For most families, the cost of food is one of the highest in their monthly budget. Left unchecked, this cost can wreak havoc on a family’s finances, but it doesn’t have to with these 6 tips:

1.       Make broth out of scraps- Buying canned soups and broths can add up to a lot of money, as companies have to recoup the cost of canning the soups and broths. One easy way to save on these items is to make your own broth out of vegetables or leftover bones.

2.       Buy beans in bulk- A healthy and cost-effective food to eat is beans, which can save you even more when you buy them dried and in bulk. Cooking time will take slightly longer when using dried beans, but it will be well worth the cost savings you achieve.

3.       Cut out sodas and drink water- Soda is a guilty pleasure of many Americans, but it is also a cash cow for companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi. Their profit comes directly out of your budget, so save some money by just drinking water. You’ll be amazed by how much you’re able to save.

4.       Eat less- This may seem overly simplistic, but it will definitely lower your food budget. With obesity on the rise, it wouldn’t hurt the average American to take a closer look at how much they eat, and consequently reduce their intake. This will certainly reduce your waistline along with your monthly grocery budget.

5.       Eat Leftovers- One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to maximize everything you buy, which includes eating leftovers as much as possible. To make your leftovers last longer, be sure to put leftovers in the freezer that you don’t think your family will eat for a while.

6.       Eat less meat- When it comes to grocery shopping, experienced professionals know that meat costs more than a lot of other foods in the store. That’s why you should consider making some “meatless” meals for your family. Try having pasta with pesto instead of meat sauce, or replacing some of the meat in a meal with vegetables.