Save Money on Your Grocery Bill
Are you spending way to much on food for your family? Do you want to learn how to save money? Learn how to budget money more wisely with these awesome tips to help you save money on groceries.
We were sinking. No matter how we tried to bail ourselves out of debt, we could not get ahead. We looked at every aspect of our budget, what bills we were paying, what we could maybe live without and what could be paid at a later date. Still, we were just barely making ends meet with almost nothing left over. Then I started keeping a strict tab of everything we spent money on. Right down to toilet paper, if we paid money for it, it was put on the list. The results blew my mind.
We were throwing money down for food left and right. Not just meals, we spent hundreds of dollars a month on junk food and drinks. It was a depressing realization because how could I cut food out of the budget? This was something we absolutely needed, right?
I found ways to save money on my grocery bill. Now we can actually pay our bills on time and have money left over at the end of the month. I will share what works best for our family with you, and hopefully you can find some relief in your grocery bill as well.
How To Save Money on Groceries
Track What You’re Spending
Following all the tips below will help but to get the most out of this advice, you have to know where the problem is. The only way to do this is to track your spending for a few weeks. Don’t overlook anything. Even if you just buy a pack of gum, write it down. After a few weeks you’ll be able to see a pattern of spending, and will know where to start your money-saving adventure.
I found it helpful to dedicate a small notebook just for this purpose and carry it everywhere with me. I asked my boyfriend to save receipts and would write everything he spent in it as well.
Shop at Different Grocery Stores
One of the biggest mistakes we were making was shopping at one grocery store because it was convenient. For years, this was the only store I went to. It was less than a mile from my house, you could walk there in fifteen minutes, I could get frozen foods home quickly, picking up last-minute dinner was a breeze, and it was right on the way home.
I spent hundreds of dollars MORE than I should have been EVERY month!
Once we shopped around, I couldn’t believe the price difference on certain items. Meat was half the price I had been paying, produce was almost three times cheaper at other stores, and soon I was over stocking my cupboard for almost half of what I had currently been spending.
Shop Where the Deals Are This Week
Shopping around sounds like a massive pain. I understand; who has time for that? Luckily, technology has made it much easier by doing the dirty work for us. You don’t have to go store to store collecting flyers and price checking. A quick internet search can tell you everything you need to know.
Check out the online flyers for local stores. You can easily map out your grocery list by which stores have cheaper items. Keep in mind that when a store has a great deal on one thing, they have jacked the price up on something else. So if you can get dairy for dirt cheap, chances are good you’re paying way too much for produce or meats.
Hey! I saw that eye roll.
I get it. Coupons are time-consuming. You have to pour over flyers, clip out each coupon, organize them in your purse, remember to use them and hold up traffic at the register by handing twenty of them to a miserable cashier. Nobody likes doing that much work just to save fifty cents.
Those coupons add up really quickly. If you use a hundred fifty cent off coupons a month that’s fifty bucks you’ve saved. There are people who have taken this to the extreme and end up being owed money from the store.
You don’t have to be that person, but once you realize how much you can save using coupons, you might venture to the dark side.
Every time I went to the grocery store I would pass by a kiosk, but I never concerned myself with it. One day there was a counter set up in the middle of the store with two girls talking to people passing by. I stopped to see what it was, and I am so glad I did. These stores have jumped aboard the app train, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to anyone who does the grocery shopping in their home.
You download the app, register in minutes, and save a ton of money. They don’t all work the same way but they all have the same basic idea. It alerts you to sales in your area, allows you to clip and store coupons, and sometimes gives you free stuff. The best part? Most of them give you a profile that you can sign into while cashing out, and any coupons you have saved get automatically applied to your bill. No more sorting through coupons.
It’s awesome to use coupons so easily, but the best part is the free stuff. The stores want you to try stuff you normally would not have bought so you will be more likely to buy it again in the future. I have gotten almond milk, frozen pizza, ice cream, and much more all for free.
We had a terrible habit of not shopping ahead. We would have staple items, but we constantly went to the store to pick up dinner. I know many people who get stuck in this rut. It’s usually because you don’t have enough money to buy a whole week of groceries so you buy as you go. This is only hurting your budget in the long run.
When you go to the store every night to get stuff for dinner, you end up buying way too much stuff every month. Planning a menu allows you to buy items you can use for more than one meal. Instead of buying it twice for two separate meals.
Another good thing about planning a menu is that you can utilize left overs. I always try to think of dinner ideas that can be turned into lunch the next day. Or things we can eat again the next night. Casseroles, soups, and boiled dinners are all great examples of meals that can be eaten twice.
No Eating Out
We are all guilty of this. The kids had a late game and you don’t have time to cook so you grab takeout. If you work late, it can be easier to go out to eat instead of cooking. This will shatter a budget. Like, into a million tiny pieces.
Try to avoid eating out whenever you possibly can. This does not pertain to just restaurants either. Stopping at the gas station for pizza, getting prepared foods at the grocery store, and ordering sandwiches are all things you spend way too much money on.
If I know I am going to be home late or just really too tired to cook, I plan a crock pot meal. Or we have leftover night, and everyone finds their own meal.
Make a List
Never go into a grocery store hungry or without a list. It’s budget suicide. You’ll end up impulse buying junk and quickly prepared foods.
Making a list it easier than it sounds if you keep one running on your fridge all week-long. If someone uses the rest of something, add it to the list.
I find having a list helps me because I don’t buy things I thought I needed only to get home and realize I already had eight. It also helps to keep me from buying things I don’t need. I allow myself up to three non-list items.
People are quick to turn their noses up when leftovers are mentioned. I personally love leftovers and find it convenient to be able to toss them in the microwave and go.
Don’t Shop Hungry
No really, don’t. You will be more likely to buy things that can be eaten quickly, and will be drawn towards junk food.
We have had to tighten the budget belt a lot recently but it made us more aware of how we spend our money. Implementing the tips above has helped us save hundreds a month. It’s not easy but it can be done.