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Have you ever looked at how much money you spend on food per month?
It might not seem like a lot because you spend $15 on fast food or $150 at the grocery store, but it quickly adds up.
If you use a budget, then you know that you probably spend more on groceries and food every month then most of your other expenses.
If you haven’t started using a budget, click here to print out my free monthly budget template to get started. The first step in saving money on food is becoming aware of how much money you are actually spending on it.
Take a minute to estimate how much you think you spend on groceries, food, and snacks every month. Is it $400, $800, $1000?
Are you constantly throwing food away because it’s expired?
Do you have food in your pantry that you never eat?
Do you find yourself dining out even though your cupboards are stocked?
It’s okay to dine out and spend money on extra food, but in order to cut your monthly grocery expenses you need to make some changes. It doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy yourself you just need to become more aware of your spending habits to gain control and start grocery shopping on a budget.
If you are wondering how you can take control and really start making changes to cut down on your monthly food expenses then I want you to take a look at Erin Chase’s Grocery Budget Makeover. Her goal is to help you cut your grocery spending in half!
Grocery Budget Makeover dives into grocery shopping, meal planning and couponing so that you are equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to start saving money.
Grocery Shopping on a Budget
#1 Meal Planning
Whenever I first thought about meal planning I instantly got overwhelmed and stressed. I had no idea what it meant or how to get started. I always heard my friends talking about their meal plan and how it helped them know exactly what they would be cooking everyday, but to me it just seemed like a lot of work.
I knew I needed to lower our monthly food costs so I had to give it a try. I began to figure out if it would be worth it and started seeing all of the amazing benefits to meal planning. Click here to find out how a meal plan can save you hundreds of dollars and print out my free meal planning worksheet.
If you are just getting started you can make your meal plan with the food you have in your refrigerator and cupboards. Take an inventory of what you have and come up with a few ideas. As soon as you start to implement a meal plan and only buy what you are making for the week, you will instantly see how much money you can save.
#2 Make a List
If you are using a meal plan then this will be really simple. You will make a list of all the items on your meal plan and then go shopping.Once you are at the store, try to stick to your list. I know it can be hard when you see snacks or items you like on sale, but in order to save money you need to resist the temptation.
One thing you can try to do is figure out how much it will cost to buy everything on your list and only take that amount of money with you to the store. That way, you can’t buy any extra items that aren’t on your list.
#3 Freezer Cooking
Not only can freezer meal cooking save you money, but it can also save you on time. You can start to batch cook meals and double up on ingredients.
#4 Shop sales
This tip alone can save you a lot of money. Your shopping list and menu plan for the week should consist of items that are on sale. This will allow you to stock-up so that you do not have to pay full price when you run out.
Pay attention to your store’s weekly circular and make your list based upon the items that are on sale that week and are included in your meal plan.
Once I have my meal plan I will check the weekly sales and if the items I need aren’t on sale, I will edit my meal plan to see what I can buy to create other meals for the week and wait until the items are on sale.
#5 Use an app
One of my favorite money saving apps is Ibotta. It is a really simple app that you can download onto your phone and then get cash back rebates for scanning your receipts. You can save money on the items you were already going to purchase at your local grocery store.
Even though the amounts are small, they add up over the month, and they offer really cool bonuses. If you sign up here you can be on my team and we can work together to unlock bonuses.
You can use these 5 methods to start saving money and grocery shopping on a budget. You will start to see your food expenses decreasing month after month. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but you will be thankful that you took the time to do it.
Share with us your tips and tricks for grocery shopping on a budget in the comments below!