Personal Finance

How to Slash Your Food Bill in Half (AND Support Good Health)

Expertise: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Landlording & Rental Properties
55 Articles Written
woman hand hold supermarket shopping cart with abstract blur organic fresh fruits and vegetable on shelves in grocery store unfocused background

Behind housing and transportation, food is an American’s third largest expense at 12 percent of overall spending. In other words, a person who makes about $50,000 per year will spend approximately $6,000 on food.

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This number will vary based on the amount of people you are supporting. But for the average, single American, let’s assume $6,000 per year, or $500 per month.

This article is going to show you a way to slash that in half. Yes, $3,000 per year, $250 per month, $8 per day, or $2.67 per meal—all while eating healthy!

Although this article has been crafted with the 20-something-year-old American in mind, I believe that anyone in pursuit of financial independence, regardless of their familial status, can benefit from a few of the tips in this post.

Eating In vs. Eating Out

The single most important thing you can do to reduce your food bill is to reduce the amount of times you go out to eat. Studies show that 72 percent of Americans visit a quick-service restaurant for lunch. We need to drastically reduce this number, not only for financial but also for health reasons.

First, let’s tackle the health reasons. Because without your health, you have nothing.

Health

A study by WebMD shows that people who eat home-cooked meals are less likely to be overweight since home-cooked meals tend to consist of less fried food, processed sugars, soda, and trans fats.

When you go out to eat, you often do not know what is in the food that is prepared for you. The probability is high that a part of that meal is killing you slowly—the salt and sugar in that special sauce, the carb-heavy bread, the cheese drowning in fat, the questionably cooked meat, etc.

Not only is the food consumed not as healthy for you, but you also end up eating more of it. Studies show that eating out has led to at least a 50 percent increase in calorie, sodium, and total fat intake.

Think back to your personal experience. How often do you finish your entire plate when going to a restaurant to get your money’s worth? Whereas at home, you might throw any leftover food into a container to save for later.

At a restaurant, taking things to go can be a bit of an inconvenience. You may not want to use an environmentally-unfriendly styrofoam to-go box and carry the food around with you until you return home. That is—if you remember to take the food from the restaurant table.

Group of friends talking and having fun at dinner party.

Related: The Foolproof Monthly Budget: How to Save Up Money to Buy Investment Properties

Financial Benefits

Now let’s get into the financial benefits. The rule of thumb in the restaurant industry is that the price of the meal will be three times the cost of the food. Right there, you are already spending at least three times as much as if you were to eat at home. Oftentimes, it’s much more.

I recently went out to eat with a friend. We ordered a salad, with the ingredients being lettuce, carrots, chicken, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a few other vegetables. The total cost? Seventeen dollars after tax and tip!

Let’s compare this against the price* it would cost me to make this exact salad at home without the 20 percent-plus tip and tax premium.

  1. A quarter of a pound of chicken at $3.18 per pound – $0.80
  2. Half an avocado at $1.25 each – $0.75
  3. A quarter of a cucumber at $1 each – $0.25
  4. Half a tomato at $1 each – $0.50
  5. A handful of shredded carrots – $0.40
  6. A quarter of a head of lettuce at $1 – $0.25
  7. Balsamic vinaigrette dressing – $0.10

*Prices are based on U.S. averages

When you add all of these ingredients up, you get about $3.05 to make the salad. In this scenario, I need to pay over 5x the price to get the same exact meal.

Is the restaurant’s salad 5x better than mine? Certainly not. In this instance, eating that same exact meal at home would give me a 500 percent after-tax return through savings. Not bad, huh?

Just to be clear, I am not telling you to never go out to eat. Eating out occasionally is fine. Live your life. Be social.

I just want you to be mindful of the impact restaurants have on both your health and your wealth, such that going out to eat is a secondary choice.

Now that we know the superior way to eat is by cooking yourself, let’s take it a step further.

How to Save on Groceries

Erin Chase from $5 Dinners is the expert on grocery savings. Check out her site or BiggerPockets Money Podcast Episode #3 to learn a whole lot more. I can give you the premise, though.

There are three opportunities for you to save: before you go shopping, while you are in the store, and after you get out. Let’s tackle these together.

Before You Go in the Store

Think of grocery shopping like a football game. You’ve got to prepare in order to win the game. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So, how do you prepare? 

It takes about 10 minutes.

