I don’t know about you guys, but if I don’t stay on top of our grocery spending, it’s the first budget to get out of control!
If I go into the grocery store without a plan, I can easily spend two or three times as much as I should. I mean, why do they put the bakery right next to the produce? Rude.
And they work super hard to fill those end caps with irresistible impulse items. They WANT you to spend your money and they make it so easy.
But, with these simple tips you’ll be able to save tons of money at the grocery store without sacrificing very much. All it takes is some careful planning and a little bit of creativity!
Lets jump in!
#1 Grab your local ads.
Start with your favorite grocery store of course, but also look at the ones for other near by stores. I’ve noticed that they usually have different things on sale each week, so paying attention to that can help cut down a lot.
I have been known to go to multiple stores to reap the biggest savings, but I know that’s unreasonable. Especially for those with kiddos.
After you have all of your ads (I usually open them all in different tabs on my browser) scope out where the best deals are for the week.
Our largest expense is typically meat. I start by browsing the meat section of every ad first to see what deal they have, but I also keep in mind some meals that I like to make. I try to choose two different meats per week and find the store with the best deals on those.
If you’re really trying to slash your spending, rather than having meats in mind, just go with whichever are the cheapest per pound and move on to recipes later.
#2 Buy the best deals in bulk.
It also really helps you overall savings to think longer term. So, if chicken breasts are on sale for $1.49 per pound, it’s best to try and grab a couple of weeks worth while it’s at the lower price! Just be sure you add freezer paper and zipper bags to your list!
You can’t buy bulk for every sale (frozen lettuce is obviously not an option). But, you can for meats, some vegetables, and pantry items. If you see something that your family uses regularly at an amazing price, definitely grab extras for the future too!
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#3 Plan out your meals.
After you have decided which meats your purchasing for the week, brain storm some meal ideas based on that.
If you don’t know a lot of recipes, Pinterest is an amazing place to look for some! Just type your ingredients in the search bar and tons of options will pop up.
While you are brainstorming recipes, stick to ones that have a lower number of ingredients to keep cost down. Also consider only making 2-4 meal variations for the week and cycle them between lunches and dinners.
Limiting your meal choices for the week not only helps cut down on costs, but also cuts down on your weekly cooking time! Who doesn’t want that?!
For example, lets say you decided on chicken legs and ground beef as your eats for the week. I would choose two ground beef recipes (tacos and spaghetti) and a chicken leg recipe (baked legs with veggies). Then I would plan for those meals to be cooked once but make enough to have dinner twice and lunch twice.
If you have enough time to meal prep, you could just cook it all in one day and not have to worry about cooking the rest of the week! Then you have plenty of meals for the week that just need to be quickly reheated.
#4 Make your list starting with the most expensive items.
Listing your most expensive items first can help you keep track of how much spending you have left. Of course, keep importance in mind too. If you have to cut something out to fit your budget, you want to make sure it’s not a necessary ingredient.
Mine usually goes from meats (most expensive) to packaged goods (mid level) to produce (usually cheapest). If I need to reduce cost, I start by seeing if there is a cheaper vegetable I can swap or a lower priced packaged good.
#5 Stick to your shopping list.
This is the most important tip and the hardest one to follow!
If you have the privilege of being close to a grocery store with curb-side pickup, utilizing that may save you money! Especially if your a victim of impulse shopping like me. The $5 fee I pay to pick my groceries up is less than the cost of the 1/2 gallon of ice cream I might buy if I walk too close to the freezer!
If you have to step foot in the store though, do your absolute best to stick to the list 100%. You may only grab a $4 item and a $3 item there, but those costs add up! Set a budget, make your list, and STICK TO IT!
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How much can you actually save doing this?
I personally reduced my monthly grocery bill by roughly 60% when I implemented these tips! We were spending over $150 each week, now it’s closer to $100 for TWO WEEKS! That brought us down from a monthly average of about $600 to closer to $200.
Talk about savings!
Ultimately, I think planning and sticking to your list are the most important things you can take away from this. Those two things alone will cut your grocery bill substantially!
Drop a comment below and let me know how much you saved by implementing these tips! Happy shopping!