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Are you tired of spending too much money on groceries? Do you want to finally get your grocery budget under control?
Your grocery budget is one of the easiest places to save money. Mortgage or rent is a fixed price. Bills can be reduced somewhat, but mostly stay the same.
Follow these tips to save money on groceries and find more room in the budget for other things!
31 Ways To Get Your Grocery Budget Under Control
Try out a few of these tips to start, and then incorporate more as you get comfortable. Saving money and reducing your spending is a process.
Set a monthly or weekly grocery budget
Giving yourself a grocery budget is a great place to start. Take a look at how much you spent on groceries last month, and set a budget for this month. Start by trying to reduce your spending by a small amount like $20-$50, and keep reducing as you get better at saving.
Each family has different dietary needs and different family sizes, so choose what works for you. I budget $300 a month for the 2 of us. It may be easier to make a weekly budget instead of a monthly budget, so give that a try.
Related Post: The $300 Grocery Budget Challenge
Keep up with your receipts
I have an envelope in my purse that I keep grocery receipts in. That way, I can easily calculate how much I’ve spent from my grocery budget and how much is left. You may prefer to use an app, just find something to keep up with how much you spend.
Make a grocery list and stick to it
Having a grocery list gives you a plan when you get to the store. Make a grocery list before you leave home, looking in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what you need. And don’t forget the list when you go to the store! I love to make my list in sections of the store, like produce, meat, dairy, etc.
Use cash back apps
If you don’t currently use the Ibotta app to get cash back on groceries, you are leaving money on the table! Ibotta is so easy to use and it’s free to download and use. You can sign up for Ibotta and get a $10 welcome bonus here.
Related Post: 15 Ways to Save Money with the Ibotta App
Try making a grocery inventory list
I was getting frustrated that I kept forgetting to put things on my grocery list and was making extra trips to the store. So, I made myself a grocery inventory checklist. I typed everything we use and buy regularly and organized it into store sections. Now when I need to make a grocery list, I use this checklist and mark things we need.
You can just type this as a Word document or hand write it. Make lots of copies so you can easily grab a checklist to make your grocery list.
Shop different stores
Shopping at different grocery stores will give you a better idea of what’s a good deal. It will also give you access to multiple store’s deals every week. If you have a few stores close to each other, it’s worth stopping in for the best deals from each store.
This will be up to you to decide if it’s worth spending more time to save more money, but I’ve found it only takes me about 15-20 minutes in each store to grab the best deals. I started shopping at Aldi a couple years ago and have recently started going to Kroger, as well as Publix.
Related Post: My Favorite Things to Buy at Aldi
Look for markdowns
Check different grocery stores in your area to see who offers markdowns on close to expiring food. This is the main reason I started shopping at Kroger. They offer great markdowns on meat, produce, bakery items, and more. You can use the foods right away or freeze them for later.
Coupons are great for extra savings, but be careful to only clip and use coupons for items you were going to buy anyway. Otherwise, you are spending more money just to get a deal. You can find great coupons in the paper, or online at coupons.com .
Try digital coupons
Digital coupons are great so you don’t have to pay for the newspaper or worry about forgetting to give them to the cashier. You can find these through your grocery store’s website. Some stores will load the coupons to your loyalty card or save them through your phone number.
Look at sale ads
Sale ads are a great way to compare the best deals at multiple stores and make your grocery list. The best deals will usually be on the first page of the ad. When shopping sales, still compare prices of different brands. The store brand may still be cheaper than the sale brand.
Start meal planning
Meal planning is a great way to get your grocery budget under control. By having a plan of what to eat for the week, you know exactly what to buy at the grocery store. Make your meal plan before heading to the grocery. Include meals using food you already have and food that you can get on sale.
Related Post: The Complete Guide to Meal Planning
Make a list of your family’s favorite meals
If you feel like you make the same meals every week or have trouble thinking of meals for your meal plan, try making a list of your family’s favorite meals. You can list these by different meats and if you see a great deal on beef, pick a few beef meals to add to your meal plan. And when you see a great deal on something from your list, you’ll know to stock up.
