I have tried and want to show you 13 successful ways to slash your grocery bill in half in no time!
Groceries are one of the categories in your budget that will spend a big chunk of your income. Saving on groceries can be challenging as you are first starting, but it is not a rocket science thing. Adopting these very simple strategies will save you TONS in no time. It is really easy to buy more than you need if you do not keep track of it. Once you learn how to control your grocery spending, it becomes quite organic and easier to manage.
There are different ways that you can save on groceries. But I’ll be covering the ones that have been highly effective for my family.
It is common to go over budget on groceries especially if you do not prepare yourself beforehand. Everybody does it, and I did it COUNTLESS times, until my husband and I committed fully to finding ways and strategies that would help us save on food effectively without much HASSLE and without eating poorly.
Having a grocery budget is especially important to control your spending, avoid food waste and keep yourself more organized. NOBODY wants to see their money going straight to the trash just because you overbought items that you didn’t use. Doesn’t it feel bad!
Just so you have an idea, we used to spend anything from $780 to $1,367 a MONTH on groceries (including restaurants and take outs) for ONLY TWO PEOPLE! For what? We had no idea of such a thing until we started budgeting.
Saving on groceries is different for everybody. And it has to be adapted to your needs, wishes and reality. What works for one might not work for another. You might have several supermarket options to shop and compare or not.
Something we learned along the way was that: Organizing ourselves to go grocery shopping HELPED to KEEP us on TRACK and STAY on top of our planned budget. It might do the same for you too.
We know that the amount we budget today will change as life happens and we grow a family. And yours will too. The deal here is stay aware of what we are doing, where the money is going and where it is being spent.
There are a few surefire ways I save money on groceries, and following this simple routine has helped me succeed every week! Remember, every bit added counts. I promise you!
13 Successful Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half
How am I doing it?
1- Set up a grocery budget AND stick with it
The first thing you want to do is set up a grocery budget for the month. Then split it equally through every week. Whatever amount you decide to spend on groceries for the week, make sure you STICK with it as you are shopping.
For months that we need to save more money, we are more strict. As for now, we challenged ourselves with a budget of $100 per week for two adults and a toddler and we have been very successful at it following these steps.
You can see how much we reduced (CRUSHED) our spending with groceries right there in comparison to the amount I mentioned before.
2- HAVE a grocery list
Make a grocery list before you go shopping! This is a classic and simple thing you can do that makes all the difference in the world. BUT most of the time we don’t do it. It is incredible how a grocery list can hold you accountable and contained to your grocery budget. I have no idea what I would do without mine today.
I am not only talking about a usual grocery list. Make your list count, and have purpose with it. Write down all you need for that week, so you don’t have to go on unnecessary quick trips to the grocery store that often.
3- Default grocery list
Have the previous week’s grocery list that you can refer to if you forget to make a new one. This way you have an idea of what you bought the week before and what you need to buy this week instead of going crazy buying what you do not need. I have a grocery list on my cellphone in the Note section or on the Keep app by Google to do that.
4- Be selective about items you buy in “bulk” or that will last for the whole month
I have a trick when I am running out of an item or product that lasts more than a month in my pantry. They are usually dry foods such as beans, lentils, rice and quinoa. As an example, if this week I am running out of quinoa and lentils – which I do not buy every week – then I decide on which one to buy for this week. I usually decide on the one I am lowest on.
Let’s say that I decide to buy lentils. So I go ahead and buy only lentils and organize myself to cook some lentil dishes for the week. Doing that, I keep myself in the grocery budget until the next week where I will then purchase the quinoa. That way I have both foods throughout the month and more options to cook, and I stay on the budget.
5- Meal plan
Use what you have in the pantry. A meal plan is an excellent way to save on groceries. Deciding on what you are going to cook for the week is essential to make sure you are saving, buying what you need to cook and not wasting.
I try to make the simplest meals I can through the week using all I have bought. If I have an item going bad such as greens, I switch the meal planned for that day in order to not waste food and optimize savings.
6- Make your own food!
This one is classic too and can be very challenging to keep up for some. Keep in mind that it might be one of the most important actions you have to take if you want to save on groceries.
I grew up in a family that cooked food at home, so I do not know another way. It is very easy and comfortable to eat out, thus anybody can easily get used to it. But cooking your own food can be fun, much much healthier and save you tons without a doubt.
7- Go shopping on days of great deals at the supermarket
I usually try to go grocery shopping at only one store to save me time. But every time another local store has a weekend of deals, I take advantage of it and go shopping in two different stores. Having done that, I have seen big savings for that specific week. I usually keep my eye on produce. Usually the stores will have a day for produce, another day for meat and so on.
Note: Make sure that the stores you go to for deals are not that far from each other so you can save on time and gas too. Otherwise, what would be the point of spending lots of time and gas going around to go grocery shopping at different places?
8- Coupon with Ibotta app
Call me crazy but I am not big on couponing for groceries. At least the classic usual way. The places where I usually shop do not have coupon discounts for items I am interested in. BUT I just found out about this app that is accepted by most of the places where I shop – and probably the ones you go to. This is a great way to save money on groceries online without the need to clip anything.
9- Look for deals or generic brands
Look for deals in your local grocery stores. Do not make it hard on yourself if you can’t find any deals in your local store. There is still hope in saving on groceries without them. Look for generic brands you trust. This is a good way to know new good products with more affordable prices.
I am lucky for having my local supermarket deliver the little newspaper deals to my door through the mail. That way I can compare prices and deals on items I frequently buy before I hit the store.
You can also check your favorite grocery stores online for deals and decide where to go for that week. I do that every week. You will be surprised how much you can save doing that. Trust me!
10- Eat LESS meat
In our household we are not big meat eaters, so we do not buy meat every week. Meat is one of the most expensive items on your list. So be creative and cook with less meat to save.
11- Buy seasonal fresh fruits and veggies
If you are buying fresh fruits and vegetables, try to buy most of them from the current season. Seasonal fruits and vegetables cost less and can help you stay on budget.
12- Do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry
You probably know this one, but how many times have you ignored it? I have done it tons of times too! Going grocery shopping when you are hungry is a bad idea since you’ll be bringing unnecessary food home that will probably end up in the trash. If you are hungry, eat something like an energy bar to cheat your stomach until you are done with the groceries.
13- Bring a calculator (cellphone will do too)
The calculator is a life saver if you are first starting to save on groceries. This way you can keep track of your numbers eliminating any surprises at the cashier. And don’t be shy using it in the store!
These are the 13 successful ways I have been saving money on groceries! I know there are other ways to do it, and you can choose the way that fits your lifestyle best. No need to hassle about it. Make things simple and doable for yourself so you can succeed.
Make sure you buy things you like instead of buying things for the sake of saving only. If you only buy for the sake of saving on groceries, you can get stuck with a bunch of food that you’ll never eat. I’ve done that too.
Now it’s your turn! What are the ways you save money on groceries? Share your wisdom with us! I would love to know your strategies to save on groceries!
See you around the blog,