So you want to save money on food? Not a bad idea, especially since you will likely be paying for food for the rest of your life.
The first step is to ensure that you have an accurate baseline of what you spend now on food. This is probably the hardest part and the least fun, but it is also the most critical. Because if you are serious about saving money you need to know what you spend right now, so you can compare it at a later date to test whether or not you’ve saved money.
For one month, track every food purchase you make. Include money spent on food eating out, coffee, vending machine, grocery, convenience stores, and beyond. Every single cent spent on food? Record it. I recommend including alcohol/beer/wine in there too, but this is optional.
Use excel, a notepad, a calendar, or some reliable and convenient medium to record all of your data. Warning: there will be a lot of data, so be warned.
After a month, add everything up. And, if possible, separate into two categories: eating out and eating in.
Since chances are you likely spend more than you think you do, I recommend reading this discussion for therapeutic purposes.
If you are not ready to embark on this record keeping mission, fear not! Bookmark this page an revisit when you are ready and willing. In the meantime, happy eating!