As a mom of 3 growing boys and 1 hungry husband, the amount of food we have to keep in this house is insane. Over the years, there were times when money was super tight. I had to find ways to cut back our budget and this was usually easiest at the grocery store.
I know there are many of you who have felt that you can’t find another place to cut. You might feel like you don’t use a ton of extra money on groceries so you couldn’t possibly cut back. One thing I’ve learned is that cuts can always be made.
First and foremost, I would pray for guidance in the grocery store, and this would always lead me to sales and discounts. This may seem silly, but I can’t tell you the number of times I have walked out of the store amazed at the savings I received. He answered those little prayers. So, here are 15 tips for cutting your grocery budget in half:
1. Get out cash.
Whatever your budget, only get out that amount in cash. This prevents overspending by simply swiping your card. You will also keep a running total in your head and be more conscious of the amount you have.
2. Meal plan.
Take some time on Sunday night and check out Pinterest for ideas for simple meals to plan into your week. You would be amazed how easy it is to add random things to your cart (even on sale.) Meal plans help you stay focused and simplifies your week as well.
3. Minimize your meats.
Buy meats that stretch, like ground turkey or beef. This saves a lot of money as meats are the most expensive part of the bill. Also look for fillers to stretch your meal out, like rice or potatoes.
4. Shop less.
Pick one day of the week to run to the store and don’t come back until that day next week. There are so many times I run into the store for milk half way through the week and come out with 3 extra bags. When you shop once a week, you spend less. If it runs out, make no exceptions. It’s time to get creative. Wait until next week.
5. Stalk your circular.
Take some time to sit down with your weekly circular at your local grocery store. Shop the sales and plan your meals around what’s on sale.
Coupons are now easier than ever. You can download them to your store card from online, print them right offline or even show an app on your phone. Gone are the days of sitting and cutting coupons for hours. Take some time to print off what you need and you will save tons.
7. Shop discount stores.
I love Aldi. They are super cheap and now mostly organic. They help us save so much money on our groceries. Also, stores like Sharp Shopper, Ollies or even Big Lots have dirt cheap deals on brand name drinks and snacks. This has a big impact on our bills.
8. Know when things go on sale.
Know what goes on sale every month and stock up on that item for the most savings. There are different sections of the store that have some steep discounts depending on the the month. If you aren’t sure what those are, check out my post “The best time to buy everything: a month by month guide.”
9. Follow meat markdowns.
Every grocery store is different so give a call to your local store to find out when they mark down the meats for the day. This is how I get a lot of deals on organic meats as well. The markdowns typically take place in the morning or late in the evening.
10. Use apps for extra savings.
11. Buy store brand.
Most of my cart is filled with the grocery store brand. Mainly because it’s the same exact ingredients for a fraction of the price. We have found a few things that don’t taste the same but, for the most part we can swap name brand for store brand with everything. This dramatically cuts my bill.
12. Shop your home.
Ever feel like your pantry is filled with food but, you need something for dinner?! Well, this is me all the time. I’ve been incorporating a few days into my schedule where I “shop my home.” Every time, I find something to throw together and make a meal even when it felt like I had nothing. This helps me minimize waste and be more creative with food I already have.
13. Grow your own.
You will save a ton of money if you start your own little garden or even pick one thing to grow. We eat a lot of salads in the summer so even just growing tomatoes (which taste way better) are a big savings.
14. Buy in bulk.
Getting a membership to a place like Costco, Bj’s or Sam’s club can slash that bill as well. Items like milk, bread, rice, and cereal are signifigantly cheaper than the grocery store. For our family of 5, the savings are endless at these types of stores.
15. Drink more water.
Your bank account and your body will thank you. We drink a lot of water in this house. It helps us save money and also cuts down on our sugar intake and meaningless calories. Even if you cut back how often you are buying sugary drinks, it will make a difference in your wallet.
I hope these 15 tips help save you a lot of money on your next trip to the grocery store. Little changes can make a big difference in your budget. There are always ways to cut and save more. What other tips do you have to saving money on groceries?!
For more frugal living tips, check out: ” How we live well on one income.”