Download your grocery store mobile app and see what is for sale this week. Yes, it changes every week. Once you know what foods are at the best price, cater your weekly meal plan around these ingredients.

For example, if chicken is for sale this week, purchase ingredients to make three or four different chicken-based meals. Or if you are OK with eating the same thing all week, then just buy the least expensive ingredients to make your meals.

In the Store

You are well-prepared, you know what you need, and now it’s game time. Since this is where you actually spend your money, this is where you are the most vulnerable.

The grocery stores don’t help. Ever notice how they make you walk past almost every single non-essential item before getting to the milk and eggs in the back corner of the store? The grocery store has a potent offense, but you’ve got an impenetrable defense.

To combat the grocery store’s high-powered offense, one of my favorite Mr. Money Mustache articles, “Shopping With Your Middle Finger,” should help. (But keep the gestures to yourself or you may get kicked out.)

In your head, as you walk toward the milk, flip off and secretly say “F&*^ you, [insert grocery product here].” This is oddly satisfying. Give it a try.



Related: 5 Frugality Myths Americans Believe That Would Make Ben Franklin Cry

After You Are Out of the Store

Game over! After a hard-fought battle, I hope that you have come out victorious by successfully completing steps one and two, developing a grocery shopping plan and sticking to it by only grabbing what you need from the store.

After exiting the grocery store, there are a few apps that allow you to take pictures of your receipts and give you cash back based on the items you purchased. My favorites are Checkout 51 or Ibotta.

Pro tip: You can look at these apps as part of the preparation step and try to purchase either things on sale or things that you will get cash back for on whichever app you choose to use.

This is where you get rewarded for sticking to the game plan. By only purchasing the items on your list, you can take the one to two minutes to save an extra few bucks on your overall grocery bill. I know this may seem like it is not worth your time, but let’s do the quick math.

If it takes you one minute to save one dollar, that task you just performed is a $60-per-hour task, which translates to $125,000 per year. Obviously, doing this for every minute throughout the year is not sustainable, but if you can make $125,000 per year for one minute, why not do it?

One Step Further

The previous recommendations require little overall lifestyle change. If you are the type that likes to challenge yourself and continually push outside of your comfort zone, here’s one substantial thing you can do.

Cut Out Meat

Meat likely comprises 25 percent to 30 percent of your overall grocery bill. What if you completely cut meat out? I’ve taken on this challenge a couple times—although I usually don’t cut it out entirely. I just don’t buy meat at the grocery store.

When I go out (which is rare), I usually reward myself with a meat dish. For me, this saves $10 to $20 per week off my grocery bill, and I enjoy the challenge.

Conclusion

If you truly want to make an impact on your food expense, your first order of business should be to limit the amount of times you eat out at restaurants, bars, fast food joints, etc. If you do go out, make sure it is for the social aspect and try to just order an appetizer and water.

Keep alcohol to a minimum. That’s where restaurants make most of their money at your expense.

Once you have reduced the frequency that you go out, I’d then recommend tackling grocery shopping like you would prepare for a football game. Create your game plan, stick to the game plan, and reap the rewards.

By doing these two things, you will significantly decrease your food bill. If you want to go to the next level, try challenging yourself by eating a plant-based diet.

In the end, your belly will stay skinny, your wallet will grow fat, and I hope that you will thank me.

Bon appétit!

How do you keep your food bill down (and eat well)?

Comment below!

