How I cut down on food spending?

I have an income and expenses excel spreadsheet which I created from scratch and have been using it since 2005 (more than 10 years!).  The spreadsheet is very simple which consists of all my income stream and out flow of expenses.

There aren’t that many income stream, specifically, the employment income which I received from my 9-5 9 job, (minimal) interest from bank deposits, winnings from mahjong (if I am lucky that month), credit card rebates.  Then there is the expenses which I categorised into the following:

  • Fixed expenses such as insurance, income tax, household maintenance to my parents, insurance, car;
  • Food;
  • Household expenses such as toiletries, water and gas, town council, cables;
  • Clothings;
  • Travelling;
  • Gifts and other miscellaneous.

I read that in order to increase your savings, the easiest way is to cut down on spending (since my income level will not increase as fast as I want to).  Firstly, I identified “Food” and “Clothings” to ‘work’ on.  Secondly, I set a budget for each category (Food – $300 per month; Clothings – $100 per month).

Let’s talk about my food expenses. In 2013, my food expenses averaged at $450 per month. In 2014, it reduced to $400 per month and last year, it was $350.  In 2013, I felt that I am spending a bit too much on food.  I would go to restaurants or cafes with colleagues during lunch or birthday treats and sometimes we ordered so much that we couldn’t finished the food.  This always gets into my nerves as I hate to waste food.  So I decided to cut down on going to such places.  Last year, I came up with a better system i.e. to limit myself to $10 per day for food and visit a restaurant with my husband once a month.  I make it known to my friends around me so that I don’t have to explain myself if I turn down invitations to places which will blow my $10 budget.  I try to stick to this but once in a while, I still give myself a treat.

Do note that my budget for myself only. I also record my expenses in a notebook and update it into the excel spreadsheet on a weekly basis. 

So the above is how I cut down my food expenses. I hope it is helpful if you are finding ways to save/ reduce your expenses.

Have a good weekend!