9 Ways to Save Money on Your Food

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Do you eat to live, or live to eat? It work both ways… Bottom line we gotta eat. But how to satisfy the hunger without starving your wallet. How much do you spend for food? and food for your household? RM500? RM900 or RM1,600… It will definitely depends on our income and budget, and the size of the family you are feeding. According to my wife (who’s the family account), we (5 of us + the maid) spend about $1,000 per month on food. The food include groceries and dining out. Of course once in a while we need to dine out to fulfill our extraordinary appetite πŸ™‚


But do we realize that many of us blow our budgets further on restaurant meals. That’s so true. One would be broke at the middle of the month if they frequented dine out. Few days ago, I read an article on the featured section in Yahoo.com. They’ve listed 9 ways to save money on food, whether you’re eating in or out.

1. Learn to Cook

Eating out is a huge budget buster. Even seemingly inexpensive fast food can add up quickly. Cooking your own meals could save you a small fortune on restaurants and groceries (you’ll buy fewer pricey frozen and prepared meals). Plus, you could make dating cheaper — who wouldn’t be impressed by a cozy dinner? Scour the Web for simple recipes to get your feet wet, or check out beginner cook books at your local bookstore.

2. Take Fewer Trips to the Grocery Store

Making bigger shopping trips less often will cut down on your impulse buys. In fact, almost half of all shoppers go to the store three or four times per week. Shoppers making a “quick trip” to the store usually purchase 54% more than they planned, according to a study published by the Marketing Science Institute.

If you go to the store three times a week and spend RM10 on impulse buys each trip, that adds up to RM120 extra per month. But if you go only once a week, you’ll spend RM40 per month on impulse buys. That saves you RM80 per month, or RM960 per year. (Impulse buy is something that you don’t plan to buy, but you saw it in the store and decided to buy it).

3. Break your Restaurant Routine

This may seem obvious, but we are creatures of habit and convenience. Make an effort to cut back a little, such as dining out once a week instead of three nights a week. With RM20 meals, this simple act will trim your expenses by RM160 a month.

4. Bring Your Lunch to Work

Spending just RM6 a day on a home-made lunch versus RM10 a day on the mixed rice shop next to the office will save you about RM80 a month and RM960 each year.

5. Grocery Shop With Focus

Another way to cut down on impulse buys is to shop with a list. Sketch out the week’s meals and jot down the ingredients you’ll need. Remember to factor in treats, snacks and lunches. Then stick to the list. You might find it helpful to leave the kids at home so you’re not tempted to give into pressure from crying children for an extra treat or toy that isn’t on your list.

6. Buy Generic

You can almost always save money by choosing a no-name brand instead of a brand name. And you usually won’t sacrifice much in quality on many items, from cereal to canned goods and frozen vegetables. Also, the savings on generic baby formula and prescription drugs can be huge. You could save a few cents to a couple of Malaysia Ringgit per item. And that adds up quickly each month.

7. Make Your Own Latte

That daily RM1 cup of coffee is costing you RM30 per month — or more than RM360 per year. Invest in a good-quality coffee 3 in 1 packet (Super brand for instance) and make your own brew for much less. Or kick the caffeine habit altogether and enjoy the health benefits along with the financial.

8. Time Your Meal

No, eating quickly won’t make the bill smaller. Rather, consider eating out for lunch instead of dinner. That way, you can get lunch-menu prices for dinner-quality entrees.

9. Mind the Unit Price

Many grocery store tags will tell you how much an item costs per ounce, per kg or by some other unit of measure. Comparison-shop by unit price and save. I always buy Twiesties Tomato flavour on my way back home from work in a Shell or Petronas which cost me RM1.80. I should have bought them in Tesco or Giant or Econsave where it cost between RM1.30 to 1.40 per pack πŸ˜‰

With reference from Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc.

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27 Responses

  1. KNizam says:

    saya kalau egi carrefour. harus round semua rak2 tuh nak beli apa2. heheheh takde planning langsung. selalu ended up beli mende2 yang tak patut. hehe. lepas tuh menyesal. hehe πŸ™‚

  2. zaki says:


    Itulah kena buat list…kalau tak hancur budget ko nanti…
    My suggestion, don’t go through all the racks next time you go shopping…

  3. am says:

    well caya atau tak… am still bawak bekal pi ofis… so boleh bajet.. kat ofis ada pantry.. we have club.. daily ada roti.. ofis pulak sediakan teh kopi, biskot dan segala macam yang lengkap cam kat dapur.. so pagi am biasa minum kat cafe.. tengah ari makan bekal.. petang minum kat pantry.. save gile..

  4. shaz says:

    i love doing groceries!sebab tu la kadang2 terbeli brg2 yg sbnrnye tak perlu pun..but i love my mom’s way in doing her groceries..always prepared with her list..lagipun cara tu lg senang..sampai giant tros pergi kat rak brg2 tu..masa pun jimat..:-)

  5. zaki says:

    @ Am,

    Wow, that’s really good. You can save cost and at the same time eat healthy food – less oil. Well done. I’m going to practice the same too.