Craig Curelop, aka thefiguy, is the author of The House Hacking Strategy and a driven pursuer of financial independence. Sta...
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    Dale Osborn
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Most of the time it does seem easy and you find yourself wondering why others are not investing in real estate. After 10 years, you start to see the benefits and may decide to kick back and start enjoying some of the nice side benefits. Or, you might jump in for another 10 years and find yourself set for retirement without having to continue working a JOB for the rest of your life. Real estate investing has its ups and downs, but in the long term, you tend to remember the good more than you remember the bad stuff you had to go through to get where you are now!
    Mike Z
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Dale I agree with you 100%. I am looking at doubling down the next 10 years!!! Good Investing
    Mike Valerio
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Nothing worth doing is easy! Great article.
    Mike Z
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Mike Thank You Good Investing
    kimmgill
    Replied over 7 years ago
    I agree with you Dale, however after seeing the condition of some so called managed property, I totally understand why people become disappointed and disillusioned and don’t want the hassle of owning investment property. My husband & I have bought & sold real estate for the last 30 years. The tried & tested ways that we have proved to be successful over this time have not changed. To start with, buy the right property, understand position position doesn’t mean that the property has to overlook the surf beach or that it doesn’t just relate to that one properties position position, it can relate to a part of a suburb or an individual town or simply worst house in the best street. Next, know and understand its potential from day 1, again potential is not just one factor set in concrete – it can mean its ability to be extended structurally or enhanced by landscaping or even just a facelift to improve street appeal. Whatever it needs to enhance its rentability to onwardly improve the standard of tenant and return which of course over your 10, 20, 30 year plan it increases its value and saleability, leaving you with multiple options to cover you for whatever scenario life’s deck of cards may deal. Last but not least and very importantly we have discovered is finding the right property manager let alone real estate agency that show the same foresight, passion, commitment & initiative that is needed and can be trusted to follow through with the systems we have put into place. Happy Investing……
    Mike Z
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Kim NIce work. Keep it up Good Investing
    Matt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    another good article, thanks michael. would love to hear your thoughts on the coming years in the market….just a thought for your next article. thanks again for sharing.
    Mike Z
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Matt Thanks for the idea. Coming up with weekly article ideas is not easy Good Investing
    Karen
    Replied over 7 years ago
    This article is good! It really gives me ideas! Thank you by the way 🙂
    Mike Z
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Karen Glad you like it and got some ideas. Good Investing
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Mike – Only the folks that understand upfront that real estate is a “get rich slow” plan will most likely hang in there for the long term. Great post.
    Frank R
    Replied over 7 years ago
    What you owe today you will be worth tomorrow. Frank
    Ali
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Good perspective! It does take work to be a good real estate investor. It’s not difficult work, but you have to be educated on the aspects involved with what you are doing. With that said, things get sooo much easier when you find the right people to work with! Find people who are (successfully) doing what you want to do, and get mentored. Ask lots of questions. Then, make sure you have a rockstar property manager! I’d rather have an average property with an excellent property manager than the other way around, any day. But it’s up to you to seek out the rockstars.
    Zackery Gholston from Grand Prairie, TX
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Thought provoking, thank you for the article!
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Thanks, Zackery!
    Randy Krock Investor from Hampton, Virginia
    Replied over 1 year ago
    great article. I have used the Ibotta app those little things add up over the course of the month. Depending on the deals and sales you can get up to $15-$20 per month just for scanning your receipt when you get home.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Thanks, Randy! Yup – exacatly! The apps can be pretty powerful!
    Cindy Larsen Rental Property Investor from Lakewood, WA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Craig, I looked at the ibotta app website. It seems that to add an offer, you must (sometimes) either watch a video or take a poll. In your experience what percentage of the time is that required?
    Michael Steven Harris
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I eat on 200 a month it’s a challenge unless you have to(my case for one). I shop only at deep discount groceries that have better prices and better food quality then wal mart. True the grocery has there own brands but many are either as tasty or more so than big name brands. I buy what’s ever on sale like chicken breast for 79 cents a pound. Yeah people would be surprised what you can cut I can’t imagine spending 50000 a year.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Wow! That’s great, Michael! Do you care to share what stores you go to and how to find these deep discount grocery stores?
