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5 easy steps to save money on your food bill, using AI

This cost-of-living-beating hack can help you cut back on your everyday grocery bill.

Compilation image of chat GPT logo on a phone and a pile of money
Using AI for everyday tasks like meal planning can help to save money on your grocery bill. (Source: Getty) (Samantha Menzies)

Some people claim artificial intelligence (AI) is coming for our jobs, and that concept might be worrying, but when it comes to saving money there are ways AI can make our lives a whole lot easier.

Take meal prepping for example. Imagine having your own personal chef who creates meal plans personalised for you and your household, sticks to your budget, creates your grocery list, sources recipes and does everything but shop for you and prepare the meals. (I mean, AI is good, but it’s not quite there yet).

AI can help you reduce the amount of money spent on food, and also ease the relentless life admin of what to eat. And the best part? The technology is absolutely free.

Here are five steps for using AI to save money on your weekly food bill:

Step one: Calculate how much you actually spend

Go through your bank statements for three months and calculate how much you currently spend on food and groceries. Ideally you want this to be an ordinary month so don’t include months where there is unusual spending such as holidays or Christmas. If you can’t find three sequential months then choose three individual months. Once you’ve totalled the amount (and stopped feeling ill at how much you spend on food) you want to figure out your weekly food bill. To do this, simply divide your three month total by 13 weeks.

Step two: Work out how much you want to spend

If you want to reduce your food bill (which most of us do), decide how much you want to reduce it by. For example, you might want to reduce weekly grocery spend by 20 per cent per week or by $100 per week.

Step three: Collate information on how and why you eat

Figure out the parameters for who is in your household and how they eat. For example, you might have dietary requirements, allergies, preferences, intolerances or you might want to eat 30g of protein every meal. You’re going to want to collate this information before you head to AI.

Step four: Input the data

Enter all your information including budget, household members, preferences, allergies and more into AI such as Chat GPT and ask for a seven-day meal plan including recipes and a grocery list. If there’s anything that crops up which you’re not interested in, ask for a different option.

Step five: Find the best deals

Check your pantry for what you already have so you’re not doubling up and if you want to save even more money, use an app such as Shopfully or Frugl Grocery to help you find the best grocery deals and specials for the items on your list.

The best part is that Chat GPT will save your searches and learn your preferences so once you have four weeks’ worth of meal plans you’re happy with, you can keep cycling through them each week.

If you have a special occasion such as a birthday or Christmas and you want to save on meal prep, again put in your budget and use the power of AI to save you money on those special occasion meals too.

As with all great financial habits, don’t just try it once and abandon it. AI learns every time you use it, so let it know if you don’t like particular ingredients, particular foods or if the reverse is true and you want to eat a particular type of food every single week.

If you want my free step by step guide including prompts to use and a video showing you how to do it, simply head to https://www.melissabrowne.com.au/ai-secrets.

Melissa Browne is an ex-accountant, ex-financial advisor and now financial educator. Her signature course is the 8 week My Financial Adulting Plan. Receive her daily tips on insta at https://www.instagram.com/melbrowne.money/

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