How to save money on food

Person enjoying a salad in a restaurant

Many people find themselves living on a budget, be that a high or a lower budget. Eating well and eating cheaply however, are often difficult to reconcile. However, with the right attitude and attention to detail, it can be done, with often, just a few simple changes to one's daily habits and practices. So, if you’re wondering how to save money on food, we’re here to offer you some insights.

Check out some tips and tricks for money saving meals and clever ways to save money eating out. You may well find yourself and your family eating well and saving some much-needed money!

How to save money eating in

Cooking at home and rustling up some money saving meals is the best way to save money on food. A home-cooked meal typically costs a fraction of what the same dish would cost at a restaurant, and you get to choose exactly which ingredients go into your food, making it usually, a lot healthier too. Beyond cooking at home, there are further steps you can take to eat well on a budget, such as some clever money saving recipes.

Buy a whole chicken and portion it out to make different dishes

Looking for clever ways to save money? Well, buying larger cuts of meat and poultry is almost always the cheaper option. Want to take it to the next level? Make a chicken stock out of the chicken bones. Slice your own meats for tasty and cheaper sandwiches. Salamis and many treated meats are pricier and much lower quality than meat you can cook and slice yourself.


If you’re after more money saving recipes, why not buy in season-fruit and freeze it to enjoy the low price and fresh taste throughout the winter season? Frozen fruit is great for smoothies, pies and crumbles – a strawberry and banana smoothie can be a great start to the day, giving you plenty of energy to get going in the morning.

You can also freeze things like herbs, which can be expensive but also go off very quickly. Chop them up and freeze them in ice cube trays to have handy little handfuls of herbs to add to a pasta dish or curry dish and give it an extra boost of flavour for cheap!

Reduce your meat consumption

Consider including more grains, pulses and vegetables in your diet. Meat is often the most expensive part of a meal, and veggie dishes can be just as tasty and satisfying – why not try finding a veggie cookbook for cheap at your local charity bookstore? There tends to be plenty of cookbooks for very cheap prices, and you can find plenty of inspiration and ideas to keep veggie meals exciting for you and the whole family.

Bulk out your meals with grains

Want to make sure that no one is going hungry? Add some extra ingredients to your meals like bulgur wheat, rice, and other grains and pulses to add some more carbohydrates for a much cheaper price than pasta or potatoes. You can also keep rice for a very long time, and it can generally be bought in bulk, helping to add to those savings.

How to save money when eating out

If you’re looking for some ways to save money when eating out, below we’ve come up with some handy top tips:

1. Take advantage of BYOB (bring your own booze) to cut costs

Some restaurants that do not serve alcohol will allow you to bring alcohol from home for free or a small corking-fee. This is a great way to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal. If you’re interested, we’ve also got a guide on 9 ways to have a cheap night out.

2. Venture out to international restaurants

Many international restaurants will be much cheaper than comparable UK restaurants. Experiment with new cuisines, to potentially save some money.

3. Eat cleverly with the kids

Many kids’ meals contain poor quality food at marked-up prices. Avoid all the hassle by ordering one adult meal for your kids to split.

4. Dine at the right times

Still wondering how to save money when eating out? Well, many restaurants have early-bird and pre-theatre deals. Your meal may be a lot cheaper if you dine before the restaurant gets busy.

5. Get student deals

Are you currently a student, or do you still have last year’s student ID? This card can save you a lot of money at restaurants, museums, and other attractions.

6. Check out online deals like Groupon

Other ways to save money when eating out is to shop around for deals. You can find highly discounted restaurant meals on Groupon, so you can experience the luxury of eating out without the hefty price tag.

Even when we are budgeting properly and effectively, unforeseen expenses may come up. If you are facing financial difficulties that must be addressed immediately, you could consider taking out a short-term quick loan such as one of our payday loans, with Moneyboat.

Short term loans are expensive and cannot serve as a long-term solution for enduring financial troubles. However, our loans can help you get out of a pressing financial situation. At Moneyboat, we are a UK direct lender of short-term loans and are honest, reliable and flexible.

If you loved these money saving tips, we’ve got plenty more insights over on the Moneyboat blog. Why not dive into our guide on simple ways to save money, or see if you can partake in the challenge of how much you can save in a year.

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