We talk a lot about how to save money on groceries on this blog through the use of coupons and other means. That is because when people look at their budgets, food is one area that is not a fixed costs and can be manipulated to save money. The key is to learn how to save the money without giving up the quality of food.
A question that we have never asked is whether food is a major cause of people’s lack of saving money in the first place? According to Aaron Patzer, the founder of Mint.com, the reason that many people in their 20s and 30s have a major savings problem is due to the cost of socially going out — dinners at restaurants, drinks with friends and the daily coffee at the local coffee shop. Basically, the way that they consume food and drinks is what causes them not to be able to save money.
What do you think? Is the way that we eat and spend on food the primary reason that we don’t save money when we first get out on our own?
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I think social food purchases–like lunches and dinners out, going out for drinks (though calling cocktails “food” is a little much!), etc. is a big reason Americans don’t save money. However, I don’t think Americans would necessarily go out to eat so much if more people knew how to cook! Americans eat so much froze, prepackaged food these days that it’s no wonder people eat at restaurants so much–how many Healthy Choice meals can you eat in a row?
At the same time, I think it’s important to remember that the average American of 30 to 40 years ago spent a significantly larger percentage of their expendable income on groceries than we do today, thanks to factory farming and the industrial food industry. That’s one area where cutting costs is definitely NOT a good thing!