While some of the most important ways to fit your lifestyle into your budget include managing the bigger expenses (like your rent or potential car payments) you can certainly start to make a difference in your financial outlook by taking a more careful look at the more flexible categories. What we eat falls pretty squarely into that definition for many people today. We’ve rounded up 10 tips to spend less on food to help you better live within your means.

Acknowledge Limitations

You know what an awful tip would be? For you to buy less of the nutritious foods that fit your individual needs just to save a few bucks. People with celiac disease shouldn’t be living on pasta, for example.

Planning

Look, we know that not everyone wants to plan every single detail of every single meal for a week, and that’s a-okay. But it’s important to know when you might be eating out, for example, so that you can buy fewer groceries.

Get Excited

Are you competitive by nature? Lean into that and try something like a pantry clean-out challenge!

Make Good Food

You don’t need to be a culinary genius to just identify some foods you love and make sure that you have the ingredients on hand when you’re tempted to order take-out.

Know What You Have Already

This is such a common tip, and yet it’s also perhaps one of the most easily bypassed due to the effort involved. Check your shopping list against what you have already.

Understand Your Food Type

Could you eat the same thing every day for a week? Great! Don’t always be forcing yourself to buy ingredients for fancy new dishes. Hate repetition? Totally fine, just make sure you’re only buying ingredients for one or two portions.

Know Your Relationship with Hunger

Some people get hangry. Others will go on a spending rampage at the closest purveyor of food and blow their monthly budget in an afternoon.

Make It a Group Effort

If you’re shopping for more than just yourself, you’ll need to apply many of these tips to each person in your household.

Beware Coupons & Deals

Much as we admire the truly committed couponer, most of us will do better when we simply buy store brand items (and only those already on our list).

Understand Your Food Lifestyle Choices

Okay, so calling them ‘food lifestyle choices’ might sound a bit silly, but we think it’s a useful way to approach certain decisions. We’re not demonizing the choice to hit a coffee shop each morning, just encouraging you to think about whether that’s a habit you want your ideal food budget to support.