This question came in behind the scenes. I’m sharing it with you anonymously and edited so you all can all benefit from the resources.
Q: Do you have any thoughts or ideas regarding food budgets? I’ll be real, it’s an area that feels out of control and brings tons of shame for me. I need to get better at managing this so I can fix my impending cash flow issue. What works for you?
A: Thanks so much for your question. Here are some beginning thoughts and tips.
1. I think everyone is spending more on their food/grocery expenses since COVID-19 started. Please be kind to yourself around this. I think many of us are in a similar boat about spending more on groceries because we are home and cooking and eating so much more.
2. During this time, I started cooking and baking for the first time in my life and I’m certainly making a lot more comfort food for my family. I’ve perfected the art of comfort food. I’ve shared some of the meals here.
3. Enjoying meals and nourishing ourselves are such essential parts of life. I hope for all of us to know joy, pleasure and connection here. I know this can be a life-long journey. Here are some of the folks I am inspired by: here, here, here, here and here.
4. Let’s come up with another way of saying Food Budget because it sounds like a Food Diet. I know many of us are on quite a journey with our food, our bodies and our eating. And, it’s so very personal. I know dieting can lead to addiction and extremes and suck the life right out of us. I know that for some of us intuitive eating is a better route for the long term. I know that we all emotionally eat at times and I don’t think that’s a problem, whereas the larger dieting industry does. Here are some wonderful podcasts that address all of these topics here, here, and here.
5. One way that family reduced our Food/Grocery/Dining out experience last year was by signing up for a meal service. We used Green Chef, which was local to Boulder, CO. The ingredients were delivered, including the recipes and cooking instructions, and then all I had to do was cook it. It reduced our dining out expenses, our grocery expenses and we wasted a lot less food. We are no longer using this service but it helped me feel more comfortable in the kitchen and now I can find recipes and cook and bake all by myself. To learn more about meal services, go here.
6. Some people order food in bulk from a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), local Co-op or Costco to reduce their food costs. Our team has heard of people shopping together (with other families or friends) at Costco and splitting it if they don’t have the space or budget to buy as much in bulk but still get the discount.
7. I understand that we all go through cash flow dips and crunches and we may need to be more rigid in certain expenses. But I do feel that this area of life needs a bit more flexibility and grace since it’s about feeding and nourishing ourselves. I hope that you can find other expenses to be more rigid with. And, this podcast episode is wonderful: How Your Money Impacts Your Food.
8. For those of you in the Art of Money program, we have two interviews in the library that explore our relationship to food with Rachel Cole and Geneen Roth.
9. There are many blogs that cover food plans, expenses and budgeting.
- Grocery Tips
- I’m saving $6,000 on food per year without resorting to meal prep.
- 9 reasons grocery bills is so high and how to lower it.
- How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
- How to Save Money on Groceries
- Which generation spends more on food. (p.s. It’s GenX!)
Delish Budget Eats
- I Made A Thanksgiving Feast For 4 People On A $25 Budget
- I Made 10 Vegan Dinners For Two People On A $25 Budget (In NYC!)
- Watch the whole Budget Series playlist here.
These are some of my initial thoughts and tips.
I hope something here helps you take a few next steps.
Sending gentleness and support to you around all of this,