Cutting Your Food Costs: Spotting and Striving

  • 1.SOS: Set Our Spending (eat at home so food costs won’t roam);

  • 2. SOS: Salvage Old Stuff (eat up what’s old before it gets mold);

  • 3. SOS: Stop Over Spending (plan your menu to have a venue);

  • 4. SOS: Stay Out of Stores (don’t go in and you won’t spend);

  • 5. SOS: Safeguard Our Savings (stash ten and give God ten to have more in the end); and

  • 6.SOS: Support Others Spiritually (give food away and watch God repay).

So check out  the last two SOS Principles. SOS: Spot Opportunities to Slash (slash to keep the cash); and SOS: Strive Only to Simplify (simplify and exemplify).

Get creative with your SOS meals

When most people think about slashing their food budget–the 7th   SOS: Spot Opportunities to Slash— they pull out the coupons, but that isn’t necessarily “healthy eating.”

Here are some other ideas:

1. Locate generic–Generic products are usually NOT at eye level in the grocery so stoop and bend.  Good for the thighs!

2. Shop warehouse–For your best money saving, shop at a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club or buy the generic at a chain store like Safeway.  

3. Think close to the earth–Shop around the outside aisles for fresh items.  Use real butter, cheese and milk. Consume sugar versus artificial sweeteners (except for stevia), for the man-made ones can cause everything from weight gain to MS.

4. Think beans and rice–This is a staple in many developing countries, and if you look at the obesity rate of these countries, we would do well to imitate their simple diet. Try a basic cookbook such as More with Less by Doris Janzen Longacre found at   

5.Dinner should be a three point meal1. a meat or meatless, 2. a starch, and 3. a vegetable or salad.

6. Eat dinners two nights in a row except for Sunday.

7. Don’t eat desserts except on birthdays or for company.

8. Use a bread machine to make breads and pizza dough.

9. Concentrate on homemade and prioritize eating together as a family as much as possible.

10. Limit your paper products.  Use a dish rag instead of a paper towel and a cloth napkin in a labeled napkin holder for each member of the family.  

11. Skip fancy cleaners. Try this WILD CLEANER.  Use a gallon jug and fill it with one container of rubbing alcohol, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of ammonia then water to fill.  Put the solution in a spray bottle and use it for everything.

Thus, when we begin to take a hold of our food expenses, we begin to corral our overall expenditures and learn to live within our means, or even under them.  

  • 7. SOS: Spot Opportunities to Slash and 

  • 8. SOS: Strive Only to Simplify 

Jesus addressed excess when the rich young man came up to him and asked,

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17)  Jesus answered, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.”  

Controlling our food budget with these 8 SOS Guidelines helps us to more effectively limit ourselves and follow Him better.

Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author

The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more