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TODAY’S TASK:

Write down the categories you listed yesterday and decide how much you want to spend in each category next month—based on areas you’ve determined you could cut back in.

After yesterday’s task, you now know how much you’re spending each month on food. Today, let’s look at some ways you can cut down those costs!

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Pack your lunch. Sometimes the most obvious thing is the most effective. Surveys show Americans spend thousands of dollars on lunch every year. You will have so much extra cash in your pocket if you simply pack your lunch!
     
  • Buy generic. A 2014 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that chefs were more likely to buy generic instead of name brand when it comes to food staples.1 Why? They’re part of a business, and they want to save money! Let’s follow their example!
     
  • Always have a list. Never go grocery shopping hungry, and never go without a list. Using a list app can make this super simple! When you’re checking stuff off a list, you’ll spend much less than when you just “wing it” and walk through every aisle. Let your kids pitch in and look for the items—like a scavenger hunt!
     
  • Plan ahead. After a long day at work or with stir-crazy kids, it’s just easier to go through the drive-through and grab something. I get that. But you’d likely save a good bit of money by replacing two of those restaurant trips every week with a simple slow-cooker dinner. They’re relatively cheap, easy to put together, and delicious!

So, now, let’s plan ahead. How much do you want to aim for next month in each food category?

Groceries $__________________
Restaurants $ __________________

Compare those numbers to what you spent last month (totaled in yesterday’s task).

How much extra money did you find? Write down that number next to your total from Day 7 and put it away for later. If you entered a planned amount into EveryDollar yesterday, reduce your planned amount in EveryDollar to reflect your newfound savings for groceries!

Surprised? Could you save even more?