Hacking your food budget

By | 20th March 2017

Hacking your food budget for LCOL

Food is usually the third largest regular expense for people, however there are ways to reduce this without having to live solely on rice and beans:

Avoid/reduce restaurants
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional restaurant meal or takeaway, but you are paying a high price for that convenience.

I’ve already talked about how just one coffee a day adds up to £250,000 over 40 years – with restaurant and takeaway food that figure can become much higher without people even realising.

Avoid/reduce prepared products
When shopping, you can actually produce the same thing through preparing it yourself and usually fairly quickly too. Buying the ingredients separately can result in a much lower cost, and also likely a better quality as preservatives won’t be required.

A great example of this, even with simple products, is when I switched from pre-prepared vegetables to home-prepared. I had thought that the pre-prepared products were quite cheap and a good choice, until I bought them separately. Not being sure of weights, I just bought the same amount in money – and instead of one week’s food I ended up with enough for maybe a month! I had big carrier bags of vegetables delivered for the same cost as a few small individual bags.

Add/increase vegetables
Vegetables are cheaper than meat and can be quite nutritious.

For example, broccoli costs around £1.50 per kilo whereas steak costs £20 per kilo. Even though there is 1/4 the protein in broccoli, for the same amount of protein it is 30% of the cost of steak per kilo. Broccoli also has more vitamin C than oranges, and actually 40% of the calcium that milk does by weight.

However, while they have many benefits lots of vegetables aren’t for everyone.

James McBrearty started his own business from scratch in 2006, to help the self-employed.

He helps people to escape from the corporate world and shares his thoughts here on the changing world of work, technology and personal finances; as well as the occasional travel post.

Over the next 10 years things are going to change significantly. James is a follower of frugality and minimalism; and an advocate of F.I.R.E. to minimise the coming disruption.

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