I have 15 simple to save your grocery budget – and maybe still have a bit left at the end of the month! If your house is like ours, groceries are a large part of your household budget. If you’re eating “healthier” then your budget is bound to grow even more.
15 Ways to Save Your Grocery Budget
#1 – Start cooking more: We are busy people and we, as a nation, seem to be unable to say no. So many obligations often make it hard for us to be home to cook and eat a meal. But cooking saves money, health and families.
#2 – Plan it out: I like to take a calendar with our activities on it and make a meal plans around that. Then I can transfer that plan into a grocery list. Plan for success – don’t schedule to make Chicken Cordon Bleu when you have a practice at 6:00 pm and you are done with work and/or school at 5:00 pm. Throw a crock pot dish in that morning then toss a salad and put it in the fridge. That way you can enjoy dinner without a drive thru on the way to practice.
#3 – Shop sales and buy in bulk: Grocery store sales have cycles. That means every product that goes on sale will be at its lowest price about every 6 weeks. Stock up on the items then and you’ll pay the lowest price and not need to shop for it again until the next cycle. Stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are good for bulk buying but generally sales are better deals if you can track them and bulk up then; especially if you have coupons.
#4 – Consider extended cooking: Cook 1 day for a week, 2 weeks or a month. Using those bulk foods to create nutritious and budget friendly meals. Less prep during the week will keep you cooking at home. You are making your own convenience foods.
#5 – Grow a garden: Produce, especially organic, can be very pricey. If you grow your own you can step out in your backyard and pick your meal. The initial set-up can be costly but it will quickly pay for itself.
#6 – Get yourself some backyard eggs – a few backyard chickens will keep you in a steady supply of tasty eggs that are healthier than the caged bird eggs from the store and a lot cheaper than the free range eggs from the farmer’s market. No room for chickens? Give Coturnix quail a shot. The eggs are smaller but yummy and still super cost effective.
#7 – Raise a meat source: You say you don’t own property? Well rabbits and quail take very little room, quick to grow out to butcher size and are much easier to process than a cow or pig. They are very cost effective to feed organically / gmo free as well (consider fodder for rabbits).
#8 – Trade: If you can’t grow it yourself then trade with someone that can. Not only your own home-grown items but consider services (mowing, painting, car washing, etc.) that you can trade for veggies, eggs, milk and meat.
#9 – Eat Leftovers: When I was growing up we ate dinner leftovers for lunch or dinner. My grandmother, who raised me, lived through the depression and she made dinners that could spread over 2 or 3 meals. You didn’t throw food away.
#10 – Make a Grocery List: And don’t stray from it. Don’t buy ANYTHING that isn’t on that list. I find this is a lot easier to do when I am alone. I will slip and impulse buy because the kids ask for something.
#11 – Plan your trip: Not only should you have a grocery list, you should have a grocery day. Stop running to the store 4 or 5 times a week. One way to get better at this is to keep track of what you purchased on your shopping day and what you bought on “runs” to the store. Then you can plan accordingly. This will lessen the impulses, save you on gas and give you more time to cook from scratch. 😉
#12 – Can & Dry your garden extras: If you have an abundance from your garden, then can and/orr dehydrate foods to extend their shelf life for later meals. Additionally when you see a great sale on fruits or veggies you can stock up and preserve them for the future.
#13 – Make your own: Instead of buying expensive, chemical laden, cleaning products make your own. You can do laundry for pennies! Consider taking it a step further and make your own body soap, shampoo and toothpaste.
#14 – Stop buying convenience foods: Shred your own cheese, cut up your own onions, buy whole lettuce and bag your own…you get the idea. A head of lettuce is a lot less expensive than a bag of it cut up.
#15 – Look into bulk programs: Check out programs Bountiful Baskets. You can get a box of produce, even organic, for a very reasonable price. Shares are different each week and you don’t have to make any commitment – just sign on by the cutoff for that week’s share.
BONUS #1 – bottle your own water. Get yourself a nice reusable, glass or bpa free, water bottle and fill it up instead of buying those expensive “designer” waters. It still still cheaper to fill up at home than even the store brand waters.
BONUS #2 – use coupons with caution. Don’t buy products you don’t really need or regularly use. Compare to generics. And ask yourself if this is really something you want to ingest…most likely coupons are for junk food that cost us money and health. BUT use them for toilet paper!!! 😉 Try to get coupons from someone who gets the paper and tosses the coupons.
I hope these tips help you and I’d love to hear what you do to save on your grocery bill – leave ideas in your comments!