I posted here about how and why to write a budget. A budget helps you to keep control of your finances and prevents you from getting into debt. However it can be tricky to stick to the budget once you have written it. That’s where my tips for sticking to a budget can help. For the next few weeks I will be giving you tips on how to stick within your  budget plan.

This week an area where lots of people overspend, the food budget. Here’s my guide to sticking to it.

1. Set a realistic budget to start with. Calculate how many meals you will be preparing, then how many people each meal will need to feed. Then work out cost per meal and go from there, don’t forget to include money for snacks.

2.Write a meal plan. Often people over spend on food due to lack of organisation. If you don’t know what you are cooking  you will inevitably buy food that you don’t need and it will go to waste. You will be literally throwing your money in the bin. Plan lunches and dinners each weeks and you will know exactly what you need.

3. Don’t go shopping hungry. Or better still shop online where you will be more likely to use your brain than your tummy to shop.

4. Save eating out for an occasional treat. Eating out costs a lot more than cooking at home . For example I can feed my family for around £10 at home, if we eat out I am looking at nearer to £40. Thats a huge difference. Make sure you plan around meals so you don’t get caught out and end up eating out when you didn’t plan to, if you will be out around a meal time then take a packed lunch.

5.Cook from scratch as much as possible. Convenience food usually costs more and doesn’t taste as good, which is a brilliant reason to cook from scratch. I scour my recipe books when I write my meal plan, choose recipes for the week and make sure the correct ingredients are on my shopping list. Cooking from scratch need not take up a lot of time either, the recipes I use take from 30 mins to an hour, definitely do-able.