As a family of four, our groceries take up a large part of our budget. One of my big goals for 2018 is reducing our food expenses. Of course, we can do this by reducing the amount of times we are eating out, but there are also a lot of things we can do at the grocery store, and before we shop, to trim the spending. Today’s post is all about how to save money on groceries.
Stick to Your Schedule
This is probably my biggest tip, so we’ll talk about this first. We grocery shop once a week, and one thing we are working hard on now is avoiding extra grocery trips throughout the week, because for us, a simple trip to the store for bananas can end up being a $20-$30 grocery trip before we even realize it. Do this twice a week and that’s $60 a week extra, or $240 a month!
In order to shop once a week, you’ll really need to have a meal plan. By meal planning and knowing exactly what you are going to be feeding your family for the week, you can save money by not buying unnecessary items or things you don’t need. I’ve been meal planning for a long time, and I can’t even imagine wandering into the grocery store without any idea of what to cook. That is a surefire way to end up overspending. I shared this post on How To Meal Plan, which might provide you with some inspiration, and as always you can get my Meal Planning printables, here.
Make a List
Once you have your meal plan, you can make a list of exactly what you need. If you want to step it up, you can even visualize your store aisles, and re-write your list in order of how the aisles are laid out. This will save you time when you are shopping and keep you from making those 3 or 4 trips all the way back across the store for an item at the bottom of your list that you missed. It also makes your shopping trips much less stressful.
Change the Way You Shop
For a long time I had my weekly routine of heading into Walmart and battling my way through the aisles to pick up what we needed. I’ve since discovered Aldi, and how much money I can save by shopping there (for us, it’s a lot!). I shared my Aldi Grocery Haul video just the other day, if you want to check it out. I also recently began trying Walmart Grocery Pickup, and I feel like I save a lot of money by shopping like this and avoiding the impulse purchases I usually make in the store. We’ve done it several times and always had a great experience. If you have the time, there is as lot of money to be saved by shopping different stores for the best deals, but it can take a time commitment that a lot of busy moms just don’t have. So, these are my top 2 ways to trim our grocery budget with the way we shop.
Skip the Meat
A lot of people think that produce is what is killing their grocery budget, but for me I realize that when we have meat every single night, I’m spending $30-40 a week, just on meat. Save a bit by serving a couple of meatless meals each week, or making “Meatless Monday” a tradition at your house.
Shop What Is In Season
Coming back to produce, a great way to save is by planning your meals around which produce is in season, and usually on sale. Here is a great guide on when different fruits and vegetables are in season. I always do this when I am picking up fresh fruits for my little ones to eat. It can be a huge difference when a container of strawberries is $3.48 vs. $1.48, for example. This may require some creativity and trying different foods that you don’t normally buy, but you can save big on healthy produce for your family by shopping in season.
There are tons and tons of tips I could share, but these are my best tips that I’ve been using to save on our groceries. If you have any tips, share them in the comments with us!