    Allie Schraeder from Pittston, PA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Great article. I’m vegan for ethical reasons, but the cost savings is a nice bonus. I usually spend about $130 per month on food. I generally stick to whole foods, minimal processed foods. If I ate more boring foods and didn’t buy so much from farmers markets, I could get my food budget down to about $90 per month.
    Bettina F. Investor from Post Falls, Idaho
    Replied over 1 year ago
    HA! I am old enough to remember “stagflation” and “textured vegetable protein” meat replacements from back in the ’70s. Anyway, you forgot to mention the savings of buying different grains in bulk, and the tastiness of combining different grains. For example, brown rice with millet and wheat groats makes a very tasty dish. I shop in the bulk sections of Winco Foods. I also buy meat (when I eat it), flour, onions, potatoes, salad dressings, soup bases and spices at Cash N’ Carry — our local restaurant food supplier. You are buying in quantity, and will have to cut up your own meat to serving size portions, re-wrap and freeze, but you can save a bundle. Shop with a like minded thrifty friend so you can split that 50 pound sack of onions you got for $8 (16 cents a pound!) Invest in an Instant Pot and learn to make soups, stews, and pilafs. Easy, cheap, nutrious meals. BTW, we had a lot of French Onion soup, but we finished that sack of onions!
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Wow! That’s incredible. What are foods that you typically eat? I find that I am eating the same things over and over again.
    Susan Maneck Investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied over 1 year ago
    From the statistics I’ve seen the average American spends only 7% of their income on food and that includes eating out! Most of the rest of the world spends 50% which is why fluctuations in food prices can cause so much devastation. But $3.18 a pound for chicken? Really? Where do you shop? I buy my legs and thighs for 59 cents a pound at most. I don’t like breasts but when I buy them I don’t pay more than $1.98. I have to admit, I eat a lot of prepared foods, because when you live along preparing foods seems a waste of time, and I eat more not less when I do so. .
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Hi Susan – My stats were all from the BLS. It is the average price in the U.S. so you may just live in a cheaper region.
    Derin White from Bremerton, Washington
    Replied over 1 year ago
    “…food is an American’s third largest expense at 12% of overall spending. In other words, a person who makes about $50,000 per year will spend approximately $6,000 on food.” You’ve committed a personal finance pet peeve of mine: Calculating SPENDING related figures based on INCOME. My income level should have nothing to do with my food bill (or my required retirement savings all you financial advisors out there!). 12% of overall spending is much different than 12% of income.
    David Nielsen from Eagle, Idaho
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Something woke me up while shopping for eggs a few years ago. There were different brands of eggs offered at different prices. I reached for the cheapest eggs. An egg’s an egg, right? I paused and started to ask myself why some are cheaper? Well, I’m guessing what they feed their chickens is cheaper. How they house them is cheaper. The quality of care is cheaper. How they treat for illness and disease is cheaper. How well they clean out the pens is cheaper. Everything must be cheaper and you set up a situation where you get what you pay for. As an example, chicken litter (chicken manure, feathers, dead chickens, spilled feed) is fed to animals in the U.S. That sounds pretty disgusting, but it’s cheap. Do you want to eat something that’s fed that in their diet? Something to think about when you buy the absolute cheapest eggs, chicken wings and thighs, hamburgers, etc.
    Jerry Chamnichanh from Buffalo, New York
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Hi David, You make a very good point that cheaper products can be the result of lower quality materials and services to produce the product. I do not disagree with you but there are other factors that can cause products to become cheaper that are not of lower quality. One thing that comes to mind is the economy of scale. An increase in production can result in reduced costs. In my opinion, there are several reasons that can make a product cheaper. In order to find high-quality products, in the context of food, I would say that the more one know’s about how the food is produced, the more likely it is to be true. As you have stated in your post.
    David Nielsen from Eagle, Idaho
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Totally agree with your comment Jerry. I just want people to think about what the trade-offs are with reducing costs as it relates to something you put in your mouth. Some of these products are also used as loss leaders and are sold below cost to get people into the store. However, we’ve created a multi-billion dollar animal production business that is constantly trying to wring costs out of their processes with some negative consequences for health, animal well-being, the environment, etc. For example, the waste that hogs create has some really negative effects. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pork-power/
    Mike McDevitt Investor from Chandler, Arizona
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I can hardly wait for the extreme couponing article.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Mike, are you going to write it?
    Chris Field Investor from Milford, Connecticut
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I don’t feel food is that big of a cost unless you eat out all of the time.
    Peter Kraft Flipper from Cedar Grove, New Jersey
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Feelings are not facts!
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Chris, You may spend little on food, but you do have to eat 3x a day. Given the frequency, if food is not one of your big expenses, I might be worried on what your other expenses relative to food are.
