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It seems like our grocery bill grows larger than a teenager’s appetite! Do you feel like that too? I sometimes experience sticker shock looking at the meat counter for instance!

Groceries Are One of the Largest Budget Items We Can Control

But it is so important to look for ways to save money here because it is one of the largest budgeting items that you have some control over. You can’t decide to cut back on the rent or mortgage or pay less of a car payment, but you can find ways to save money on groceries.

That money you save on groceries can be applied to debt or used to boost savings, or even for a vacation! In our home, with five daughters, being careful with our grocery spending, added up to some serious extra savings.

Never Grocery Shop When You Are Hungry!

This is crucial! I know better, and if I have to stop at the grocery store when I’m hungry, I know my spending will be out of control. If you are caught in this situation, I recommend that you go into the store to purchase a small package of nuts or trail mix and go back to the car to eat it. Even a single piece of fruit will stave off the hunger enough to get your shopping done.

Stick To Your Budget and Your List

Shopping with A List

You must stick to your budget and your list. If you shop weekly, then only take the amount allotted for the week. Use a calculator to total up as you go, if you haven’t looked at the prices online or in the ad already.

Do A Meal Plan

Having a meal plan will help minimize impulse purchases. To be honest, most of my meal plans were once-a-month cooking plans or freezer meals like MyFreezEasy. With FreezEasy you can make 10 meals in less than an hour! Now that’s a time-saver that I can get behind!

These meals can even be thawed quickly if you forgot to get it out earlier. You can just plan what meals you want, but I always found it more cost-effective to plan my meals based on the sales that week. You can also put your crockpot or Instant Pot in action to have your meals ready to eat when everyone gets home.

Limit Soft Drinks

We typically just have water or iced tea. I will occasionally buy some LeCroix, which is an unsweetened flavored seltzer water, but we have cut down tremendously on sodas and even juices, because of the sugar content. Most of us don’t drink enough water anyway.

If you are going to purchase juices, I recommend diluting them with water by one-third to one-half. If you do purchase juice, purchase the larger containers, rather than juice boxes. Many lunchboxes have a drink bottle included, or just purchase one from the dollar store.

Stay Away from Individual Serving Sizes

The individual bags of chips, crackers, pudding cups, and various other lunchbox items can wreak havoc on your grocery budget. Invest in some Bento Box lunchboxes or even pick up these Bento-box style containers.

My daughters like having the individual containers and the food is protected better in the containers than in the bags they are packaged in. You can make homemade pudding or gelatin for far less money than the prepackaged ones. You can also get portion control snack bags.

Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables to Save Money

Frozen Berries

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying frozen fruits and vegetables can save you money because you can pull out only what you need and reduce waste caused by spoiling. Frozen food can often actually be fresher than “fresh” because it is usually flash frozen with hours of harvesting versus days of transport to your market.

This is especially useful when purchasing berries or tropical fruits like mangoes and pineapple. Ice-cold fruits are fantastic in the summer! If you serve them just barely thawed, they are best. You can always buy fresh fruit in season in your area.

Plan A Soup Night

Another excellent money saving idea is to have soup one night a week. You can even incorporate any leftover vegetables. This can be made in the crockpot while you are working. There is nothing more wonderful than coming home to a ready-to-eat meal!

A Meatless Meal Night

A meatless meal is always a cost-cutting option. The book Forks Over Knives actually states that less meat in our diets can reduce the risk of cancer cell growth. A once-a-week approach is a good way to ease into it.

Coupons Are Like Tax-free Income!

Use coupons! Any money off your grocery bill is money in your pocket! I consider it tax-free income! Check out Coupon Mom for a gold mine of coupons.

Stephanie Nelson, the Coupon Mom even has store sales matched to coupons, and free items listed separately. I haven’t paid for toothpaste in years. There are even services that cut coupons for you and mail them to you like The Coupon Clippers.

Buy Meat in Bulk and Freeze It

All natural meat is very expensive these days. My favorite option to save significantly on meat is to purchase by the case. You can do this at your local warehouse club. Even some local supermarkets will sell by the case if you ask the butcher.

Where I Shop

My truly favorite place to shop for groceries is Aldi’s! If you have one nearby. Please do your budget a favor and check it out! The savings are amazing! I like it so much that I even applied to work there!

They have fewer items than a full-service type grocery store, but that translates to less searching for what you need. They are stocking a growing selection of organic foods as well now. I find Aldi’s has almost everything I typically need for our menus.

I probably need to shop elsewhere for something only once every two or three months. They also have an excellent double guarantee on the products they sell. They replace the product and refund your money, so you have no reason not to try them.

Aldi’s does not accept any coupons because most of their stock is their own private brand. Aldi’s truly is the simplest method to save money on groceries. They won’t necessarily beat markdown prices at a traditional store, but will definitely reduce your typical grocery budget.

Another way to stretch your food budget is to buy ingredients to prepare a group of meals at once. Check out a fast easy way to make ten meals in about an hour!

Long-term Effects of Reducing Your Grocery Budget

Saving money on groceries is so important to your financial picture because first, you have more control in this category than many others in your budget. It is also a recurring expense, so if you can typically save $100 per month compared to your previous spending patterns, that hundred dollars’ savings is $1200 in a year and $12,000 in ten years!  That is why learning strategies now to keep your grocery bill as low as reasonably possible will pay off future savings for years to come.

What strategies do you use to save money on groceries? Please comment below.

 

 

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