How to Save Money

Top 5 Ways to Save on Food Costs

published March 23, 2023
Man viewing receipts in supermarket and tracking prices

 Food inflation globally is at its highest since the 90s and has almost hit double digits. Luckily, our members have some smart tips and tricks for you to save on food costs and still eat well.

Recently LifePoints community members shared their favourite and best tips on Facebook and Twitter for saving some money. There were so many ways to save shared, including a lot of ways to eat for cheap:

  • Cooking at home
  • Buying in bulk
  • Plan ahead
  • Cutting down
  • Growing your own food

This is part of our cost-of-living series, so read how you can beat combat inflation with more tips from the LifePoints community.


Different ways to help you budget your food

Save money by cooking more at home

Cooking at home was one of the most popular ways that LifePoints community members saved money on food. Every year Australians spend $1.2 billion on eating out. Cooking at home is typically cheaper a lot of the time. WeMoney estimates that you can save up to $1,200 a year by cooking more at home.

Priya, a Lifepoints member, has found cooking at home to be one of the easiest ways to save on food: “Cut down on online food delivery and enjoy home cooked healthy food”

Priya's Facebook comment

As Priya says, this also allows you to eat more healthy food, so you’re saving money and getting some additional benefits. A 2-for-1 saving all round.

Fernando has a similar view to Priya: “Eat at home by cooking own food will cost a lot cheaper”

Fernando's Facebook comment

This is already fairly common, with Aussies now spending 30% less on eating out because of inflation.


Buy bulk items to save

Bulk buying is really simple, if you are willing to buy a lot of something then some companies will sell each item to you for at a lower price point. So, if you are buying the same thing over and over again, why not buy it in bulk? You have some national shops to choose from to buy in bulk like eBay, Costco, or Amazon. As well as those national chains there are a lot of local options, so see if there are any near you.

If you buy stuff in bulk, you also won’t need to take as many trips to the shops, so you’ll also save time and save money on gas.

Mini, a LifePoints community member from Facebook, buys in bulk to save: “I bulk buy on items which we use more often”.

Mini's Facebook comment

Buying in bulk also ties in nicely with cooking at home as you can buy ingredients in bulk. Once you’ve bought some ingredients and cooked food in batches it will feel natural and easy. Sheryl cooks in bulk to save time and money: “cook meals that would last for a day or 2.”

Sheryl's Facebook comment

You can buy more than just food in bulk. This is an especially good idea for products that don’t go bad. Start by making a list of the things you buy a lot – toilet paper, foil, shampoo, or soap – then see if there are any ways you can buy those in bulk.


Plan your food ahead and save

Planning your meals ahead allows you to save by not buying too many ingredients. There are a few ways to plan ahead like an excel spreadsheet, writing your plan out in a notebook or even memorizing your plan, whatever works for you. There are plenty of reasons why making a meal plan will help you save a bit more cash:

  • Traveling
  • For health reasons
  • For couples
  • For students
  • For work schedules
  • For fun or enjoyment

Meal planning can help you save in more than one way. Christine has found that using coupons is a really good way to save: “Plan ahead a week’s worth of meals a use as many coupons and find the best price for items."

Christine's Facebook comment

If you do meal plan and batch cook, you’ll also save some time because you won’t be cooking as often (which also means doing the dishes less).


Cut down on food waste

If you’re throwing away less food you won’t be spending as much. Each year the average Australian house will throw away somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500 of unused food. Some food waste will always happen, but even if you cut down a small percentage of food waste you could still save hundreds of dollars.

Jai has found that one of the best ways to cut down food waste is to check for when the food goes bad: “Always check the expiry date.”

Jai's Facebook comment

It’s pretty common to buy something at the shops only to realise that it expires in a couple of days. By checking the expiration date before buying something you can make sure you buy stuff that will last longer, which will help you save.

Another option to cut down on food waste is to preserve what you have. Sandy explained in the Facebook comments how she preserves to save: “Can and freeze fruits and veggies when in season.”

Sandy's Facebook comment

If you’re looking to preserve your unused food there are some great options to choose form like pickling, freezing, or even curing it. By preserving food you will throw out less, and it will allow you to have some food on hand to eat in the future.

Look out for other ways to preserve food and cut down waste, such as:

  • Planning more meals ahead of time
  • Find recipes that use the ingredients you have
  • Only buy what you think you’ll need
  • Opt for frozen or canned veggies so you have much longer to eat them


Grow food yourself

If you plant and grow your own food, you can save more than you’d think. Cecile finds that gardening lets her cut a part of her food bill out completely: “I planted vegetables in my garden. Get something free instead of buying.” You’ll be saving money, gardening can be fun, and it lets you get some fresh air.

Cecile's Facebook comment

RN, a LifePoints member from Facebook, has found ways to save money by growing her own produce. LifePoints members have found that there are extra benefits to gardening when they sell the excess: “Do gardening so you can eat or sell for your benefit.”

RN's Facebook comment

If you grow your own fruits and veggies but find you have too much it’s a great opportunity to share them with your friends and family. They’ll be grateful for some home-grown food and will save money themselves.


Earn some extra money as well as saving money on food

The hacks from LifePoints community members are a great way to save on food. Of course, you can always top up these savings and increase the amount in your bank account. There are a ton of side hustles out there to make money. One of the best, and most straight forward, will always be earning gift cards and PayPal cash through LifePoints.

You can take our surveys from anywhere and on the device that you use the most, thanks to our LifePoints app. Sign up and take our surveys. You’ll not only get to share your opinion on everyday products and services, you’ll then earn points that you can swap for whatever reward you want.

Visit the LifePoints review page to see what real community members have to say about their experiences with LifePoints


Get ready to earn and save money

Now you’re ready to cut down your food bill. Whether you cut down food waste bulk, batch cook, or grow your own fruits, you’ll be saving in no time. We want to say a big thank you for all the ideas and money lifehacks that LifePoints community members shared.

To join the conversation and share your own tips check out the Facebook and Twitter pages.


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