Oh, groceries. It seems like you get so little for so much money. I work hard to cut our grocery bill as much as possible, and am pretty happy that we seem to spend about $80 every two weeks. That fluctuates depending on our pantry, but overall we do pretty well at keeping around this budget. Here’s some tips on how we do it:
- We grocery shop for two weeks at a time. This has been a huge one for us and has probably saved us the most money out of anything on this list. Somehow, when we shop for two weeks of food, we end up spending almost the same as when we went to the store for one week’s worth of food. We practically cut our grocery bill in half just by planning for two weeks instead of one!
- We eat cheap proteins. I can’t remember the last time I’ve bought ground beef. At almost $4/lb., it’s just too expensive! We eat a lot of chicken, eggs, beans, and lentils to help bring costs down while still providing a hearty meal.
- We eat at least one dirt cheap meal each week. Typically this is egg sandwiches. We fry up some eggs, slap them on bread with some mayo, and call it good. If I think about it ahead of time, I’ll buy frozen french fries and cook them up, too. This is one of Husband’s favorite meals, which he actually introduced me to. We also like to make egg burritos. We just mix scrambled eggs with cooked ground sausage and put the mixture in tortillas. Both of these meals cost under $5. Unfortunately, rumor has it that egg prices will be going up!
- I cook and freeze dry beans. For the price of two cans of beans, you can make 5-6 bags and freeze them! Dried beans are so much cheaper, and they aren’t sitting in bean juice, which kind of grosses me out. All I do is dump them in a big pot, fill the pot up with water, and let them soak for most of the day. Then, after 8-10 hours, I cook them over medium heat until they are soft. Drain and let them cool, then put the desired amount into freezer bags and lie them flat in the freezer. I typically do just under two cups in each bag. This has been a huge money saver for us!
- Meal plan. Seriously, just do it. Look through the sales ads and come up with a meal plan (be realistic- if you only cook once each week right now, don’t meal plan seven meals! Meal plan for 3-4 and work your way up. Otherwise, you’re just wasting food and money.)
- Make a list. This is a MUST for me. Our bill skyrockets when we (Husband and I go together) grocery shop when we’re hungry or don’t have a list. This list should include your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
- We each choose 1-2 snacks. We grocery shop every two weeks, so we usually each pick up one to two snacks to last us until we go to the store again. Once the snacks are gone, they’re gone.
- We shop at multiple stores. We go to Aldi for a lot of things. I typically don’t buy too much produce or meat there, but I love their dried foods. We buy paper goods, canned goods, coffee, and sometimes produce at Costco, and most of our meats, any other produce, and any extras at Kroger. Costco has to be a once in a while type of trip for us, because we can easily spend over $100 on random purchases.
Bringing your grocery bill down doesn’t have to be painful! It boils down to looking at the sale ads and planning ahead. There are several weeks that I look at the calendar and know that we won’t be able to sit down for dinner, so I budget more money toward eating out than groceries. It’s no biggie, because I planned ahead. Plan, plan, plan!
What are your grocery saving tips?