Cutting down on monthly expenses is always an easy way to work towards a financial goal. There are a ton of ways to reduce your expenses – practicing simple frugal habits, cutting your bills in half or even budget grocery shopping. If you’re trying to figure out how to save on groceries and how to cut your grocery bill in half, then you’re in the right place!
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You’d be surprised at how much money you can save if you approach budget grocery shopping in the right way! Seriously, I was wasting hundreds of dollars every month and complained bitterly about the fact that groceries took up a large fraction of our monthly budget. Of course this was before I learned how to save on groceries.
One day, our debt hit me like a ton of bricks and I realized I had to make some changes and reduce our expenses.
I made little changes everyday including becoming more energy efficient, and getting my entire family onboard our mission to become debt free. However, the biggest difference was seen when I learned how to cut our grocery bill in half! Saving $400 on groceries per month resulted in an extra $4800 per year in savings!
Many of you may already know that we have set a goal to save $15K in 6 months this year, and quite honestly, practicing these budget grocery shopping tips play the BIGGEST part in providing wiggle room in our budget to save more money!
Are you aiming towards some financial goal of your own this year? Maybe you just want to become a little more money minded? Spend less and waste less? Whatever the reason, the following tips will surely help you along your journey and teach you exactly how to save on groceries and how to practice budget grocery shopping so that you too can learn how to cut your grocery bill in half!
How to Save on Groceries – 15 Genius Ways to Cut your Grocery Bill in Half
1. Meal Plan
Any time I write a post on saving money, meal planning is always at the top of my list! This is because meal planning literally saves me THOUSANDS of dollars each year!
Meal planning is super important if you’re trying to learn how to save on groceries because it helps you narrow down your grocery list and stick to what you NEED to buy.
To master meal planning, I consult with my family and we all suggest meals for the upcoming week. In addition to saving on groceries, meal planning helps me save time too. That’s a busy win for a busy mom like me!
Meal planning takes the guessing out of things. I know exactly what I’m going to cook each day so I can prepare myself mentally. I also stick to cooking low cost meals using staples such as rice, beans, potatoes etc.
How does meal planning help you cut your grocery bill in half?
Well for starters, you can use your meal plan to write a proper grocery list for the upcoming week!
You can browse your meals, double check your pantry for ingredients you are missing and base your grocery list on this. It helps you eliminate all unnecessary items, prevents you from impulse buys and reduces wastage at home!
By getting the ingredients that you need for the week only, you will no longer end up with rotting veggies that get thrown out when you don’t use it.
Meal plan and stick to it! You’ll see the rewards as your grocery bill reduces and you savings account grows!
Pssst! Meal Planning saves me thousands of dollars every year! Not sure how to get started? Grab a copy of my free Meal Planning e-guide below.
2. Make one trip to the Grocery Store (or none at all)
Meal planning is one thing, grocery shopping is another. After you meal plan, you will have your grocery list of necessary ingredients. The trick is to make just ONE trip to the grocery store to get these items.
I don’t know about you but whenever I go to the grocery store, I get shiny object syndrome (aka I feel the urge to buy so many unnecessary things). To prevent this, I limit my grocery shopping trip to once per week. I get everything on my list during this one run. Budget grocery shopping trick FTW!
Alternatively, you can also try ordering online and getting free delivery, or choose the option to pick-up instead.
3. Stick to the List
This is another important budget grocery shopping tip to follow when you’re trying to learn how to save on groceries!
The grocery list stems from your meal planning.
Quite frankly, your meal planning efforts would have been a huge fail if you went to the grocery store with your list and didn’t stick to it! Your list is there to help you stay on budget. Stick to your list!
4. Buy in Bulk
One budget grocery shopping trick to consider is buying certain items in bulk.
Analyze a few of your recent meal plans. Do you see a few recurring meals that appear often in your meal plan?
Consider purchasing some of the non-perishable items for these meals in bulk. In this way, you can end up saving hundreds of dollars on your groceries!
Some common items that can be bought in bulk include rice, canned foods such as sardines, vegetables, tuna, etc.
Buying in bulk is perfect because the unit price of each item is way less (sometimes less than half of the usual price!) than if you purchase one or two cans per week.
5. Use Money Saving Apps to get Cash Back
How awesome would it be if you could buy your groceries and then get back some of the money you spent?! Pretty awesome, right? And it’s super simple.
