How to Ensure You Don’t Waste Money on Food While on A Budget

Ensuring you don’t waste money on food while on a budget is crucial! Statistics show that the average American family spends over $7,000 on food annually.

However, it’s possible to at least cut 10% of this by limiting grocery shopping costs and not wasting food. 

Food waste also contributes greatly to overspending, as the average American family wastes around $1,000 worth of food annually.

These can play a large part in your inability to stay on the budget you’ve drawn each month. So, how do you avoid this?

This article will examine ways to avoid food waste and overspending on groceries.

These we’ll tackle are how you should buy, cook, and do with extra food or leftovers.

ensure to not waste food when you're on a budget

Buying Food

Overspending and food waste can begin when you enter a grocery store to buy what you’ll be cooking until your next paycheck.

When you’re on a budget, it’s important to ensure that you look for food items that are cheaper, necessary, and will last you longer. 

Below are strategies that can help you do this:

Go to A Discount Grocery Store

There are grocery stores that maintain lower prices than others.

Let these be your first stop when buying food while on a budget.

Even when they don’t have sales, you’ll likely find most products at an affordable price. 

If you’re used to shopping at normal grocery stores, you’ll see the difference in prices as you pick up your regular food products and navigate from aisle to aisle.

This will show even more when you pay the total amount at the till.

Have A Store Flier

The latest grocery store flier can help you select food items for the week or month. You can calculate the total amount you’ll possibly spend based on the prices you see.

It can also help you plan your meals ahead of grocery shopping and cooking. 

This way, you’ll know how to pair the food items you’ll buy and the quantity you’ll need.

You end up saving a lot of food and money.

Compare On-Sale Products With Staple Foods

Just because you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you should be eating bland food throughout the month. You can still buy your favorite foods and cook meals you love.

Find on-sale products like meat and veggies that you can cook with staple foods like beans, rice, spinach, and pasta.

When you buy these, you can have some of your favorite dishes without, in the end, having to check Credit9 reviews to figure out if they’re a legit institution to take a loan.

Suppose you can’t ensure not to waste food while on a budget. You may end up using money meant for other expenses. Your only way to cover those expenses is to take a huge loan.

Buy Frozen or Canned Veggies and Fruits

Fresh fruits and vegetables are great and are sometimes affordable. However, they tend to rot earlier than expected.

If you’re buying foods that’ll last you a month, you can buy fresh veggies and fruits that last a week.

Then for the rest of the month, find frozen and canned fruits and vegetables that won’t go to waste any time soon.


The process of ensuring that food isn’t wasted doesn’t end with the way you buy groceries. If you don’t continue with it even when cooking, you may end up short of food before the planned period.

Use meal plans, a slow cooker, and pantry ingredients to avoid this.

Meal Plans

So you’ve made your groceries and know what you’ll be eating each day.

Make a meal plan for what you’ll be cooking every night each week and which nights you’ll be eating out if it fits your budget.

Write them down so you know what to cook every night and the portions that’ll help your food last the whole month or week as planned.

Utilize Your Pantry Ingredients

The pantry always seems packed with food items that never get used for months. Check your pantry and cook those pantry ingredients before they go bad.

See what you can pair them up with on some of the food items you’ve just bought.  

When you use those spices and that bulk bag of rice, you bought a while back. You’ll avoid food waste, save a few bucks, and keep your budget intact. 

Use A Slow Cooker

Cooking in a hurry can sometimes end up in your meals burnt, uneatable, and going to the bin.

When you get home late or have ample other chores to do when it’s time to cook can lead to that. It can even have you buying take-out you didn’t budget for. 

A slow cooker can help you leave food cooking while you do other chores or go to work. You’ll find your food nice and hot when it’s time to eat.

It can also help you cook extras to avoid cooking in a hurry or cooking from scratch next time.

Leftovers and Extras

Do you sometimes cook extra food and what do you do with leftovers? Here are some meals you can cook in large quantities and what you can do with your leftovers:

Freezing Extras

Some foods you can cook in large quantities, freeze and just warm up when you need to eat again. These include stews, soups, casseroles, and vegetables.

Keep them in meal-sized containers to warm up the whole container when you need to eat. This will save you time, food, and money.


You can do the same with leftovers, package them nicely, freeze or keep them in a refrigerator to eat in the future.

Some people pack their dinner leftovers for work lunch so they won’t have to buy them at restaurants. 

Our Verdict

It’s possible to save money and stay on budget by cutting food waste and avoiding overspending on groceries.

This begins when you go to the grocery store to buy your weekly or monthly food items.

It should also continue by cooking planned meals, using your pantry ingredients and a slow cooker.

Freeze extra foods to eat in the future and eat your leftovers. It takes making this a habit; you’ll stress less about buying food, no longer waste food, and keeping your budget intact.

Related Reading: 55 Cheap & Easy Meals You Will Love

18 things we cut from our shopping list to save loads of money

70+ Best Ways To Save Money On Groceries

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Last Updated on 10th May 2023 by Emma

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