10 Secrets to Keep your Grocery Spending Down:
Groceries. We need them and we have to buy them. Yet, while they are a necessity, do you find that you have quite a high grocery bill? Are you frustrated by that fact? There are ways to keep grocery costs down and I’m about to reveal my secrets that will help fix your problem.
You might be feeling as though there’s no possible way to cut your grocery bill. But, I’m of the mindset that our grocery bill is one of the most flexible bills we have to pay. There is no set monthly bill that a grocery store sends our way, unlike the phone company. We make the call on how much our bill will be each time we stop at the store.
Shop your Pantry
Before you even head to the grocery store, peruse your pantry shelves to see how many ingredients you already have that will help you put together as many meals as possible. Take inventory. Every once in a while I like to dedicate a week or two to shopping from my pantry. On those weeks, I literally only spend about $30 on dairy products and fresh fruits & veggies. Simply because I’m making an effort to use what I already have on hand. This is a great way to ensure that you don’t spend money you didn’t have to, and that you don’t find good food that has expired.
Have a Meal Plan
I’m a huge fan of meal planning. Like, huge! Every week, I try to have 5 dinners planned out by Sunday evening. Five, because one night we usually eat out and Sundays are spent at my parents. Also, I plan dinners only because lunch usually consists of dinner leftovers and breakfast is a rotation of oatmeal/peanut butter toast/pancakes/French toast/and eggs, each always served with fruit. This works for us because usually the same things get marked down on the list and I know what each item generally costs. This makes our bill fairly consistent, since there’s usually only a few “not usual” items needing to be purchased.
Shop the flyer sales
I’ll admit and say that shopping the store sales and planning meals around those sales is not my strongest trait. But often times if there’s an item on sale that I know we’ll use in the near future, I will buy at least a couple. (Chicken is on sale this week so I’ll probably buy at least four packages to get us through to the next sale.) If you can get good at planning your meals around what’s on sale each week, you’ll be saving a ton!
Breakfast for dinner
Breakfast is cheaper than dinner. There are usually a couple of nights a month where I plan to make breakfast for dinner. Waffles with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and bacon? Yes, please! My husband also likes to make a huge batch of French toast once in a while and we put the leftovers in the freezer for super easy breakfasts.
Use rice & pasta
I like to use rice and pasta quite a bit because I find them to be so cheap! Pasta is very cheap when I can find a good deal using coupons. Rice, when purchased in bulk, is cheap and lasts a long time! I like to make up stir-frys once in a while using rice or pasta to serve the veggies over. (Stir-frys are also a great way to use up vegetables!) Also, I know when I make something involving rice or pasta, it’ll be a hit with my toddler, and that’s a win!
Growing up, I was not a big fan of leftovers. When my parents would inform me that we’ll be having leftovers for dinner, I usually cringed. Now, as an adult, I LOVE leftovers! Leftovers mean one less meal I have to make during the week! More often than not, I’ll actually double up on dinner just so we have extra. Most of the time we save leftovers for lunch, but occasionally we’ll have a busy night that will need a super quick dinner.
Use meat substitutes
These days, I’m actually forced to use something besides meat and poultry because my daughter has decided she’ll have none of it. Luckily, she loves beans, lentils and eggs, which I find to be a great grocery budget saver! There are also many other vegetables that are high in protein such as mushrooms, green peas, kale, broccoli and cauliflower that I prepare with each meal.
Use frozen vegetables
While I much prefer fresh vegetables, sometimes buying frozen vegetables can be cheaper in the long run. Especially if you find certain vegetables are always going bad before you have a chance to finish them. (That’s cauliflower in our home!) I usually have a bag of mixed frozen vegetables on hand for those nights when dinner can’t be made fast enough. We have also determined that steaming them makes them taste the best. They’re not as soggy that way!
I don’t use a lot of coupons, but as I mentioned above, I’ve stocked up on pasta (and other items) many times because of some sales and coupons I’ve had. I also consider paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste and other household items to be grocery items and I won’t buy these items unless I have a coupon. There are also a couple of cash back sites (Checkout 51 and Ampli use code AMPLI5 for a free $5 bonus) that I use to save even more.
Eat before you shop
This is a tip you probably hear every time someone tells you how to save money on groceries. But, I can certainly attest to its truth! Nearly each time I grocery shop hungry, I end up with extra stuff in my shopping cart. And it’s usually not healthy stuff! A bag of chips? Sure! A bottle of pop? We haven’t had that in a while! I always have snacks in my purse because of my daughter, but I’ve been known to “share” them with her just so I’m not starving and fill our cart full of unnecessary stuff.
There you have it. My 10 Secrets that are sure to help you keep your grocery budget on track! I hope you found something helpful in this list, or at least something that inspires you to try harder.
I’d love it if you would share your tips and tricks in the comments!