Give freezer cooking a try
Freezer cooking is a great way to save money and time. By cooking a bigger meal with intentions to freeze some for later, you are doing the work once and getting more than one meal. You can stock up on ingredients when you see a great deal, make a big batch, and enjoy the time and money savings.
Related Post: Quick No Cook Chicken Freezer Cooking Plan
Try monthly meal planning
This is something new I’m trying. Instead of meal planning for just a week, I’m making a meal plan for the whole month. This way, I know what food to be looking for deals on.
Related Post: My Monthly Meal Plan for February
Buy in season produce
Look for deals on produce and that is usually what’s in season. Change up the produce you eat by buying what is in season and get the best deals.
Consider growing your own produce
If you have the time, space, and desire to grow your own produce, that is a great option to save money and eat healthier for less. Try a raised bed with a few vegetable varieties or herbs. Make sure to only plant and grow food you know you will actually eat.
Buy store brand
Store brand products are a great way to save money with no effort. I’ve tried many store brand products and have quit buying a lot of name brand products.
Compare unit prices
Unit prices are the best way to tell if you are getting the best deal. With different packaging and quantities, it can be hard to compare prices. The unit price breaks this down for you, so you can easily compare prices on different products. And, you’ll be surprised that the larger package is not always the cheaper way to go.
Cut out convenience foods
Convenience foods are great when you are short on time, but can be way more expensive. Pre cut produce and individually packaged snacks are great, but you are going to pay a lot more than the bulk option. Try setting aside a few minutes when you get home from shopping to cut your produce, and divide snacks into portioned bags.
Stock up on great deals
Save a little bit of your grocery budget to be able to stock up on items when you see a great deal. You won’t be able to stock up on every deal you see, but when you find something you use a lot of and a great price, you’ll want to grab a few.
Buy cheaper cuts of meat
Meat is usually the most expensive part of groceries. Try cutting back on meat or buying cheaper cuts of meat. Make meals in your Crock Pot or Instant Pot with cheaper cuts of meat. You’ll have a great meal and enjoy knowing you saved money.
Related Post: A Week of Instant Pot Cooking
Set up a grocery budget challenge
I have challenged myself to spend $300 a month on groceries this year. This is really helping me to stick to my goal and keep up with my spending. Set a challenge up for yourself and get your spouse/family on board.
Related Post: $300 Grocery Budget Challenge Update
Have a no spend week on groceries
Plan a week to skip grocery shopping and only eat what you have on hand. You’ll use up food you already have and need to eat and save money.
Always use leftovers
Try to never throw away leftovers to help get your grocery budget under control. Food waste is wasting money, too. Use leftovers in a different way in a meal for tomorrow’s dinner or eat the leftovers for lunch. You can also freeze many leftovers for future meals.
Freeze food before it goes bad
If you have food that will be going bad before you can eat it, throw it in the freezer to avoid wasting food and your money. You can freeze more things than you think you can.
Cook from scratch more
To save more money, try cooking from scratch more than buying ready to go foods. A lot of times, this is healthier and will save you a lot of money. And who doesn’t love a home cooked meal?
Shop only once a week
If you find yourself going to the grocery store multiple times a week, you may be spending more than if you just went once a week. Try to make a good grocery list based on your meal plan, and only go grocery shopping once a week. If you run out or forget something, try to do without until next week.
Check deals websites
I love checking deal websites to find coupon matchups and the best deals. It takes a lot of the time and guesswork out of grocery shopping for deals. Check out moneysavingmom.com and passionatepennypincher.com.
Keep your kitchen organized
Regularly organize your fridge, freezer, and pantry to keep all your food and ingredients organized. Knowing what you already have and being able to easily find food will help avoid buying duplicates and wasting money.
Use up food you have
Go through all the food in your kitchen and pull out food you need to use up. If there is something you will never use, throw it out or donate to a food drive or food bank. There is no need to keep food you will never eat.
Pack your lunch
Packing your lunch is a great way to save on food costs. Plan to eat leftovers for lunch or other simple foods. Eating out at lunch is a huge cost that can easily be cut out to save more money for other groceries or just to save.
I hope you found new ways to save money and get your grocery budget under control!
Groceries can get expensive, but they don’t have to! If you are armed with the best savings tips, you can shop like a pro and save a lot of money!
Feed your family well and on a budget with these tips.