Saving money on food seems like a very individual thing. However, your relationships affect your food purchases more than you might notice at first. If you can improve your relationships as they relate to buying food then saving money on food becomes a lot easier.
Of course, your marriage or primary relationship is a great place to start. However, you might want to take a look at your other relationships as well. Sometimes we spend more money on food when we are out with friends or coworkers than we do if we’re grocery shopping with our families.
Get Clear On What Saving Money on Food Means for You
The biggest mistake that people make in any relationship is the failure to come to the table with clarity. In other words, if you don’t know what you want then you can’t expect others to help you get it. Therefore, you need to get really clear on what saving money on food means for you.
For example, do you want to get the cheapest possible food at all times, whether you’re at a restaurant or in a grocery store? If you budget differently for restaurants and groceries then maybe you’re okay with spending more when you dine out. On the other hand, if you dine out more than you’d like, then maybe that’s something that you need to reconsider.
Saving money on food might mean:
- Planning out all meals, shopping from a list, and never deviating
- Setting a weekly or monthly food budget and sticking to it
- Getting the highest quality food for a fair price
- Comparison shopping to spend the least amount possible for every item that you buy
If you don’t know what your own food goals are then you can’t articulate them to others. Get clear on this first.
Track Your Food Expenses by Relationship
Imagine if you lived alone and only ever bought groceries for yourself. What would your food costs be? Now, think about each of your relationships. How do they shift those food costs? For example, if your partner thinks it’s important to eat dessert every night then maybe you buy more cake mixes than you ever would for yourself. Similarly, if your friends socialize by dining out then maybe more money goes to that than you would like.
Get clear on where your money is going based on the effects of each relationship on your life. You don’t necessarily need to make any changes. At first, it’s all just about awareness. For example, you may realize that you don’t actually enjoy eating dessert every night. You may or may not change the amount of cake mix you buy, but unless you’re aware of this, you’ll never make any shift. Start by getting aware.
Be Open About Your Goals, Reasons, and Concerns
Once you are ready to make some changes, you just have to get over the fear of opening up. It’s important that you come to the table with both honesty and an open mind. If you grocery shop with or for others in the family, then you may not be able to define all of your food spending yourself. However, you can clearly share what you think the ideal choices are. Then, you can listen openly and respectfully while those close to you share their preferences.
The calmer you are, the easier it will be to reach a solution that works for everyone. Saving money on food doesn’t have to be a battle. It can be something you all do together. In fact, you may find that your family members have better solutions that you hadn’t even thought of yet.