How Should Teenage Girls Save Money on Food?

Ankita Kamat

“How should teenage girls save money on food?”- Are you a teenager and thinking to save money? If yes, then that’s good you are realizing the importance of frugal living. If no, then no problem, it’s not very late, now you can think about saving money.

You may be thinking- “I’m just in my teenage. What’s the necessity to compromise on food to save money?” But in reality, this is the best way to help you live the life that you desire. When I was a teenager, I can’t say that I was excellent at handling money. However, I learned along the way.

I have established a habit of saving money during my pre-teens. Do you know how? Actually, I got inspired by one of my childhood friends to save money.  So, it was quite easy for me to figure out ways to save money during my teenage. And  I was a little bit aware of my spendings. 

How should teenage girls save money on food?

Saving money on food in teenage may sounds like a restriction on teenage. But first, let me help you to understand why should teenagers think about saving money on food. The fact is – teenagers spend a lot of money on food.

According to some real stats, teens spend around 40% of their money on food. The average teen spends $1040 per year to eat outside. This stat is shocking, right?

So, now it’s your time to pause and check your food habit. A few years ago I was also in my teenage. Therefore I can relate to your situation. It seems difficult to say ‘no’ when your best friend says- “Hey, today we’ll hang out and have some yummy food outside”. But frequently saying ‘yes’ will end up spending a lot of money on food.

How should teenage girls save money on food

How should teenage girls save money on food- My Observation

Saving money on food should not look like a burden. Daily take simple steps. Learning to be frugal is the key point to save more. 

I have seen many teenage girls who prefer eating outside food regularly. They even do not realise that they are not just wasting money but even this is not good for their health. And I  have seen that teenage girls are fond of chocolates. Well, here you can count me in! Even I love chocolates. But I don’t overindulge in chocolates.

Do you eat outside due to peer pressure?

Even I enjoyed myself eating outside with friends as a teenager. But I was not eating outside frequently. I was creating a balance between spending on food and saving money.

Due to my saving habit, many of my school friends were thinking that I was a miser and they were teasing me. But I knew the difference between being a miser and being frugal. I was taking their words in a fun way. I knew that I was learning to be frugal.

Frugal living is a journey rather than a destination. It’s an everlasting and wholesome journey. I can’t say that I am a totally frugal being and very good at handling money. I am also learning to be frugal day by day. I always try to look after my spending habit. 

Now you may think – In practical life how should teenage girls save money on food! There is a lot of peer pressure, am I right? Well, saving money on food it’s not rocket science.  Now we will discuss together saving money on food.

10 Practical ways to save money on your daily eatables

I myself was a teenager once and now I want to share my experiences regarding saving money. Let me bring some important and practical ways in front of you. These are very simple and easy to implement. 

1.   Don’t waste food 
2.   Celebrate your birthday at your own home without spending more money
3.   Save money on food by including veg in your diet
4.   Avoid eating outside food regularly in your teenage
5.   Simple plantations will boost teenagers to save money on food
6.   Always prioritize home-cooked meals
7.   Don’t plunk down your money on chocolates in your teenage
8.   Grab the students facilities
9.   Pick seasonal fruits and veggies
10.  Practice saying ‘no’ to your friends

1.   Don’t waste food 

Sometimes unknowingly we all do mistakes. To be honest, I had a habit of putting everything in my plate, then wasting food. My parents always say- “Don’t waste food”. As now I am learning frugal, I am realizing that I should not waste food. 

When it comes to food we all have some particular likes and dislikes. So now what I follow is, first I just take one teaspoon quantity of food. I follow this when I taste something new for the first time. Then I decide whether that particular dish should be there in my plate or not.

Wasting food is equals to wasting money

Somewhere I have read beautiful lines- “Per plate food 10 INR, But if you leave food on the plate then 20 INR” (You have the right to eat, but you don’t have the right to waste the resources). Wasting food means indirectly wasting money.

“Avoid wasting food” is the simple and best answer for how should teenage girls save money on food.  Not wasting food is a practical way to save money on food.

2.  Celebrate your birthday at your own home without spending more money

I am not against celebration, but I think here also we should apply frugality. Instead of going outside and celebrating your birthday, you can celebrate it at your home. Bake a cake and cook a variety of yummy food at your own home by taking the help of your parents and siblings. Invite your friends to your house.

Celebrate your birthday in your teenage within your budget

Who does not like to celebrate birthdays in teenage? Well, everyone likes celebrations, sweets, cake, yummy food. We all want to celebrate a birthday and want to enjoy it. My cousin is a teenager who is very passionate about cooking. Especially she is interested in baking.

She prepares a variety of tasty cakes and cookies at home. She prepares cake at home on birthdays of her family members also. Even I have seen many other teenage girls who like baking. So, you can also try this.

If you celebrate your birthday outside then you will end up spending a lot of money on food. Do not overindulge in celebrating your birthday. Keep things simple and enjoyable. Always think twice before spending too much money on your birthday. 

3.  Save money on food by including veg in your diet

Are you vegetarian? If yes, then you are already saving money on food. It’s a good thing to eat non-veg as it provides proteins. But as compared to veg food, non-veg is costlier.

