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20 Tips to Cut your Grocery Bill in Half – $600! That’s how much I was spending to feed my family of 3 not so long ago. I look at that number now and am astounded. Astounded by the sheer amount, and floored by how completely in the dark I was about all the ways I could have saved.
There’s so much I could have done differently. And you know something? It wouldn’t have involved much time or effort. I’m kicking myself now, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. All I can do is move forward and pass what I’ve learned onto others.
A startling statistic…
According to USA Today, it can cost a family of 4 up to $289/week for groceries! (This is based on a healthy diet for a couple with 2 school-aged kids.) That’s $1,156 a month. How in the world can anyone afford that? The short answer is, they can’t! That’s why I feel it’s so important to teach others how to feed their family well – without sacrificing and without going broke. Let’s jump right in with 20 tips to cut your grocery bill in half.
20 Tips To Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half
1. Create A Budget
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to create a budget to put a limit on your spending and hold you accountable. If you don’t have a budget in place, what’s to keep you from continuing to spend? Sit down and come up with a realistic number to spend on groceries each month. Most importantly? Stick to it! After all, a budget is the entire foundation on which your grocery spending will stand.
Before going to the store, come up with a game plan that works for you. Figure out which stores you’re going to, which day of the week is best for you, and when you can go without the kids. By planning, you’re getting ahead of the surprises that can blow your budget. It pays to think everything through before you step foot in any store.
3. Make A List
This is an easy, but very important step. Don’t go to the store on a whim and throw whatever looks good into your cart. Instead, check your cupboards and pantry to see what you have and what you actually need. Make a list after looking through the sale ad. Most importantly, don’t stray from it! It’s amazing how much you can save by simply using a list.
4. Learn To Coupon
Maybe you’re not the biggest fan of coupons, but hear me out. There’s tons of free coupons you can print right at home. It’s super easy and can save you big, especially at stores like Stop&Shop, where manufacturer’s coupons under $1 are doubled. Sometimes you can get items for free with coupons. It’s 100% worth it to learn and can take a chunk out of your grocery spending.
5. Use Rebate Apps
There’s several free apps available that earn you money back on groceries you were going to buy anyway! This is a simple way to save $500/year (or more). These are really easy to sign up for and are worth it for the rebates.
Ibotta – >>Use this link to join Ibotta and get a $10 bonus when you redeem your first qualifying offer!<<
6. Shop The Sales
One of the most beneficial things you can do to reign in your grocery spending is to shop the sale ads. Most stores come out with these once a week and almost always have sales on meats, fruits, and veggies. Check what’s on sale that week and buy that instead of what’s full price. (Chicken breasts on sale for $1.99/lb? Buy several and freeze them for later.)
7. Shop Discount Stores
Discount grocery stores like Aldi can save you up to 70% on produce! I’ve seen prices go as low as 45¢ for a dozen eggs and $1.14 for a gallon of milk. If you don’t have an Aldi near you, try Save A Lot or Grocery Outlet.
8. Prepare Meals In Bulk
Save a lot of money and time by batch cooking and preparing freezer meals. Instead of cooking individual meals, set aside one day a week to prepare several meals. Bag them up, freeze them, and dump them in the crock pot when you decide to have them. Prepare 10 or 20 meals at a time and have it pay off later.
9. Shop More Than 1 Store
If you do all your grocery shopping at 1 store, you’re not getting the biggest bang for your buck. Some of the items you’re putting in your cart will be significantly cheaper at another store. Shop the sale ads of at least 2 stores and match up which store has the best price for each item.
If you don’t have a stockpile, you’ll want to create one. Buy several of an item when it’s at a rock-bottom price. Do this with all the items you use on the regular and watch your stockpile grow. You’ll save money and you won’t have to run to the store for that 1 ingredient you need.
11. Meal Plan
This can be a game changer. If you want to drastically reduce your grocery budget and you aren’t meal planning, you’ll want to start. It allows you to plan your meals out ahead of time, making life easier and keeping more of your money in the bank.
12. Skip Individually-Wrapped Foods
You know those prepackaged, individually-wrapped items you’ve been buying? You’re paying way too much for them. Instead, buy the big boxes and divide them up into servings yourself. Think kids’ snacks like Goldfish crackers, pretzel sticks, and chips. Buy some Ziploc bags and you’re set.
13. Cook From Scratch
Yes it’s more work, but it’s usually healthier and much cheaper to cook from scratch. When you buy already-prepared meals, you can quickly break your grocery budget. Cut your bill by up to 50% by making everything yourself.
14. Know Rock-Bottom Prices
It pays to be familiar with the lowest prices a store offers on any given grocery item. Avoid ever paying full price again and only buy when these items are at the very lowest price you’ve seen. Make the extra effort to familiarize yourself with the fluctuating prices.
15. Buy In Bulk
Not everything should be bought in bulk, especially if you’re unable to use it all before it expires. Figure out what you use regularly that has a long shelf life. Find a great deal? Go ahead and buy it in bulk.
16. Shop Alone
If you have kids, leave them at home while you get groceries. It’s too easy to add an extra $30 to your weekly trip when your kids are begging for snacks on the shelves. Do your grocery budget a favor and go solo.
17. Set A Maximum ‘Buy’ Price
Grocery prices change all the time. One week an item is one price, and the next, another. If you’re in need of something but it’s not at a rock-bottom price, set a maximum ‘buy’ price that you’re willing to pay, and stick to it. If you don’t absolutely need it and it’s priced above your maximum buy price, skip it until the next sale.
18. Make Simple Meals
Keep it simple. When you start adding a bunch of extra ingredients to a meal, it can get expensive fast! Save yourself the hassle (and money) by sticking to the basics. Try making recipes that use 5 ingredients or less.
19. Don’t Be Brand Loyal
If you’re unwilling to bend on what brands you’ll buy, you’re going to spend a lot more. Ouch! Be open-minded to other brands. It’ll stretch your budget a lot further. Plus, most coupons are for name brands, saving you even more!
20. Go Meatless At Least Once A Week
Want to blow your budget right out of the water? Eat meat at every meal. We all know that meat can be super expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it. Ease the expense by picking 1 or more days a week to go meatless. There’s plenty of meals to choose from that don’t involve meat: plain pasta, rice, cheese pizza, fruits and veggies, beans, and the list goes on. Go meatless most nights if you want.
Cutting your grocery budget in half doesn’t have to be hard – so don’t make it that way. Try out the 20 tips above to see which work best for your situation. Start gradually and add 1-2 more tips each week. You’re guaranteed to start seeing huge savings at checkout thanks to your own dedication.
Have other tips on how to save on groceries? Please comment with them!
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