    Chris Watson Investor from Sevierville, TN
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I have to admit this article lost me in the beginning. As a math nut I like real numbers and since I have lived all over America the article numbers do not represent product costs. It might in major metro areas, but definitely not where one has an Aldi’s, Walmart, Sams Club or Costco. As a family of 5 we eat at home for $700 a month. This includes lots of meat. As a military guy I eat alot. As another commented above chicken breast is $1.98 or less a pound. I even get flat steaks and sirloin at $2.50 to $3.50 a pound and brisket is $4.58 a pound. This article might be true for the Metro area but not 90% of America.
    Jaremy Perry Investor from East Amherst, New York
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I agree with you there Chris. My family of 4 spends about $1000 per month. Not as cheap as your family, but still only about $250 per person, which is already half of the $500 per month per person that this article totes. We could certainly cut back in areas to reduce the bill, but choose not to because it’s not straining our budget. With that said, like your family, we eat meat most nights as well. You don’t need to cut back on everything just to save money, you just have to shop more consciously.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Hey Chris and Jaremy, These stats are ones I pulled from the BLS and what the average American typically spends on food. It would include both city and town prices so if you live outside of a city, it would be below this average.
    David Etenburn Investor from Everett, Washington
    Replied 8 days ago
    It should also be noted that when this article was written, 7 years ago, food prices were about 20% less than they are today. So, forget the prices focus on the theory! My family of 4 (two adults, two dogs) spends about $850 a month on groceries and the occasional eating out...the dogs LOVE a good Double Double now and again too!
    Dustin Allen Realtor from South Lake Tahoe, California
    Replied over 1 year ago
    You lost me at “cut out the meat” some actions just aren’t worth the dollar saved. I certainly won’t buy $12/lb cuts of meat unless it’s a special occasion but there is always something decent in the $3-$4/lb range. My local store regularly has organic chicken for $2.99/lb and occasionally at $2.69/lb. Man needs meet!
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Yup – cutting meat out definitely is not for everyone. Just if you like to challenge your discipline with your diet. I find doing these small challenges are fun.
    Lee Ripma Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles, CA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    So I’m on board with saving money on groceries and cooking at home. The thing that is very laborious to me is the actual planning of the meals associated list making then going back to look up the instructions for each one. So I use an app called Mealime. You can set what kind of food you like, pescatarian, vegetarian, etc and how many servings you want to make per meal. Then you go through it and pick out meals that sound good based on a description and a picture. It makes the grocery list for you and then you can click each item off as you buy it at the store. If you want to look at what is on sale first and plan around that you could. I don’t worry about saving every penny, I’d rather have home cooked meals that take 30 mins, easy shopping, and explicit instructions for cooking. I have it set so for 4 servings so that my wife and I can both eat dinner, then have lunch the next day. There might be cheaper ways to do it, but I’m realizing 80% of the savings from cooking in, AND I find it easy. The most important part for me is to have it be easy and painless and I’ve got that with Mealine (no affiliation).
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Thanks for this comment, Lee! I’m going to download this app right now. Looking for some different recipes!
    Miguel DelaPena from San Pedro, California
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Awesome suggestions. If I can add one I’ve found to be helpful – never go to the store when you’re hungry!
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    That's great Miguel! Yes also a good one!
    Peter Kraft Flipper from Cedar Grove, New Jersey
    Replied over 1 year ago
    While I appreciate this article, the most important counter-factor for me and my family is time. Time needs to be added into this equation so I can balance the benefit(s) for my lifestyle.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    Yes - time is the most valuable resource! At this point, I have no problem using the grocery delivery services (like Instacart) to save me the hour of running through the grocery store. Just be sure to have discipline when clicking through the app.
    Karl B. Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles, CA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I’ll never cut out meat! Though I have been replacing red meat with other meats. For example, I make myself taco salad (with sliced organic garlic because organic garlic is amazing) and went from using ground beef to ground turkey. Ground turkey tastes great when it’s all spiced up (pepper, taco seasoning, garlic salt, turmeric) and it really isn’t as dry as I thought it would be. Healthier and cheaper too.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    Karl, I actually thought I never would either. Then I decided to give it a try and I feel better than ever. I am rarely sore after workouts, much less groggy, sleep better, etc. If you are the slightest bit open to it, you should check out the Game Changers documentary.
    Andy Paul from San Francisco, CA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Great read! I think there is a lot of excitement about getting into real estate investing in this community, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is a business and takes the care, focus, and sacrifice of running a business. You paint a great picture of this Michael.