A crucial part of budget grocery shopping is utilizing free Money Saving Apps to earn cash back after you grocery shop! This post lists some of the best apps that allow you to complete tasks, learn info about a product or scan your grocery receipt to get cash back.
You can also use your credit card with cash back rewards in the same way. Just make sure you can have the cash at hand to immediately pay back your credit card if you use it.
This gets me hundreds of dollars worth of cash back coupons, which I then use to save on groceries!
6. Use Coupons
Another way to save on groceries is by using coupons. In addition to cutting out coupons from magazines or the newspaper, you can easily Google or use apps such as The Krazy Coupon Lady to get coupons in under a minute!
The important thing to remember is that you should not buy an item JUST BECAUSE you have a coupon for it. This defeats the whole purpose of budget grocery shopping.
Stick to buying the items that you need, and if you have a coupon for those…well that’s awesome!
7. Take Advantage of Sales
Sales are a must if you’re trying to save on groceries. Most grocery stores advertise when they’re having upcoming sales for various occasions.
Be on the lookout for back-to-school sales, Christmas sales, Summer sales etc. There’s basically a sale for everything.
Remember, it’s always a good habit to take note of the pre sale prices of the items that you usually purchase so that you can be sure that you are actually saving and getting a good deal during the sale!
8. Take advantage of expiry offers/clearance
I know. I know. People cringe when they hear the would purchase and expire in the same sentence. However, you are NOT actually purchasing expired items.
Usually grocery stores offer good deals and slashed prices on items that are expiring soon. They basically want to get rid of the goods quickly because once the expiry dates reach, they need to pull the items from the shelves.
As such, a few months before the expiry date, the store offer many deals such as 3-for-the-price-of-1 or even prices reduced by OVER 50%!
You can snatch these up and use them in your meal planning way before the products expire!
Similarly, shop the clearance aisle to purchase items that have little dents/scratches. Many groceries sell these at a reduced price!
Once you’re not buying opened or compromised products for consumption, you’re good to go. No frugal habit is worth risking your health!
9. Stick to your budget
You’re probably rolling your eyes like, ‘Duh, Amanda.’ This is pretty obvious, right?! But it’s so very important that I needed to mention it. Saving on groceries means having a stipulated budget and STICKING TO IT!
I usually make my budget, allocate money towards groceries every month and then challenge myself to spend less than how much I budgeted!
Call me a frugal nut, but the more I save, the more I love the challenge. When I save on groceries, I can allocate this extra money towards other categories such as clearing debt or increasing my savings account!
Who knows – saving on your groceries may even pay for a family vacation!
10. Use free gift cards
This one is simple. Did you receive free gift cards? Use them on necessary items like food instead!
11. Eat before you go grocery shopping
Eating before you go grocery shopping is a trick that can be used to cut your grocery in half. It is believed that you will be less tempted to pick up unnecessary food items, snacks and drinks, if you’re shopping with a full stomach.
12. Go to the grocery store alone
This is a tip for parents.
Guys, my grocery bill is doubled every time I take my kids with me. They always need snacks, juice, nuggets, cereal and 19384639 other items that are not on my list.
If you want to know how to save on groceries, go without the kids – or go with A LOT of willpower!
13. Make certain items from scratch
There’s a tutorial for almost anything on Google or Pinterest these days!
Set aside some time and make items such as laundry detergents, soaps, wipes, and items such as ketchup, bar b que sauce, salsa, broth, stock etc. Usually you can make batches which can last for months!
Since we’re talking about making your own items, I’ll just jump right in and add ‘starting a kitchen garden’ to this list. Obviously growing your own herbs and vegetables will help you cut your grocery bill in half!
We also stopped buying certain items like water since it’s free from the tap. Invest in a filter and you’re good to go!
14. Choose the right place to shop
Some grocery stores are more expensive than others. This is why it’s a good idea to shop around and see where you can score the best deals and the lowest prices.
The most common places to shop if you’re trying to save on groceries is at discount retailers such as Aldi.
15. Shop at the right time of the day
Yes, there’s a right time of day to shop! And that’s usually late evening when it’s almost closing time.
This holds true especially when it comes to fresh produce and meats (perishables). Around this time, vendors are looking to sell out their goods for the day and they offer the lowest prices.
That’s it! These are 15 of the best tips on how to save on groceries! Using a combination of all of these will definitely help you cut your grocery bill in half!
Do you already do some of these budget grocery shopping tricks? Are there any more tricks that you’d like to add to this list? Share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
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Until next time,
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