The Food Bill: Can You Hack It?

MP Dunleavey

How much do I hate my grocery bill? Enough that I’m constantly reading cost-cutting tips. It’s my hobby (and cheaper than quilting or golf).

My fave find this week: Frugalhacks! Here are two tips, run through my own “would I really do this?” filter:

Tip #1: Cultivate new kitchen skills! Make bread, yogurt, grow your own herbs, roll your own tortillas.

Really? Okay, I am not rolling tortillas. But what really works for my family is trying new recipes. We find that we cook more meals from scratch when a little adventure is involved. Big savings there.

Tip #2: Calculate the actual cost of your mainstay meals (use Life In a Shoe’s Menu Math to help), using the cost-per-ounce of each ingredient.

Really? Hmmm. Intriguing but time-consuming. Still, the concept did inspire me to ballpark our total monthly meal costs. Given that dinner is about $10 for three of us, and breakfast and lunch together cost another $10, that’s $20 a day, or about $600 per month.

Depressing? No! The ballpark of $20 per day makes me realize we could probably shave it down to $15—or $450 per month. Running numbers is always inspiring.

Eat it up. Share your freshest food budgeting trick or fave blog. Please.