If you’ve ever taken stock of your finances and decided that you are simply spending too much money in general, one of the first things to face the axe is often the food bill (for larger scale financial advice, see Creditfix.co.uk). After all, eating three or four times per day is an expensive hobby to keep up, and one that can easily be reimagined into a more financially sound investment with a little help. The problem is, few of us – if any – are stress-free, and cheese is one of the few rewards we get in life to make things more bearable. The same goes for wine. And spare ribs. Maybe a curry. And popcorn. Completely cutting out these comfort foods is unrealistic. What’re you going to do after a long, hellish week at work? Go home on a Friday to a nice glass of tap water and a nibble on a reduced-fat carrot stick? We’re clearly in need of a better plan…
The money minute
You need the money minute in your life. There are 24 hours in a day. Each hour contains 60 minutes. That means that each of us has 1,440 minutes per day to get things done. Granted, roughly 8 hours (or 480 minutes) of that time is spent asleep. OK. Let’s knock our total down to 960 minutes of lucidity. Now let’s take that down by just one more to 959 minutes, because that’s all we’re asking for the money minute – you can achieve a lot in 60 dedicated seconds. Simply plan the day in terms of the foody expenses you expect. Look at your account balance. Calculate what it should be by the end of the day. Job done. Sticking to your money minute goal is going to help you to avoid a self-imposed guilt trip when you spend too much on snacks.
The money week
This technique is a great way to avoid overspending on your daily grub and bits like magazines or pricey barista coffees. This is your opportunity to track your food expenditure for one week. The best advice is to realise what you’ve spent, make the necessary changes and cut out the sugary or fatty foods that you really don’t need. Then make a shopping list that still contains treats but doesn’t blow holes in your pocket money.
Buy in bulk wherever possible
Obviously, buying perishable goods like fruit and bread in bulk is a terrible idea. It will either see you eat your weight in banana sandwiches to avoid any wastage, or see your pantry of fresh foods rot away to dust. But not all food is perishable. Some foods, like pasta, cereal, tinned foods, and frozen foods, can be purchased in bulk for huge savings and stored for weeks or even months.Love Lilla xx