Keep Your Grocery Spending Under Control
Aside from your mortgage, (ok and and possibly your car), your biggest monthly expense is 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.
How to Make A Grocery Budget
Start by tracking how much you’re spending on groceries for a few weeks. I recommend at least 4 weeks, but you can do just 2 if you really want to get going quickly. You can use a google spread sheet or just write it down. Make sure to exclude non-food purchases from the receipts! From there, you will have a pretty good understanding of what you spend on average. Note that this should not be done during intense holiday seasons. Those are not normal grocery spending amounts and should be their own budget. It will throw your entire budget off (most likely make the number higher than it actually is!).
Now use the average as your weekly or monthly budget amount.
For example, if you tracked 4 weeks and the amounts were (FYI – these are made up and do not represent my budget or anyone else’s!):
You would add all four numbers above together ($123 + $109 + $99 + $157 = $488) and then divide by the number of weeks you tracked. In this case that would be 4 weeks. So, $488 / 4 = $122 per week. Allot that money for groceries and plan to maintain that amount and don’t go over.
Next, try cutting back your budget by $20 per month. This is VERY feasible as it equates to $5 per day!! Keep going each month, cutting back your budget by $20 per month 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, 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 a loss leader deal is worth driving to the store long before you ever set a foot out the door.
I use the price sheet in the Family Meals Game Plan to track costs across multiple stores. It comes with a ton of other helpful planning sheets which when used can help you save money.
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 dishes your family enjoys. They may be 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 frugal dish days.
Enjoying frugal 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.
Need inspiration to figure out what to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Check out the Ultimate Family Meal Theme Planner! This planner is PERFECT for anyone who wants to make their own meals but is out of ideas for what to make! It doesn’t matter if you are feeding one person or a family of 8! Any experience level! It will get your creative juices flowing.
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.
Get the Family Meals Game Plan – Use Meal Planning to Save on Groceries
The Family Meals Game Plan is a start to finish meal planning system that helps your family hone in on what to make for breakfast lunch and dinner. Save time and your sanity. Don’t spend hours trying to figure out what to make for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner only to find that your kids are not eating it?
With meal planning you have the ability to save a TON of money on your groceries and stop wasting food! The average American family of four throws out $1,500 in food per year!! Have a plan in place so you don’t get decision fatigue at the end of the day and just order expensive and unhealthy take out AGAIN.
Everything your family needs to make meal planning a snap. Get a plan in place for a week, month or even an entire year!
you can get the Family Meals Game Plan here.
Cutting Down on Grocery Spending
Give these tips a try and see if you don’t start to see big savings on your grocery spending 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.