Ways to cut grocery budget

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.

6.  Coupons.

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.

Apps like Checkout 51 and Ibotta are my absolute favorite!!  All I have to do is scan my receipt and pick the offers I want to redeem.  I save big on basics like milk, bread, and produce.

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.”

cutting grocery bill

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60 comments

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Really great tips!! Especially the part about only running to the grocery store once a week! šŸ™‚ Have a nice day!

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Thanks so much! Hope it helps you too!

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Shop less! YES YES YES! This is one of my problems–I run into the store for one thing and come out with five bags of food. OOPS! These tips are great–and VERY helpful!

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Thanks so much!

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Thanks for this. I’m truly finally cracking down, and I finally sticking to couponing. Crosses finger. Say a prayer

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Good for you girl!

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These are great tips! I totally agree about meal planning and only shopping once a week. Those two have helped me a lot!

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Yes, meal plans do wonders for our budget!

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These are great tips! I’m always looking for ways to save us money!

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Thanks so much! Yes! I am with ya!

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I will have to try more of these out. Our grocery bill is always so high despite my meal planning, couponing, and buying in bulk….

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AWW man, I hope some of these tips will help you lower it a little more!

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My husband has done the grocery shopping since we got married, but now his job is changing and I’m taking over so I am so excited for these tips! I have to remember to look at savings and discount stores

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I’m so glad they are helpful! Good luck!

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Great post! I too do all of this to keep my grocery shopping at a minimum! Living on a budget can be tough, but if your tough on yourself and follow through you can save a ton of money!

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Yes! Exactly! Self control is hard lol

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We hardly eat anybody meat at home and I always look for store brand first. I need to get on ibotta…. I wish we had an aldi too!

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That’s awesome! Yes they are both really great!

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Those are great tips!! I keep telling myself I am going to try Ibotta, but I keep forgetting! I’m going to do some research today into how it works. Thanks! <3

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Yes you have to use it! Click on the word in the post to download!

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Great tips! I meal plan every week and have found that saves us a lot of money – that way I can shop with a strict list and stick to it!

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Yes! Meal planning is key for sure!

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Oh if I didn’t use coupons when I shopped….

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LOL Right?!

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I do a lot of these as well! I would save so much on ground beef by waiting until a day or so before the sell by date and then buying it and cooking it that same day. And kroger has made it so easy to coupon with their mobile app! And they give out free stuff on fridays! Also, since I have tmobile, I get free stuff on Tuesdays as well with Tmobile Tuesdays – if you have tmobile then you should check it out because they offer free stuff every tuesday. I even got a pizza once! Anyway, thanks for the tips!

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Wow girl you are on top of it! LOL Yes, discount meat is the way to go and mobile coupons make it so much easier.

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These are all great tips. Whenever I make something with meat I always use less than the originally recipe — especially in soups/chilis.

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Yes! Soups and Chili are a great way to do that!

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Great tips! I love planting tomatoes and herbs in the spring, so I have them all through the summer into the fall. One thing that helps cut my grocery budget, is having meatless Mondays. Cutting out meet a few ways a week, saves a lot.

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Yes that makes a big difference! Thanks for the weekly tip!

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This is great, I love these ideas thanks for sharing.

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Thank so much!

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Love your ideas! Ibotta is one of my favorite apps. It literally pays your to shop. šŸ™‚

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I know!! Ibotta is the best! I check it every time I go.

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Love these ideas!! My friend is going to help me learn how to coupon soon!

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That’s awesome! I wish I knew that skill better lol

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This post has SO many great ideas. We shop our sales and make our meal plans based on what food we have stocked up on. We also try to make meals s-t-r-e-t-c-h as our girls are getting older and eating more at dinnertime. They always want seconds, which means I’m having to increase the recipe for leftovers!

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YES! That is awesome.. I can definitely relate with 3 boys!! Why do kids have to eat more as they grow up?! LOL

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Such great tips, we are trying to keep our good budget down. The best advice I have is to keep to a weekly budget and buy what you need for that week, stick to the meal prep plan.

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Yes, great advice for sure that we live by!

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I definitely want to check out those saving Apps! I also love the idea of “shopping your home” These are really great tips!

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Thanks so much! I appreciate it! The apps are the best.

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These are really great tips! It is helpful for me also to know which stores are “generally” less expensive if I only have time to go to one store.

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Exactly! It’s hard to do a bunch of running around for sales.

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Drinking water definitely helps! Plus, it’s so much better for our teeth! What kind of helps us with not buying meat here is that where we live, beef and pork aren’t sold in our normal grocery store–you have to go to a special non-halal market if you want pork and you have to go to a different store if you want beef. The inconvenience, combined with the higher expense, definitely helps us stick to chicken or meatless meals! šŸ™‚

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Oh wow that’s nice for the wallet for sure! We eat a lot of chicken too!

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These are really great tips, I always bust my grocery budget so I am going to try implementing some of these my next trip to the market!

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Awesome! I’m glad it’s helpful!

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Thank you for your reminding me. I still do some of this but I have gotten out of using coupons. Your right if we really focus on what we want to make for the week it saved us a lot of money. Thank you for this awesome post.

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Thank you! Yes, meal plans help so much.

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We drink so much milk in our house!! I am trying to decrease the amount we drink! I think we could fo sure save so much $$ that and spending less on junk food!

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Yes my kids drink a lot of milk and I just check what stores have it the cheapest!

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Love this. It’s so true — if I don’t just run to the store when I need an ingredient, I won’t go anymore. Cause I never get JUST that thing. Also, we find a local butcher that we trust. Meat is generally better for you AND way cheaper.

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That is awesome! Good for you guys!!

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Wow! What a thorough list of how to save that hard earned cash at the grocery store. Woot!

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Thanks girl! I tried lol

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There are so many great tips here! I can’t wait to try some of them out and hopefully save some money!! Thank you for sharing.

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Thanks! I know it will definitely lower your bill! Good luck!

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Buying in bulk is always great. It makes me wish we had more space and a car.

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Aww yes it’s so helpful but, hard with space for sure!

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