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Controlling Your Controllable: Food Expenses

Measuring and managing food costs.

How do I manage all my expenses and financial obligation as head of household or small business owner while still putting something aside for a rainy day? This is a dilemma most of us have to face and our current economy amplifies the need to deal with it. Since is foundational to preparedness, a timely and effective game plan becomes an ally in reducing expenses.

One of the controllable expenses for any household is food and therefore understanding how to control food costs can be very helpful. Cook most of the food at home and use simple recipes using readily available and seasonal ingredients; prepare a meal plan and identify ingredient list before going shopping to keep your purchases relevant to the plan; stock up on the ingredients you mostly use and take advantage of coupons; don’t be afraid to vacuum pack and freeze when ingredients are in season so that you can use it at other times without spending too much money; only buy drinks that fall into the categories of milk, juice, coffee or tea;  prepare ahead of time to meet the needs of family, especially if your family is on the go.  When eating out, select healthy but economical options from an array of local restaurant  with the intent of keeping costs down and good health in focus. Your community has businesses that welcome customers to take advantage of their infrastructure to help your dollars stretch when purchasing food.  Small business owners conduct client meetings and students get tutoring help at  Starbucks and Panera Bread due to free space and Wi-Fi availability.

The lessons learned from reducing food expenses can be applied to other controllable cost reduction to make your money go further.  The first step is to admit the need for expense control and then start with doable steps to ease your way into your target goal. Don’t forget to keep track of your expenses and compare to your budget!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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