This “ Reduce The Food Budget: Fee A Family For $150 A Month ” post describes what my wife and I do that allows us to feed our family for just $150 per month. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy

If you reached this part of my post, you either are wondering how my family lives off $150 or less for food per month. Or you are looking at slashing your food budget but can’t seem to figure out how. Or maybe something in between.

Before I go on discussing how my family is able to live off $150 or less per month on food, I have to tell you first how far we (i.e. referring to me, my wife, and I) have gone to reduce the food budget.

Two years ago, our average food budget per month hovered around $300 primarily due to my daughter’s food (i.e. formula and baby food). A year ago, we were fortunate to bring down our food budget to $200. These past couple of months we’ve been able to spend around $150 or less for food.

Truth of the matter is, when we thought we couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to reduce the food budget, we somehow were able to reduce it. Over the past couple of months or years, we have been experimenting and exploring ways to reduce the food budget. Of course, with experimentation and exploration, we sometimes end up spending more. But most of the time, we do save some money.

Watch: How We Paid Off Our $40K Debt And Saved $75K At The Same Time In 2.5 Years

Reduce The Food Budget: Feed A Family For $150 A Month

There are a ton of tricks on how to reduce the food budget. What my family does may or may not work for you but that’s ok. Each family has its own needs and I completely understand if you don’t agree with my tips and tricks here. But anyways, here are the steps that my family does to reduce our food cost per month.

Just a side note, my family eats good food…well, great food I should say even when we are on a tight budget.

Shop around sales

We buy what is on sale. With so many recipes online and so many grocery stores that advertise sales every week, chances are you can find something that you like to eat. I know we do. If the product is on deep discount, then, we tend to buy in bulk as long as the product is non-perishable or something that don’t expire fast.

Read: One Trick That Saves My Family $250/Month on Groceries

Plan and execute weekly meals

 

Before we do our grocery shopping, we make sure that we plan our meals for the upcoming week based on the weekly sales. There a ton of websites that publish weekly sales ads even before the stores publish them. One of my most favorite sites for weekly sales ad information is Living Rich With Coupons. I know there are a ton out there but this is always my first stop before we do our grocery shopping.

If you ever go to a grocery store without a plan or even a list, what do you think happens? You may either end up not buying the things you need, buying more than what you need, or a combination of both. When you plan your meals and know exactly what you need, you reduce the chance of buying or spending more.

Read: 5 Sites To Make More Money Through Shopping

Don’t make meals that are just too complicated

When I say complicated I mean meals that have a long list of ingredients. As much as possible, stick with the basic ingredients since you can use these for other dishes. Basic ingredients are those that you use a lot of times. If you need ¼ cup of tomato sauce and bought a 1 cup tomato sauce and don’t know where to use the rest, you may end up putting it to waste. Not good at all.

There are a ton of great recipes that mostly use basic ingredients. You can always go to All Recipes, Pinterest, and Yummly for some great dishes.

Read: 10 Healthiest Foods For Tight Budget

Learn the prices of the products

Prices of grocery products may or will change from time to time. For us, when we know that the prices are high even when the products are on sale, we don’t put those products in our cart. It’s just that simple. When you do your grocery shopping and you buy the same exact stuff almost all the time, you get to know how much they cost and when they are priced high or low.

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Use coupons

Even when the products are on sale, we avoid buying impulsively. We tend not to buy items when we don’t have coupons for them. Just because a product is on sale doesn’t mean that it’s a good buy. What I observed from years of couponing is that sometimes some stores will bring up the prices of the products before discounting them. Many shoppers, being unaware of this trick, think that they are getting good deals out of these products.

My wife and I always wait when there the products are on sale and when we have coupons for them. If we miss the sale, we know that there’s another sale that will come in the near future. So, we wait until the sale comes around and we have coupons for those products we like to purchase.

Some stores will double your coupons’ value. When the products are on sale and you have coupons that can be doubled, then, you are looking at great savings.

 

Read: Is Blogging For You? The Truths About Blogging

Avoid loading your dish with meat

Meat can be or are expensive. When you cook, try not to make the meat as your main ingredient of your dish. Use less meat in a dish. This goes to say that you should use more vegetables and less meat. When you do this, you make the meat as an accent to your dish. Vegetables especially the in-season ones are really cheap and they are healthy, too.

For vegetables and fruits, we always buy in-season veggies and fruits since they are cheaper. I suggest that you consider buy in-season products.

