of the month and for January and this month I've dropped my grocery to $10 a week because I didn't want to move 40 boxes of food. I even gave 20 boxes away as Christmas parents. So I'm just buying fruit and milk. My parents even party me to do their grocery shopping because I save then about 60 to 75% every week

  11. Frugalista Married says

    We have eaten PBJ's all week for dinner! I know. Weird but cheap. We don't eat out a lot for dinner. I'm pretty sure my husband buys lunch a lot but I don't. We rarely buy snacks because once we get them in the house it's hard not to over do it. I am on a constant diet and a constant budget and they actually work pretty well together! Eat less food, spend less money!!
    My recent post Simple Valentine's Day Ideas

  12. Angella says

    Haha this entry is perfectly timed for me. Our food expenses are insane. I use to coupon a lot, but it's changed so much since it became popular. Most coupons are for junk foods too. :/ I really suck at grocery shopping and meal planning. Congrats on the student loan payoff, I'm sure you'll reach your March/April goal! Off to go vote. :)
    My recent post 2013 Budget ; Reduce Expenses Part 1

  13. frugalhabits says

    I don't use coupons a lot either, but I have been loving eBates for saving money when I shop online. Check it out, it's awesome.
    My recent post 5 Ways I save Money Shopping Online + a $500 CASH Giveaway!

  14. kay says

    Isn't eating out the hardest habbit to break?! I think because I look at it as not just food but something to do and look forward to on a Friday night. Good luck! We need to form a support group ;)

  15. brickbybrickinvesting2012 says

    We coupon like crazy, borderline of what you see on the TLC show "Extreme Couponing." When it comes to meal planning we're trying to get better, but all in all we try to only spend money on fresh foods on a weekly basis.
    My recent post How To Sell Options Successfully

  16. studentdebtsurvivor says

    We're trying to be better about meal planning so that we don't eat out as much. So far we're not doing very well. Right now we're saving towards possibly purchasing an investment property. Glad to be co-hosting the giveaway with you.

  17. Pennywise old Bat says

    How do I save on food? I am a 50+ female who shares a home with her best female friend from our university days-she is 50+ as well. (we met via shared classes and both just happened to be looking for new roommates back then/I was a single mom as well and my daughter adored her once they met so I knew it was likely to be a great situation.Long story short ,the roomie situation worked out so well not only in sharing the daily expenses but also creating an amazing close relationship between all 3 of us, that she and I decided we should make it permanent and thus bought a house-that was 20 years ago and my dd is long grown up & on her own. I can't stress how well it has all worked- for both of us our dollars have gone so much further withe sharing the usual living costs and importantly, allowed 2 single females to build excellent personal equity in a house versus the usual condo or such that most single females purchases plus there are 2 sets of hands to maintain all the things necessary around a home). However the savings also extends to common expenses like groceries- we are less likely to eat out as we have a companion in each other to enjoy at mealtimes, secondly because there are 2 for mealtimes it makes cooking of actual meals more enjoyable than grabbing takeout as there is someone to share the meal with(just ask any senior or other single person on their own-mealtimes are the most difficult part of living alone-if there is just you why bother cooking a decent meal and so processed meals , fast foods and the like become the norm-and can blow any grocery budget pretty quick!). We also have found that as the years go by, neither of us is likely to eat as much as we used to so instead of 2 chicken breasts- one for each- we tend to cook one and split it ( this is a bonus as we then tend to not overeat and are less likely to gain unwanted weight/we each get the suggested serving size for an adult female of 3 to 4 oz and reduce the amount of chicken we have to purchase). It is a practice that extends to most of our food purchases from meat to potatoes(ie: back in the day we would buy a 5 lb bag of baking potatoes and would cook one for each of us- now we buy 2 or 3 of the med to lg ,cook one and split it . We also shop now every 3 or 4 days purchasing only enough for next few days rather than the typical North American method of huge once or twice a month grocery shops. The benefits of doing all this are numerous- we no longer over purchase/stockpile food products that end up going to waste such as veggies&fruit, we are less likely to overeat keeping us healthy and by buying only what we need every few days can take advantage of the specials that appear throughout the week which may not be available if we were doing a food shop only once or twice a month hence saving money and finally by shopping every few days we are always assured of having fresh produce,meat,etc meaning little or no processed foods need be in our home once again saving money and keeping us healthy&fit.

  18. steve weber says

    I just started couponing.. it's the best, I save tons of money. also I grocery shop one day a week for the whole week of dinners.

  19. Lena says

    I'm not an extreme couponer but I rarely go shopping without my coupons. We try to eat healthy, and it's not very easy to find coupons for healthy stuff but…they do exist :) We usually save between $50 and $150 a month with coupons. I would love to do a guest post on it :)
    My recent post Not a fun day…

  20. Shovellicious says

    Packing lunch to work :) Anyway, for my boyfriend but when I'll start working I'll do the same. We don't cook anything "special", usually we just make two portions extra for dinner and then pack them for the next day. We cook sometimes something that just can't be put in the microwave (or when it'll be it won't taste so good) so then he buys lunch at work. We do that when we're together but right now I'm in Poland, he stays at home in France and he's just too lazy to cook a dinner for himself so I even don't expect he'll pack anything ;)
    My recent post Puzzles

  21. Lynn says

    I wasn't very good about using coupons but my husband is dedicated. He searches for coupons online and from the mail and we manage to use quite a few every time we shop; I don't think I've paid for cat food in 6 months! As for food, the hubby is a chef so he's in charge of the kitchen and he is very good at incorporating leftovers so we don't throw out much food. I also plant a garden every year and grow veggies, so that's another way of saving money while enjoying working outside.

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