The Big Line Item
We are now creeping into month five of full-time RV living. It’s crazy when I look back just how far we have come to this new lifestyle. There is a huge learning curve for this type of lifestyle. Most of the people we talk to in the RV parks are always surprised that we have not been doing it for years. Today I wanted to tackle a topic I think is fun and at the end of the day does affect your financial bottom line. Keeping food Costs Low!
Food is one of the big line items for most households and I truly think it can make or break you in many ways.
How To Keep Food Costs Low
I get asked often how do we keep our food costs so low. Also, I get a lot of questions on how is cooking and eating living in an RV. While there are some differences living full-time in an RV there really is not that much difference in my opinion. We have a stove, a microwave, and a fridge. We have never used the microwave lol. The stove runs on propane and the fridge runs on electricity only. Most RV fridges run on either propane or electricity. Ours is an upgraded commercial fridge just like the one in your apartment or house. Our fridge is tied into our solar panels so we can cook and use everything even when out in the middle of nowhere. In January we did exactly that for a little adventure.
We do have a limited amount of room for kitchen gear like dishes, pans, pots, and what have you. Yet even with our limited space we literally have everything we need and room for things we don’t need but like to have. It’s really amazing how much you can live without that you never realized you could. Our water ether comes from a water line hookup at the RV park or we have a 39-gallon size tank that we can draw from if we are at a no hookup site. Which lasts us around two weeks if we don’t really limit our usage to much.
Our Food Hacking Skills!
We do have a few food hacking skills that have kept our grocery shopping to pretty rock bottom costs. Which leaves more cash flow for us to invest and build wealth. Some of these hacks might sound silly but we have seen incredible results from them. Also, some of these hacks might not be for you or you might not be able to utilize and that is ok.
- AMEX CC’s
- Learn To Cook Great Tasting Food
- Shop At Bargain Stores
- Buy What You Need
- Keep To Staple Healthy Food
- Utilize Any Free Food Giveaways
Yes, using American Express CC’s is one of our ways to keep food costs low. We get a monthly credit of $15 to use on Uber Eats which is free money to eat out with our AMEX Platinum Card. It’s over $180 a year we get paid to go eat out. It’s an incredible way to keep our food costs low. Using that credit we typically go get Thi Food which is about 4 meals worth for around $18. So only a few dollars come out of our pockets.
Learn To Cook
Learn to cook great tasting food sounds so simple. Yet I see so often people admit they don’t even know how to cook the most basic of food. This leads them to eat out a lot. Then they don’t understand why their food costs are so high. Learning to cook is trial and error mixed with having fun with it. I love cooks especially trying new things. I bought a cooking app probably 6 years ago now for $10 and it has been a great tool to help me. But it really was not needed with a few clicks in google or youtube you could get the same results.
Bargin Grocery Stores
The good old bargain grocery stores are so much fun they make me want to vomit. The FI/FIRE community has what I call the Holy Grail of this and that is ALDI’s. Honestly, I was so unimpressed with that store that I think it’s just a bandwagon place for the FI crowd. We shop at El Super here in San Diego. The prices are rock bottom and they have everything in stock all the time. We get things like avocados at the low price of four for a dollar. Yet funny enough I have never once heard of this place brought up in any FI group. El Super is our go-to place here in San Diego I’m sure there is something similar in your area.
I was unimpressed with ALDI’s and think it’s a bandwagon place for the FI crowd.
Ever go into a store with a few items you needed and then left with a basket full? That’s right you are not the only one and it happens more often than people want to admit. This inflates the cost of your food bill and what ends up happening you throw stuff away wasting more money. Stick to what you need in the store. This takes a little thing called discipline. Own up to your weakness and get better at it. I would bet if you do you will see more cash flow every month.
Eating Healthy And Fancy On A Dime
Keep to Healthy Staple food is an obvious health hack. I often hear I can’t eat healthy because I can’t afford it. That is a fucking lie. Some of the most healthy food is the cheapest I see in the store. I hear but Organic costs so much money! Yeah and Organic literally has had no scientific evidence to be any more healthy than regular food. That is right your feeling don’t mean shit and science has not proven Organic is better. Chicken is dirt cheap, beans, rice, vegetables, apples, oranges, bananas. The issue is people buy bullshit to eat and it costs more for convenience. Or they buy higher-end things like say high-end steaks, seafood, out of season fruits that cost more. I’m 35 and my wife is 29 and we are pretty dam healthy on these staple foods and I’m positive this will continue to later in our lives.
Free food giveaways are a badass hack in my book. We utilize the USO and food drives setup for Active Duty Military. This has allowed us to get free fruit, vegetables, and canned goods. There was even once a 40-pound meat giveaway but it was for lower rank personnel. Look in your area to see if you can find any that you might rate or can take advantage of.
Now, what kind of food post would this be without some pictures of the fancy and amazing tasting meals my perfect wife cooks.
Now that is just a handful of the meals my wife has cooked. I’ll admit I do maybe 1% of the cooking and that is typically on the grill. We eat tasty, healthy, really amazing food while living full-time in our RV in a very cost-effective way. I really challenge everyone out there to try new methods for what you do and think outside the box to see if you can get better results. People would swear they could not eat great living in an RV yet here I am eating better than most people I talk to that live in houses and apartments. It goes to show you can do more with less and living with less does not mean sacrifice as many would assume.
So there are our food hacks that keep our grocery costs rock bottom. Also a quick snapshot at what we eat living full-time in our RV and how not much is different besides space vs in a house or apartment and I never clean shit.
If interested to learn more about my Credit Card Hacks check it out here.
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