Aside from your rent or mortgage, your biggest monthly expense is most likely groceries. And unlike your mortgage, your car payment and most of the rest of your bills you actually have some control over how much you spend at the grocery store.
Raising five kids on my own and being the sole provider of income meant I had to pinch pennies at times and let me tell you – five kids can eat a LOT! I’ve had to learn how to keep my grocery bill under control, but it was through a lot of trial and error. I’ve made many mistakes along the way. I’ve gone to the store hungry which is a HUGE no-no. I’ve underbudgeted and had to rob Peter to pay Paul.
But, along the way, I did learn a few tips and tricks to avoid overspending at the grocery store and I’ll share a few of them with you now.
Make A Grocery Budget & Stick To It
Start by tracking how much you’re spending on groceries for a few weeks. From there, come up with a weekly or monthly budget. Allot that money for groceries and whatever you do, don’t go over.
Next, try cutting back your budget by $20 per month. Keep going and see how low you can go. The remaining tips will help you do that without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
Keep A Price Book
Who doesn’t love a bargain or a good deal? They are all over the store, but do you know if what they advertise as a good deal is actually saving you money?
Keep a little notebook in your purse or keep a text document on your phone with the regular prices of the items you buy most often. Not only can you see if that “deal” really is a deal, but you can also determine what kitchen staple is cheapest where and adjust your shopping accordingly. Your price book will also come in handy when you browse through weekly grocery flyers. You can decide if an advertised deal is worth driving to the store for long before you ever set foot out the door.
Come Up With A Few Frugal Dishes
You don’t have to make drastic changes and eat nothing but rice and beans all week. Instead, think of a few inexpensive recipes your family enjoys. They may like rice and beans. Or how about a big pot of soup or chili. Often meatless dishes will be your best frugal bet, or use meat in small portions on cheap meal days.
Enjoying budget-friendly meals even just a handful of days during the month combined with using up any and all leftovers will make a big difference in your grocery budget.
Cut Out The Extras
Make a list before you head to the store and stick to it. All those little extras like the fancy bread from the bakery or the candy you grabbed at checkout start to add up. Get in the habit of skipping those extras unless there’s a good reason to buy them. Stick to your list and you’ll cut your grocery bill by quite a bit each week. It’s amazing how all those little extras add up.
Give these tips a try and see if you don’t start to see significant savings on a weekly basis. What you do with all the extra money each month is up to you. Save up for a fun summer vacation, pay off those credit cards or start building your financial safety net.
Till Next Time,
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