Spending money on food is non-negotiable; we have to eat. And it's likely that you've gotten more used to buying food and eating at home since the pandemic broke out. As a SoFi member, you have access to exclusive benefits designed to help you prepare for success with your money, community and career. Earn more, save more and access more with our premium membership.
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Everyone buys food, but how much should a person or household spend on food each month? Food is the third most important expense for Americans and, for those looking to reduce costs, it can be a place where it's possible to reduce them with a little planning and budgeting. Inflation can have a big effect on the price of food, making it difficult to stay within a budget and reduce the bill. Over the past year, the cost of food increased by 10.8%. Some foods, such as meat, poultry and eggs, have increased by 14.3%.
This increase is due in part to inflation and in part to food shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several factors that determine how much a person could spend on food each month. These include age, gender, number of people living in the household, and monthly budget. Another important factor is the region in which you live.
Some areas have much more expensive food than others. In addition to food, the total monthly food bill includes any snacks and food eaten away from home. The averages shown below are based on the fact that a person or family cooks all their meals and snacks at home, not including meals eaten out. The averages analyze the foods that many people usually buy, such as eggs, dairy products, meat, bread, and agricultural products.
As mentioned briefly, last year, the cost of some foods increased more than others, due to problems in the supply chain. These include meat, fish, eggs, and poultry. It's up to each person and family to decide how often to eat out or order takeout and how much of their money to spend on dining at restaurants. In general, eating out usually costs more than cooking at home, and it's a good idea to keep track and budget or it can add up quickly.
The USDA recommends spending 4% to 5% per month on dining out. A couple of ways to save money when eating out are picking up food instead of having it delivered to your home and finding discounts and loyalty programs for local restaurants. Looking at the average bills for previous groceries, one might start to think that they are spending too much on food, if they didn't feel it before. Here are some tips for reducing your monthly grocery bill:.
Allocating funds for food in a monthly budget planner and then making a plan about what to buy can help lower your grocery bill. Meal planning and shopping lists can help you stick to the plan. There are plenty of discount apps and coupons available for those who are shopping on a budget. They're free and can help reduce your grocery bill.
However, some coupons can be complicated and, in fact, cause additional expenses if they ask you to buy two or more items to get the discount or if they result in the purchase of an item that would not have been purchased otherwise. Some stores also have sale days, especially after a big holiday, so these can be good days for shopping. Avoiding impulse purchases is another way to reduce your grocery bill. Studies have shown that shopping on an empty stomach leads shoppers to spend more and to buy high-calorie foods that may be less healthy.
While meal kit services may seem expensive, and some are, if they reduce the amount you eat at restaurants or the amount you spend on food, that's a plus. Meal kits provide prepared meals in portions, so they avoid buying additional ingredients that go to waste. Having food delivered to you can be a great way to save time, and because it can help you stick to a plan and shopping list, it can also help prevent impulse purchases. However, shipping fees and tips can add up, so it's important to factor them into your monthly budget.
It can be easy to fall into the shopping pattern at a certain grocery store because of its convenience or because of its supply of foods that you like. But if that store has higher prices, it may be worth considering going to a different store to buy some or all of the food. Another way to stay on top of food budgeting is to create routines. This can help to stick to a shopping list and to ensure that no additional food is purchased.
Many stores have their own food brands that are cheaper than the big brands. These items are very similar in taste and quality, but they come at a lower price. It may seem surprising, but going to the grocery store more often can help people spend less money than if they go on big careers. The reason is that it prevents food waste because it's easier to think about what you'll eat in the next few days than in the next two weeks.
Since there is more flexibility in buying food than in other expenses, such as rent and other bills, reducing grocery expenses can be a great way to save. If you're looking to start budgeting, setting savings goals, or paying off debt, one money tracking tool you can use is SoFi Insights. The online application allows you to connect all your bank and investment accounts so you can easily see what you spend and save on a single panel. You can create goals and set up automated savings and investments to secure your financial future.
Popular discount grocery stores include Walmart, Smart & Final, Sam's Club, and Trader Joe's. Stay up to date on the latest business news and stock market developments. Learn more See what SoFi can do for you and your finances. The figure also varies depending on the type of food each household buys, the quantity consumed, the prices of the food you buy, and whether you use one of the grocery delivery services that charge additional fees.
To create a budget for your food purchases, subtract 50% of your net income and then subtract non-food needs from that number to see what you have left to spend on food. Not having a food budget is dangerous because it leaves you open to temptation when you visit or order at the supermarket. .