Teenage girls require complete nutrition and proteins. So, I am not telling you to compromise on health here. But figure out food items in veg which provide good nutrition. And which are also not costlier.

Know-how should teenage girls save money on protein-rich food

So I suggest here, try to eat other veg items which are rich in proteins. And save money on food. You can plan your food. For example- weekly once or twice non-veg. And the rest of the days veg items.

Do you know there are other food items also which are rich in proteins and you get them at a lower price? They are- eggs, soya chunks, natural peanut butter, pumpkin seeds etc. I also include these food items in my diet. Pumpkin seeds are my favourite. You can also try to include these food items in your diet.

4.   Avoid eating outside food regularly in your teenage

If you eat frequently outside food, it will be very difficult for you to change your food habit in future. By this, you will spend more money frequently on food. So, establish good habits in your teenage-like saving money, having meals at home etc.

If you eat outside food once or twice a month then that’s all right. But if you have food outside frequently then it’s time to re-think your food habit. Try to avoid eating outside as much as possible. 

What I was doing to avoid eating outside in my teenage?

I was not carrying more cash while going to school or college. I was having a maximum of 10 INR, not more than that. So, it’s a simple rule ‘no cash, no spending’.

Do you know when you are hungry your temptation increases. You will not be able to avoid eating outside because of temptation. So never skip your breakfast. Always have a proper breakfast at home before leaving for college or school.

I and my friends were carrying a lunch box and water bottle with us. These are all simple techniques to save money on food. I really feel that you should carry the lunch box with you.

5.  Simple plantations will boost teenagers to save money on food

Are you thinking planting will be very difficult and time-consuming? But it’s not difficult at all. Well, now don’t think of getting started with rice plants. Just take tiny steps. That is all. 

What I’m trying to say here is that you don’t need a big farm or a separate space to create your own produce. Just start with small plant pots at home. Try planting your own products that can be easily produced without much maintenance. Like green chilly, tomatoes, potatoes etc.

Planting at home helps you save money on vegetables. In my house, I have planted tomatoes, green chilies, mint and coriander plants. I haven’t rented a space for it. The plants are growing in my own balcony.

how should teenage girls save money on food?

In my house, there are some edible plants. These are the clicks of the plants which are planted in small pots at my house. Can you able to recognize these plants? Well, the first image is of basale soppu (Malabar Spinach). And the second one is curry leaves. These plants do not need a lot of maintenance. One can plant them easily. This is how can save some pennies on food.

6.  Always prioritize home-cooked meals

Few of my friends were living in a rented house during school and college days. And they used to cook together. They were liking to cook different types of dishes. This is again a practical good idea.

Having home-cooked meals is the best way to save money on food. Even I always prefer home-cooked meals. I have established a habit of eating home-cooked meals. Home-cooked meals should be your first priority rather than eating outside food.

If you are staying away from your home with your friends, try cooking together. Here you can save a lot of money. Even you can share the expenses of groceries with your friends. Observe your life and try to be frugal and save money.

7.  Don’t plunk down your money on chocolates in your teenage

I am assuming there is a special bond between teenage girls and chocolates:) I have not seen any teenage girl who does not like chocolates. And even I like to eat chocolates. But I don’t overindulge.

Sometimes I feel eating chocolates is also some kind of addiction! Some teenage girls always spend a lot of money on chocolates. They eat chocolates when they are happy. They eat chocolates when they are sad! On every mood swing, they grab the chocolates.

But this is not the right way. Don’t consume a lot of chocolates by spending a lot of money on them. Try to overcome your food habits. Spending a lot of money on chocolates is not worth it.

8.   Grab the students facilities

The canteen facility was not there in my school. But there was a mid-day meal facility. The students were getting a mid-day meal for free of cost. So, instead of spending money on food, be aware of such student facilities and use them.

9.   Pick seasonal fruits and veggies 

Are you looking for oranges in all the seasons? Well, it’s not the right thing to choose food items like this. This is a very costly idea, to choose veggies like this.

Always pick seasonal fruits and veggies. For example- Mangoes in summer, Oranges in winter. During the particular season, we can get it easily without spending a lot of money. If you look for mangoes or mango products in the off-season you will end up paying double the price.

10.   Know when to say ‘no’ to your friends

Teenage girls prefer to hang out with their girls’ gang. Most of the time they make shopping plans and eating outside food. Enjoying with friends and having food outside with friends is good. But you must not do it frequently.

In teenage, we all meet new friends. And we all prioritize our friends. We can not say ‘no’ when they make plans like shopping & eating outside. But you must learn to say ‘no’ here. Here what I mean is, say ‘no’ to spending, say ‘yes’ to save’. 

And whenever your friends ask for a treat, make sure it must not be a burden for you. You do not need to give a treat to all of your friends on every occasion. Sensible people know when to say ‘no’ politely.

How should teenage girls save money on food is one of the aspects when it comes to saving. Always take baby steps and start to save money. Implement the practical ways in your day-to-day life. Be a part of frugal living.

Ankita Kamat

I'm Ankita Kamat, the creator of Frugal Beat, a blog dedicated to frugal living. Join me in exploring practical ways to save money, reduce waste and live a purposeful life. Let's embrace frugality as a lifestyle together.