Tracking Food Costs

Costs are up! Consider tracking food expenses to learn where your money is going. Use an online app or the old-fashioned pen and paper.

  1. Keep receipts or write down all costs of food and beverages you buy. Include grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops, and school lunch.
  2. Organize and total receipts by location at the end of the month.
  3. Look at how much you spent at each location.
    • Does anything surprise you?
    • Do you eat out more than you expected?
    • Can you share dinners with friends instead of eating out?
    • Do you need to learn new skills or recipes to make eating at home more fun?
    • Can you bring food from home instead of buying it away from home?

Start small and make one change each month. In time, the change will add up to big savings.

Source: Spend Smart. Eat Smart.,

Stretching Your Food Dollar

Rising food costs have shoppers thinking of new ways to stretch their dollars. Consider these money-saving tips from SpendSmart. EatSmart®:

  • Prepare more than one meal. Save some for leftovers or to freeze for another date.
  • Substitute some or all the meat in a recipe with beans or lentils to save money while increasing fiber in the diet.
  • Repurpose foods. For example, after they are ripe, refrigerate bananas to keep them edible for up to two weeks. Or freeze them to use in a smoothie later.
  • Download the FoodKeeper app or use the Food Safety website,, to discover the best ways to store foods to avoid food waste.
  • Check out the Unit Pricing Calculator, This calculator gives you a product’s price per ounce so that you can compare the cost of products of different sizes.