Food shopping can get wayyyyy out of hand sometimes. I know I can’t be the only person who goes grocery shopping for like 10 things, but walks out with 30. I plan on spending $25 but then $100 later, my budget is shot. Have you been there? Well I grew tired of it and figured out how to lower my grocery bill each month and I want you to do the same! Do I still have shopping trips that get out of hand? Of course! I mean I am still a twenty-something who is still learning how to say no to herself, but it definitely happens less often. So, check out my tips for lowering your grocery bill and try them for yourself!
Many times when I spent more than I anticipated at the food store, it was when I randomly decided to go. First you should set some ground rules.
1. The amount you want to spend
2. A list of what you really need
3. Decide how many stores you are willing to go to
A simple food budget really helps limit those on the whim purchases we always like to make. Keeping track of food expenses over time can help you see how much you generally spend each time and what you can reasonably spend for future trips. It’s also very rewarding when you see that you are staying around the same amount or maybe even spending less than before!
Check your local food store ad’s to see what’s on sale and try to build a shopping list off of that. Compare a few stores in your area to see who has the better deal! I usually check 2 local stores and than 1 bulk store.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is just smart. You save time by shopping for an item once a month instead of every week and you save money! It’s a win / win! Most bulk stores, like BJ’s or Cosco, do have a membership but trust me it is so worth it. Consider buying non perishable items and items that go really fast in your house from bulk stores. For example, eggs and milk go really fast in our house. We also buy meats, canned vegetables and cooking oil from our local bulk store.
Cook from scratch (or mostly from scratch)
We are all busy and don’t always have time to cook a homemade meal every night and that is okay! But cooking homemade, even a couple of times a week can drastically cut your grocery bill each month. Skip eating out a couple of times a month and make a homemade or semi- homemade meal! GET. A. CROCK. POT. I already found one for you. It’s just like mine and it’s great. It will make your life so much easier! It even comes with some recipes so you can get started right away! After you’ve tried all those recipes, plan some of your own! Don’t overthink it or worry it won’t taste good. Just give it a try!
Utilize what you already have
This last one is always a struggle. I hate to admit it, but we throw away food in our house. No matter how much I try to stay on top of grocery shopping, we always end up throwing something away. Although, it has gotten better, it is such a waste! A waste of food, a waste of money and a waste of time! Some things that have helped in our house is if something isn’t used within a few days, we freeze it. You can really freeze almost anything! Consider cutting the food, like sweet potatoes, before you freeze it. That way when you want it, all you have to worry about is cooking it! Meats like chicken can be breaded and then frozen for crispy breaded chicken over pasta one night.
Some other ways to cut down food waste:
- Vegetables going bad = homemade stock
- Stale bread = croutons or bread crumbs
- Overripe bananas = banana ice cream
- Fruit that isn’t good = potpourri
- Stale chips = breading for chicken
There are honestly a ton of other ways to cut down on your grocery bill, but I hope this will help you get a good start! The best thing you can really do it figure out what works best for you and stick to it! Good luck!