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When I first started homemaking, I was soooo into writing a meal plan. I even made a competition with myself to see how little money we could spend while still eating delicious food every day.
Over time, though, and especially after I had my son, I kind of got lazy. Life got harder, I got more tired, and making everything from scratch seemed impossible to do while balancing being a mom and running my online businesses.
Because of that, my grocery bill ballooned until we really needed to look at it and stop with all the frivolous and unnecessary purchases.
If you’re like the average American family, your grocery bill is probably one of your largest expenses every month. And why shouldn’t it be? If you want to eat well and make sure every tummy is full, you’ll need to spend some real money on that goal.
But how can I save money on groceries?!
With a few tips, you can start saving money on your grocery bills. Below are the best ways to save money on groceries.
Tips On Saving Money On Groceries
When you’re first starting out, try to do one of these tips at a time. If you try to do too much, you’ll probably become overwhelmed and just go back to how you were spending before. And that would be a disaster!
Also, if any of these tips don’t fit your lifestyle, don’t worry about forcing yourself to follow them. Just do what works for you and your family.
Make A Meal Plan
A lot of people make super simple meal plans that probably only cover dinner. But I’ve found that the best meal plan, the one that really saves big bucks, accounts for all three meals for every member of the family, plus snacks every day.
Once you make this in-depth meal plan, you should also keep up with necessary changes. If you loved a new recipe, make sure to include that in future meal plans. If you really hated some of the snacks, don’t buy them again!
When you make a meal plan, you can know exactly what you need to buy and thus avoid the temptation to buy more.
Watch For Sales
Shopping sales can be easy or it can be an obsession. I don’t let it become an obsession. I generally buy everything I need at Aldi, unless there is one special item I can get cheaper elsewhere. When we buy soda, for instance, I will check the sale ads for all the nearby stores to find the cheapest price on soda.
Clip Some Coupons
This is another dangerous one! I find extreme couponing to be very interesting, and I wish I had the time and dedication to do what those ladies do, but for me I just use a coupon when I happen upon one.
This is a lot easier with stores that put their store coupons online or in newsletters so I don’t have to try and hunt them down.
Buy In Season
Boy, this is a big one! I like to buy a lot of produce, but when I buy out of season the costs pile up. Aside from a few staples like apples, bananas, and oranges, I try to buy only what is in season or what is on sale.
Eat Before You Shop
You’ve heard that one before, right? But it really matters! If I’m hungry when I go shopping, I always buy stuff that isn’t on my list and then forget half the stuff that is on my list!
Find The Cheapest Local Store
This is going to be different for everyone. For me, I am lucky to have a ton of different Aldi stores and similar discount grocery stores where I can buy very cheap food every week. For you, your cheapest store might be WalMart or Kroger.
I don’t think it’s worse the time and gas to go to every store in your city to get the best deals on all of your groceries. If you know which store is generally cheaper, you’ll be saving money no matter what.
Don’t Bring The Kids
Grocery shopping with the kids is not only annoying, it’s more expensive! My son is really well behaved in stores, but even he pushes me to buy things we don’t need.
Don’t Buy What You Don’t Use
If you are 25 years old and you hate broccoli, you will probably still hate broccoli if you buy it this week. When you are in a season of frugality, don’t go out of your way to push your taste buds. Go with what you know works and won’t get wasted.
Check The Bottom Shelves
Many of the cheapest products will be on the bottom shelves in the grocery stores, so keep your eyes near your feet.
Buy Store Brands
Aldi is pretty unique in that their store brand stuff is often not only as good as the national brands, it’s better! With few exceptions, I will choose Aldi brand over a national brand. Just don’t try to feed me Aldi poptarts!
How Do You Save Money On Groceries?
With just a few tips on saving money on groceries, you can help your family get out of debt and stop wasting so much on food. It’s pretty easy to be frugal once you start following these rules!