Read: Income Reports: How I Made Over $30,000 In A Year From Blogging

Re-invent and use leftovers

As much as we want to eat everything that my wife cooks, we just end up with leftovers. We sometimes intentionally do this because it’s much cheaper, more convenient, and easier to cook more than less.

When we have leftovers, we either re-invent them to create a new dish and/or use them as my lunch for the next day. For example, when we have baked chicken leftover, we create chicken pot pie using such leftover. Good for me because I get to the chicken pot pie to work as lunch. Or just take the baked chicken for my lunch and I’m still ok with it.

Here are some of recipes that my family loves to make from time to time. Of course, we tweak some of the recipes to allow us to use ingredients that cost even less than those notated in the recipes.

Read:

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28 thoughts on “Reduce The Food Budget: Feed A Family For $150 A Month”

  1. Great post! I recently adopted a similar approach to treat meat as a garnish and I can’t tell you how much my wallet has thanked me. Not only am I eating healthier, but I’m also feeling less bogged down after meals.

    Thanks for sharing these tips! We recently went through a revamp of our own grocery budget and have successfully cut it in half, all while feeling better about the food we make. We even enjoy the food we eat now more than before, although it might involve a bit more cooking effort. If you add the time spent waiting at restaurants, then I still think we’re coming out ahead in terms of saving time and money.

    1. Meat was like the biggest chunk of our budget. So, we decided to view meat as accent not the main ingredient. Boom.. our grocery bills drastically reduced. Plus, we feel better now because we eat a lot of veggies and fruits.

  2. Allan – Amen to the overly complicated meals! My wife and I saw that we were doing that and we would end up throwing a lot of food away. This was a drag on our finances and it’s not very friendly to the environment.

    I am a big fan of 5 ingredient dump meals. You get five basic ingredients and dump them on a slow cooker before work. Boom. Cheap dinner. As a bonus you can freeze them before hand to save time in the morning.

    1. Yes, I like those 5 ingredient meals. We always do those with our best friend crockpot.

  3. A little bit of math tells that for two people you average about 83 cents per person per meal each month. Include your daughter in the math and that’s closer to 65 cents a serving. All I can say is ‘wow!’ It would be wonderful if you could share a typical shopping list, I have a lot to learn!

    1. Give and take, yes, you are right. The truth is if we want to go a little bit more frugal we would be able to do it because some of the dishes that we are familiar with (i.e. Asian dishes) cost a little to make. But of course, my daughter’s palate is different that my wife and I’s palates.

  4. As our boys have entered their teenage years, we’re finding it hard to keep to our food budget. They never stop eating.

    But I guess it’s only natural being teenagers who also competitively swim for 2 hours every day.

    1. Yes. I remember those days when I would consume a ton of food after doing some swimming. Yes, it’s natural especially for boys.

    1. Thanks. They are simple tips but they really help or helped us reduce our grocery bill.

  5. This is really helpful–especially all the links and resources at the end! Definitely going to check out some of those recipes before my next grocery trip. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for saying that. Yes, those recipes at the end are our cheat sheet (most of the time) when we do our grocery list.

  6. $150 is amazing, Allan! Not making complicated recipes is great advice. Our meals are very simple at my house, but we make sure to keep a good supply of herbs and spices to make it taste great. The thing we really need to work on is limiting the amount of meat we eat as I think we could reduce our grocery spending further.

    1. Herbs and spices are necessities in our kitchen since they can be used for a lot of dishes or just about any dishes. Yes, meat are expensive and we decided to use it as accent not the main ingredient in a dish.

    1. Oh, I love Aldi. It’s not a big store but I get just about everything I need from that store.

  7. Cutting back on meat was by far the most money saving tip I ever heard. I didn’t believe it, but it was true! Thanks for sharing all of these awesome tips!

    1. Oh yes. I forgot about that. We do replant some veggies and let them grow. Cost us nothing to do it.

    1. That’s right. Spices are necessity in our kitchen. Everything becomes tasty with spices.

  8. Wow! I have been trying to reduce my food costs since like ages with no progress. I am a mood eater and that’s probably why all my efforts go into the trash. any tips on how to control yourself from spending on extremely expensive food?

    1. I would suggest to find alternatives to those expensive food. For example, if you are wanting salmon but it’s expensive, try to find other fish that has the same or close to salmon in terms of nutritional value, taste, or whatever it is that you like about salmon.

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