Want to learn how to save money on groceries? Use these tops to help you slash your grocery budget! As I work on rebuilding my website, I wanted to make sure that I shared some tips on saving money on groceries, and how to stop overspending on groceries! These are 12 tips that I include in my Monthly Meal Plans. By following these simple tips, you can not only save money at the grocery store, but you’ll save time, too.
How To Stop Overspending On Groceries
1. Shop At Home First
Before you hit the grocery store, you need to go shopping at home. Look through your fridge, freezer and pantry and cross ingredients off of your shopping list that you already have at home. While you are at it, make sure to check the pantry for your staple ingredients, and add those to the list if you need to replenish. Keep a piece of paper and a pen in your pantry with a running list of the ingredients that you run out of so that when it comes time to make your grocery list, you can just look at your list. This ensures that you don’t forget things since you add them as soon as you run out.
2. Check To See What’s On Sale & Make A Grocery List
A good grocery list is the key to saving money! If you have a grocery list to follow, you’re much less likely to shop frivolously and add random items to your grocery cart. Look at the weekly sales flyers and see what is on sale at your local grocery store. Compare these sales to your grocery list and write the price beside the item and highlight it with a different color for each store. I buy most of my produce at Sprouts, any canned goods at Walmart (on average you’ll save $0.10-$1.00 per item), certain meats, eggs and pantry items at Costco, and then I split the remaining ingredients up based on which grocery stores have the best sales. It might not seem worth it to shop at multiple stores, but if you’re really looking to slash your grocery budget, these are the little things that can help.
3. Learn How To Substitute
Substituting ingredients can save a ton of money. Check to see if there is an ingredient you already have on hand that can be substituted or take a second look at the weekly sale flyers and compare them to your grocery list to see if anything can be substituted with an ingredient on sale.
4. Stick To Your List
You just spent all that time making a list and figuring out where to shop, so stick to it! Making and sticking to a grocery list is your best way to save money. Having a list will make you less likely to make frivolous purchases.
5. Set A Timer
Set a timer for 25 minutes. If you have the kids, set it for 30 minutes. Setting a timer will make it easier for you to stick to your list, and helps you avoid wandering the aisles of the grocery store. By having a set time, you’re guaranteed to spend less.
6. Avoid The Middle… Usually
Usually I would recommend avoiding the middle of the grocery store when trying to eat healthy. Instead, with everything that is going on right now, shopping the middle of the store, is vital to feeding your family. However, instead of going down every single aisle, only shop the aisles in the middle of the store as needed. Look at your grocery list, and see exactly what aisles you need to go down, and only go down those aisles. Walking through the middle aisles of the grocery store is where we are most likely to spend more money. By avoiding these aisles, and only getting the ingredients we need, again not only save us time, but it saves us money.
7. Set An Extra Grocery Budget
Set aside an extra $30-$50 each month for when you find a great sale. Your grocery bill will be a little higher when you’re getting these extra ingredients, but you’ll definitely save in the long run. This past week, I stocked up on both ground beef and chicken breast from Sprouts. Chicken was on sale for $1.77 per pound and grass fed ground beef was on sale for $2.99 per pound. I bought about 5-6 pounds of each, and now I do not need to get ground beef or chicken for the rest of the month. When you take advantage of these sales, portion the meat in labeled ziplock bags, and freeze right away.
8. Get A Rain Check
If your local grocery store has a great sale, but run out of the advertised special, head over to the customer service desk and get a rain check. This means that although you might not get the deal today, you can get the sale price at a later time, even when the item isn’t on sale anymore.
9. Buy In Bulk
If your local grocery store offers a bulk section, take advantage of it. Shopping in bulk is one of my favorite ways to add variety to my meals, and reduce my grocery bill. By shopping in bulk, I am able to purchase small quantities of ingredients. This is great for trying new recipes, buying something that you’ll only use once or twice, and for just saving money in general. I buy all of my nuts, seeds, dried fruits, oats, spices, and some snacks in bulk.
10. Shop Online
With everything that is going on right now, shopping for groceries online is a great option. Online grocery shopping is an amazing way to save time and to save some money on groceries. As you shop, you can see a running total, which allows you to substitute ingredients to best fit your budget. There are more and more options for online grocery shopping, from Amazon, to Walmart, and even your local grocery stores probably offer grocery delivery/pick up and if not, there is always Instacart. If you’ve never tried online grocery shopping before, look on your local grocery stores website, and they usually have first time delivery coupons that give you free delivery and a set amount off of your groceries. Instacart, if available in your area will allow you to order from almost any grocery store – even places like Costco or Sam’s Club, and is usually delivered within an hour or two. Use the promo codes below or click the links to save money on your groceries:
11. Use Store Cards
Your store cards are going to save you a ton of money! Store cards allow you to take advantage of the sales each week, and then also give you access to additional sales and exclusive coupons. Most store cards also give you gas savings too. If your store has a rewards card, take the extra time to download the app, and link up your card, and take advantage of all of the benefits.
12. Shop With Cash
If you’re having a hard time sticking to your grocery budget or limiting spending, switch to a cash budget. Put the money in an envelope, and write the amount on the envelope. As you shop, write down how much you spent at each store, and place the receipt in the envelope too. If there is any extra cash at the end of the week, add it to your extra grocery budget fund, or put it away in savings. We use a cash budget, and I place all of my change in a large mason jar, and set the bills into my “extra” envelope.