Today, I read a government report stating "a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising that child through age 17." Housing was the biggest expense followed by food. Why they stopped at 17, I don't know...the child is still in high school at that age and the parents are still looking at college tuition! With that kind of expense looming, how can you cut costs? As soon as someone brings up the topic of saving money, you know the "B" word is not far behind - budget. OK, I said it! And the first step in creating a budget is finding out where the money is going now. So, for one month, collect all of your receipts from all of your meals. Even two weeks worth of receipts will be revealing. Not only will you find out how much money you are spending on food, you will also discover where you are spending your money.
Don't believe what I say about which food is cheaper, your receipts will tell the story. A part of this exercise is to not only look at the total bill, but also what VALUE you gained. What did you get for that $30 at the drive through - 1 meal for 3 people? What about the $30 at the grocery store - probably2 or 3 meals for 3 people. Once you know where you are spending your money, you can make changes that will affect your "bottom line." My first suggestion is to start cooking at home. I know, you..."don't have time", but "convenience foods" are ultimately not doing you or your family any favors. We all know that fast food is not cheap, it's not slimming, and it's not healthy, it's just fast, fried fat. Cooking at home with your family increases your "quality time" together. Perfume your home with aromas from the kitchen. Isn't that what makes a "house", a "home"? You can also control what you eat, and that is who we are, right?