Easy Budget Savings Tips To Eating at Home -2024

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Don’t waste your money on a fancy restaurant! Save money by eating at home.  People who cook at home more often, rather than eating out, tend to have healthier overall diets without higher food expenses. 

Easy Budget Savings Tips To Eating at Home -2024

You don’t need a food course to know that eating at home will save you more money each month. How many of you have a kitchen full of gadgets you have never used? In order to unlock savings at the grocery store, we need to demystify the art of frugal cooking. Let’s start by pulling out your favorite frugal recipes and head to the kitchen. 

We will dive into a frugal conversation on purchasing groceries at the store versus eating out at a restaurant. Eating well at home is important.

Did you know that the average American family eats out 3 times a week spending between $225-$400 weekly on restaurant food?  Are you thinking there’s no way you could spend that much?

Did you know for restaurants to make a profit, they must charge about a 300% markup on the items they serve? You’re paying for service and convenience. You could often make a $15 meal in a restaurant for $5 at home (average cost).

Those small expenses can add up when it comes to eating out at restaurants. We don’t need to eliminate going out to eat, we just need to scale it back some and use it as a once-in-a-while “treat”.

Eating at Home is just Healthier

When a family eats at home, they not only pay less than what they would pay at restaurants. Also, the food you purchase at the grocery store will often be of better quality at a better price. Restaurants often buy in bulk to keep pricing low.

When you choose to eat at home and prepare your meals, you have control over the ingredients.  This provides the opportunity to select foods that lead to good health. However, you also have the same control over purchasing processed foods that are faster and easier to dish up.

These choices can lead to health problems. Eat at home to me means cooking from scratch.

meals portioned out in to mason jars

How To Save Money By Eating At Home

A common question searched on the internet is, “eating out a waste of money?” this proves many are on the hunt to learn more. And the answer is; Yes, it costs a lot more to eat out. Seems like common sense. But convenience often wins in busy lives.

But I am here to tell you -you can create meal ideas that fit your family’s needs with a few small changes.

Create a menu for the week

It is a good idea to schedule a day and time for writing out a weekly menu plan.  Not only does menu planning save you extra time, but it can save you more money off your grocery bill. Planning your meals each week based on your grocery store’s sales flyer will help cut down on costs.

Menu planning doesn’t have to take hours, especially if you are a working mom. We understand, and we have good news to share with you. There are some great apps that can help along the way. You can view that article here. If you are a pen-to-paper kind of person (like I am), you can print up our Weekly-Meal-Planner printable.

At first, it may be hard to think of meal ideas, but as a beginner, I would start with a theme, such as Meatless Meals on Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Slow Cooker Wednesdays etc.

Want to learn more about menu planning?

See some of our favorite menu planning articles. They provide you with the best ways to reduce your grocery budget while providing delicious meals at home. Meal planning also reduces food waste and reduces the number of shopping trips to your local grocery store.

An Intro to Menu Planning 101

Ready to Try Menu Planning

Menu Planning Apps & Tools

From Planning A Menu To Food On The Table, Bringing It All Together

Prep Healthy Lunches.  Prep all your lunches the night before.  If you know that you aren’t going to have the time to do it the night before, set a time a few days in advance. There is no wrong way to prepare. I have friends who meal prep on Sunday for the entire week. Another great idea!

Declutter where your family dines. Don’t let your dining room table become the catch-all area for bills, books, or other items.

Make it a cozy dining place, make a centerpiece, and decorate it with fun or colorful placemats. Eating as a family is a huge plus. For us, it is the hub of conversation and catching up on our day.

Try New Recipes. Each month on my menu plan. I generally pick two meals that are new to us. If we like them, we get a new meal to add to the menu. Don’t be afraid to cook for picky eaters. You may find something new that they like.

Jen Schreiner of Inspiring Savings provides great meal ideas and practical ways to save money.

Tips For Saving Money at The Grocery Store

  • Read the sales ads before, and stick to buying what’s on sale. There is no need to pay full price for anything, including fresh produce.
  • Write your grocery list beforehand based on: (1) What’s in your cabinets? (2) Meals you plan to make food that you know your family will eat
  • Don’t get distracted by the great marketing displays. A good deal of marketing encourages us to purchase items we don’t necessarily need.
  • Check out the store’s online coupons. It is a great way to save a lot of money by using available coupons.
  • Go to the cheapest grocery store in your area (Aldi, Farmers Market, or International Grocer). The average shopper, typically shops once a week and at one store.
  • If you have time, go to multiple stores and just shop the sales ad at each. Watch this video on loss leaders and how they can save you money.

Tips for Eating Out

Eat at a restaurant that takes coupons. Entertainment Books feature two-for-one dining specials at many sit-down restaurants. Similar coupons can be found in the telephone’s yellow pages and newspapers’ entertainment section. 

You may want to plan your dining based on the array of available coupons. Believe me, there are lots of choices based on coupons. Eat at restaurants that offer frequent dinner discounts. We like to choose a place where kids can eat for free and I love using money-saving apps.

Eat at less costly restaurants. Save the fine dining restaurants for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. Head to the family restaurants that often feature children’s menus or mid-priced meals.

Eating out can be enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about the expense. We all need a break at times from the kitchen.

Other Family Frugal Articles

10 Grocery Items You Never Knew You Could Freeze

6 Food Purchases That Kill Your Budget

The Benefits of Home Canning your Own Food

How to stop eating out to save more money - pictured woman and daughter cooking a meal at home

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19 Comments

  1. I have done this in the past three months as part of a lifestyle change and lost some weight. It also saves money on eating out.

  2. The past few months, I’ve limited myself to only eating out once a month maximum. I feel so much better cooking at home, and my wallet is thanking me, too!

  3. We only eat out when there are special occasions to celebrate. My family loves good, home cooked meals that I prepare for them. Cooking at home is more economical so that equates to more savings!

  4. I’m always making meals at home. I love to cook so I prefer to make my own meals because I know whats going in it. It’s also great way to save money and get more bang for your buck!

  5. Excellent article, and yes, I agree. Eating at home is healthier and can be just as tasty. I do find planning is essential. I need to take out recipes and make a list before shopping, otherwise, we end up buying and eating the same foods week in week out.

  6. Ha! LET ME TELL MY HUSBAND THIS. Oh wait, I have 1048347932 times – hahahah! He HATES eating at home. HATES IT. I love it and make sure I do, and let him just do whatever he wants, LOL!

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