Over this past month we have been scrutinizing our budget and cutting where possible. One way we’ve been trying to do that is with our grocery budget. For our family of two (plus two furry children), we budget $200 a month for food and any other miscellaneous items that come up like shampoo, dog food, toilet paper etc.
We choose to budget everything together with food so that our miscellaneous money can actually, legitimately, be fun money. You can read more about our budget here.
Seeing as how every sane person I know out there wants to save money, here are some tips I’ve found helpful in helping us save money when grocery shopping.
FIrst thing, always go shopping after a meal so you aren’t hungry and buying on impulse because it sounds good. One too many times I have ended up with oreos and a tub of frosting in my cart because I didn’t listen to my own advice.
Make a grocery list. But more importantly stick to the grocery list! Being prepared is key to saving money on groceries. This includes meal planning prior to shopping so you know you will have a use for all the ingredients.
Avoid the center aisles. Shop the perimeter. The healthier, less processed food is around the perimeter of most grocery stores. Processed food usually costs more and most definitely is worse for you to eat. So avoid the middle as much as you can.
Buy the brand that’s on sale or cheapest per ounce. Sometimes I’ll try to talk myself out of buying generic brands because I’m convinced they aren’t as healthy for you because they are chocked full of preservatives and other fillers. Well if you haven’t heard of Fooducate yet, listen up! Fooducate is an awesome app that will put a grade on grocery items. So in the store you can scan a barcode and see how it compares against name brand items and if they are the same or close to the same grade, buy the cheapest.
You’d be surprised to find what you actually have in your pantry. One week out of the month we try to not buy groceries and work on cleaning out those cupboards. If you have somewhat of a creative mind or are handy in using sites like allrecipes.com where you can enter ingredients to find recipes, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to find recipes to make with the ingredients you already have.
Change your way of thinking about meal planning. Half your meat. And don’t do a meal where the base is meat. Include it in stir fry or something to cut down on the meat.
Meatless Monday. Enough said. Chose one night a week to not do meat to save money.
If you’re like me, reading multiple articles to back up one theory is much more convincing then just reading one. So below I’ve shared with you some other posts I’ve found helpful in providing tips on how others save money on groceries.
What great grocery money saving tips do you know?
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