Penny pinchers, super couponers and frugal people are always looking for ways to save money here or there. Many people find that groceries take up a huge chunk of their monthly expenses. Luckily, groceries are one monthly expenses that you have total and complete control over unlike gas, water or electricity type bills. With groceries being such a big part of your budget, it’s nice to find simple ways to save. Here are tips to lower your grocery bill starting this month! Some of these won’t be new ideas but they might just get your creative saving brain thinking more intentionally as you shop.
1. Plan A Weekly Menu
- Planning a weekly menu can be as simple as printing my free “Menu Planning Sheet” and heading over to Pinterest. You can pick 7 meals you’ve pinned and load them onto your sheet writing down everything you need. (To make it easier when you go to cook, make a “This Week’s Menu” board and load your pins. Next week delete them and replace them with your new pins.)
- If that’s too much for you, consider signing up for Emeals. Emeals is an online menu planning subscription that provides you a simple print out each week of recipes and shopping lists taking all the thinking out of meal planning. They have almost every diet plan known to man so you can tailor to families dietary needs. I have had a subscription for about 1.5 years now. (Here’s my post on Emeals if you want to know more)
2. Shop With an Accurate List
- Shopping with an accurate list is different from shopping with just a list. I can start a list of random needs on my phone but I will forget something important.
- Shopping with an accurate list requires a little organization so that you know what you are out of and what you need to buy to eat the whole week.
- Make your list in a quiet place so you can concentrate and make it accurate. (Even if that means locking yourself in the bathroom for 15 minutes).
- Use your weekly menu plan to write down everything you need to make meals for each person, each day, in-between your shopping trips.
- To keep tabs on what’s in your pantry and what you run out of, feel free to print out my cleaning product inventory sheet that you can hang on your cabinet.
- You can also print this toiletry supply inventory to stay on top of what you need when you run out. If you slide them in a clear plastic report cover and use a dry erase marker you only have to print them once!
- These print out’s originally came from my eBook: The Organized & Efficient House Spouse: Organization & Cleaning Strategies for Your Unique Home, Family & Personality(This link Amazon affiliate link to my book which means I earn a small percentage of the sale to support the blog.)
3. Buy Store Brand
- If you aren’t into couponing, buying store brands as much as possible can save you some big bucks.
- Usually the products are just a tasty without the big sticker price.
4. DON’T- Buy One Get One Free
- Wait! What? DON’T BOGO? It’s FREE.
- Maybe it’s not free.
- In stores like Publix their buy one get one deals actually mean that the items ring up half price. You don’t actually have to get 2. You can get 1 at 50% off.
- Check with your grocery store’s manager to see if buying one means your paying full price and getting two items or if you can simply pick one up at half price.
- I save a ton of money this way especially if I have a coupon for the item!
5. Control Family Snacking
- One way that grocery bills add up fast is just on random snacks. If your family eats a ton of snacks and you find they don’t eat well at meals, cut back on the snack shopping. Pick one package of each person’s favorite snack and ration it. Let them know that once it’s gone, they have to wait til next shopping day.
- Split snacks up into single serve baggies so they control how much they snack. I’m not going to lie, I have burned through a half a bag of kettle chips just watching TV and not even noticed. Single serve bags really help!
- Up & Up brand has these awesome pre-measured snack bags so you don’t even need to use a measuring cup to divide the snacks up.
6. Only Buy Food Items With Your Grocery Budget
- I learned about a year ago that in order to keep my grocery budget under control I needed to make a separate budget line items labeled “Hygiene & Cleaning”. This prevented me from spending a chunk of my grocery budget on $15 packs of toilet paper or cleaning products.
7. Take a Drink With You (Preferably non-alcoholic)
- I find that I don’t always have time to eat before I head to the store so I bring an iced coffee or smoothie I enjoy along. That helps me avoid the whole “don’t shop while you’re hungry” thing.
8. Don’t Shop With Your Kids
- Kids add extra…distractions to shopping.
- Between begging to buy stuff you don’t need and them acting like kids, toddlers or babies, it can be hard to focus on what you do need.
- I have found it’s easier to stick with my list when I can go alone.
9. Take Your Spouse With You
- IF AND ONLY IF YOUR SPOUSE IS A SAVER.
- If in your relationship you are the spender and your spouse is the saver, bring them along. If you both like to spend money, leave them out. They may make things worse.
- In my case, my husband is the saver and I’m the spender. When I go to the grocery store with him, he keeps me accountable to what’s on the list and keeps me from making impulsive shopping mistakes.
10. Grab Some Coupons
- Check out your grocery store’s website for free printable store coupons.
- Also run your shopping list items through a site like Coupons.com (this is my coupon.com Brandcaster link) to be sure you aren’t missing any extra savings on what you are already planning to buy. (Don’t let couponing lead you to “try” stuff not on your list just because you have a coupon.)
I hope these tips to lower your grocery bill have given you some new ideas to work with. Everyone has to eat, but what you buy and what you spend is totally up to you. Please feel free to share any tips to lower your grocery bill that you have had success with in the comments section below!
Want help figuring out what you should spend on groceries? Check out this post!
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!