    Cindy Larsen Rental Property Investor from Lakewood, WA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Craig, Interesting article. I looked at your shopping apps, but the time investment seems high. Have you tracked much time do you spend in these apps per month for how much return? Why not just use cash back credit cards, which require zero time investment? (assuming you set them up for autopayment in full every month). Groceries: using my amex blue cash card i get 6% back on groceries at safeway, plus gas rewards, and 6% at whole foods, and 6% at any other grocery store (except trader joes), 4% back at costco using costco credit card. Gas: 4% back at costco, 3%back anywhere via amazon credit card (this combined with safeway gas rewards is usually closer to 4%. Anything, anywhere: I have another credit card that gets me 3% back anywhere (alliant credit union), and also the citibank double cash mastercard gives 2% back anywhere. None of that requires me to spend time searching in an app for product coupons before I go to the store. So, if you are right about grocerynspending being $6000/year, I am getting somewhere between 4% and 6% of that back with my credit cards: that is $20 to $30 per person per month, with zero wasted time and effort. Add at least 2% to 4% on everything I buy, including all my bills (except mortgages and property taxes) set on autopayment from cash back credit cards, and I am getting $thousands in cash back every year. And the cash back is not taxable.
    Alex Franks from Rock Hill, SC
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Missing the biggest part ..growing your own Food. ( Well veggies) Yesterday I dropped off over 40 lb of butternut squash to the senior center on the Catawba Indian Reservation where we live. Tomorrow I will Divvy up almost 60 lb of sweet potatoes between my wife’s family that lives around us. I took a year off from Real Estate as I opened my own company after multiple years of Partners. During that time I increase my garden threefold. Most of the meals my wife and I eat 50 to 75% come from the garden. a great book called square foot gardening by Mel Bethalumu..spelled last name wrong. Yet I take an hour a day to play in the garden. Saturdays and Sundays I probably spend more time. I make my own soil I make my own tees and my own bug spray so it’s completely organic. Yet if you truly want to cut cost grow your own food. Just my two cents Great article Alex Please bare with spelling typing from phone
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    Alex, this sound amazing! There's nothing like home grown veggies.
    Chuck Glover
    Replied about 1 year ago
    A technique that may help other readers — stay out of temptation aisles as much as possible. To get to the milk, for example, I walk down the home cleaning aisle instead of the cookies aisle.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    Ahh this is genius! I never thought of this.
    Roderick Mills Jr. from Cincinnati, OH
    Replied about 1 year ago
    For me cutting out meat would be hard! But you brought up a good point that it’s usually the most expensive thing so going to try having it a little less in the future!
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    Yes - that's exactly right. It's actually easier than you think. Watching a documentary (for me it was Game Changers) certainly helps.
    Alan DeRossett Investor from Thousand Oaks, CA
    Replied 9 days ago
    Good Article Craig! I was doing many of these things but had not tried those two apps Checkout 51 & Ibotta. Another thing I do is plant Fruit trees on all our Properties. We had to water and maintain anyway. but tenants like to pick some to supplement their budgets and we encourage them to do as it leaves more money for them to make the rent payments. So we always have more than enough free food from our rentals, Orange, Tangerine, Lemon, Kumquat, Avocado, Fig, Plum, Peach, Apricots, and Pomegranate. the free food saves us a couple thousand per year, plus we always have extra to give out to vendors, etc. Trees take 3-5 years to fruit so I plant as soon as we take over ownership and now we have plenty for fruit I never need to buy. I look for properties on large lots now.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    This is awesome Alan! I might be looking for one of your properties if I ever find myself living in Thousand Oaks
    Philip Price
    Replied 9 days ago
    Didn’t see it in the comments but another way to cut back on the cost of meat is to go straight to the source, buy a cow, cut and wrap will be cheaper in the long run. If that’s too much meat you could split it with someone else, cutting the cost in half or more. Another option is to harvest your own wild game, one elk will feed my family all year and is way healthier then anything you can buy in the store.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    This is an interesting idea, Phil. It seems like a lot of effort to do this no? And also... as weird as it sounds, I think people will be much more hesitant if they had to buy and kill the cow themselves.
    Daniel Hughes from Oklahoma City
    Replied 9 days ago
    But I already spend $250/mo... Now teach us how to slash that in half to $125/mo ($31.25/wk)!
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    Haha - You're pretty good! Why not try $200?
    Eric Bishop Investor from Kansas City, Kansas
    Replied 8 days ago
    Great article. We have recently realized grocery savings by using the store's pick up option. By ordering through their app, there is less impulse buying and we are more likely to stick to our list. They pick it off the shelves and bring it out to the car. Plus it gives me back an hour or so of my time each week.
    Craig Curelop Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 6 days ago
    This is a great idea as well Eric!
    Trish Luna Rental Property Investor from Garfield, NJ
    Replied 6 days ago
    You had me until you said no meat. Sorry