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If you’re like most families, you are constantly looking to save money. More often than not, that means trying to reduce your largest expenses. For the vast majority of American families, food purchases rank among the highest costs that they have, and they often spend more than $6,500 on groceries and eating out each year. Even a 10% savings can chop $650 off your budget, and that’s a decent amount of money. So, how can your family save money on food? Here are three suggestions.

Plan Out Meals

Meal planning has emerged as a fantastic way of both saving dollars and ensuring that you eat healthily. It involves cooking your meals days in advance. Doing so helps to reduce food waste, ensuring that you can plan nutritious meals. This, of course, can help you save money. Even better is that meal planning and advance food prep can be fantastic ways of cutting down on unnecessary food purchases at both grocery stores and restaurants since you’ll always know what’s for dinner.

Reduce Eating Out

When you eat out, you are paying a premium for the food that you eat and the service that you receive while eating. Yes, it can be very convenient and tasty, but if you are looking to save money, you should try to eat out as infrequently as possible. Remember that eating out less often is about more than just your own individual diet or budget. It’s also about helping your kids learn how to be more frugal with their money. Not instilling healthy eating habits in your kids early on can have consequences for them later.

Purchasing in Bulk

Purchasing in bulk can often be a great way to save money because it allows you to leverage big discounts and buy many products at the same time. If this is a route that you take, you have to keep in mind that you will need large amounts of storage space at home. Additionally, buying in bulk works best if you incorporate the suggestions above. Combining buying in bulk with meal planning will allow you to see big savings on your food budget.

Saving money on your food budget can yield a great deal of savings. However, it often requires a change in mindset. Many people are used to spending relatively loosely when it comes to their food budget. Saving money in this category requires you to think differently and invest more time in preparing your own food and altering your purchasing patterns.