    @ Shaz,

    Yes, that’s the way to do grocery shopping. We must have a list so we’ll stick to what we need to by, and not we desire to buy. By the way, we cannot restrict ourself on not buying impulse stuff…It depends on our budget…and remember…if possible do not use credit card if you cannot pay them soon… πŸ˜‰

  6. Syam says:

    duit memang jimat, tapi kalau boros bebelanja tak guna jgk..yela..masuk supermarket rambang mata nak beli semua benda..

  7. azwanhadzree says:

    puasa aje bang, sure save alot. btw, ur pingbacks are sorted nicely after all the comments. using plugin or you change ur comment php?

  8. zaki says:

    @ Azwan,

    Fasting can save money, off course. But how frequent you want to fast? At least twice a week is considered good enough. Then what about your spouse or kids? Are they going to fast as well. Fasting is practical in certain aspects… πŸ˜‰

    I never do anything to the pingbacks. It’s natural… πŸ™‚

  9. afham says:

    one way .. minum air paip je.. πŸ˜€
    saving sket..

  10. zaki says:

    @ Afham,

    Budget tahap malampau tu. Kalau hidup bujang ok lah. Tapi kalau ada anak, takkan belasah air paip je ko πŸ˜‰

  11. titan says:

    masa kat kolej dulu. budget duit sebulan untuk makan je dah lari sana sini. BIasanya RM50 sebulan plus dengan kawan 6 orang. Tapi itu makan kat rumah je. Kalau makan kat luar..itu dah lebih RM200++

    naik gila gak kalau pikir..nasib tiap2 bulan duit topup..

  12. zaki says:

    @ titan,

    He he…itu time bujang…Kalau dah kawen…lagi pening kapala…dah ada anak, lagi pening…

    Takpe, dengan budget yang betul, perancangan yang bijak, semua tu dapat di atasi…

  13. titan says:

    kalau dah kawin. aku rasa botak kepala aku nanti. nasib lum lagi. tu pasal kompul duit dulu skrg. hoho..

    yap. budget kene betul dan perancangan yg bijak.

  14. zaki says:

    @ Titan,

    hmmm…some tips…

    Get a very rich wife. Then you won’t be bald… he he πŸ™‚

  15. topo says:

    another way to save money on food…
    ask your friend to “belanja” you makan… hohohoh

  16. zaki says:

    @ Topo,

    Yes, that’s very true. Get a kind good rich friend, preferably female (if you’re a male), then ask her to treat you πŸ˜‰ .

    Do the same if you’re female, i mean do the opposite…

  17. topo says:

    but then… we also need to ‘belanja’ them later on… this a normal life cycle…hoho

  18. azwanhadzree says:

    nowadays, when it comes to food, i dont hv a budget limit. i do hv limits for other kind of spending, tapi makan .. takkan nak control πŸ™‚

    puasa tu … masa study dulu aje

    regarding the pigbacks .. i think i need to modify my php to make it same like that.

  19. titan says:

    haa?? get a rich wife? Damm..thats what i’m looking for since 4 years ago. Why i can’t find it??

  20. zaki says:

    @ Topo,

    Ye ye….correct. Takkan nak pow member je kan πŸ˜‰

    @ Azwan,

    some people who have the fire power… ops…financial power…like you, don’t have to restrict their desire on foods…some people have to budget/plan…their spending

    @ Titan,

    Try search that rich girl in google search engine πŸ˜‰

  21. topo says:

    get a rich wife??? hohoho yeah rich wife comes with high “mas kahwin”… after married definitely banyak duit kene save sbab nak bayar hutang kawin….hohohoho

  22. titan says:

    hehe. selalu aku cari kat google. tak jumpa. malam nih aku cari kat yahoo dengan msn plak..

  23. syia says:

    uiks.. syia paling malas nak masak2 ni.. tapi sejak jumpe Brahim..dah rajin wahhaa

  24. catzer says:

    I already cut my spent on coffee and also some junk food, make sure eat more fruit and vegetable. Thanks for the tips and hope i also can budget my pet food soon.

  25. Jomtonton says:

    Masak sendiri dan bawak bekal ke tempat kerja memang betul2 dapat jimatkan kos..
    Tak pandai masak, kena cuba jugak masak.. Hahaha.. practice makes perfect
    Memang betul kadang2 bz sampai tak sempat nak msk, boleh masak waktu hujung miggu je
    Kalau tak, tengah bulan duit dah mula kering πŸ™‚

  1. March 5, 2008

    […] Ways to Save Money on Your Food Posted in March 5th, 2008 by in free medical consent forms zaki has something worth reading today (9 Ways to Save Money on Your Food)Here’s a brief bit, but […]

  2. March 5, 2008

    […] zaki added an interesting post today (9 Ways to Save Money on Your Food).Here’s a little bit of it:Spending just $2 a day on a home-made lunch versus $6 a day on the mixed rice shop next to the office will save you about $80 a month and $960 each year. 5. Grocery Shop With Focus. Another way to cut down on impulse buys is to shop … […]

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