Grocery shopping is a significant expense and one of the reasons we eat out is because we think it saves us time and money. But really, it doesn’t and eating out adds up pretty quickly.
Cooking your own food is still the best way to save on food expenses and also eat healthier portions that you can control. But still, groceries are expensive and prices keep climbing.
Have you really noticed how much you spend on groceries each month? According to research, the weekly shopping bill for primary spenders of multi-person households comes to $118 on average. Single shoppers spend about half that, averaging $60 a week.
I am a single shopper, and I am amazed at these stats; because people are really spending a lot more than they should on groceries. When I’m being good and do not eat out that month, my food expense is around $80/month ($40/2 weeks). Sounds way cheaper than $60/week huh?
So here are 8 simple ways to save money on your grocery budget.
1. Plan your meals to save money on groceries
This is the one tip that will likely save you the most dollars when trying to frugally budget your groceries. When you plan ahead, you give yourself time to look around the kitchen and make a shopping list of what you already have, and what you still need. To help you stay in routine, put a meal plan pad with a magnet on your fridge door, that you can use all the time. If you have trouble meal planning, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send meal plans directly to your email, and it is my absolute favorite.
I travel quite often for work, and when I’m back, my meal planning is always out of whack. After looking for solutions online, I came across The $5 Meal Plan through other bloggers recommendation and it has been a game changer for me. It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free), and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. It has allowed me to save time because I don’t have to meal plan anymore, and it has saved me money as well! If you are interested in joining for free, click here
2. Shop at affordable supermarkets
My favorite supermarket is ALDI. They really do have fresh foods at low prices. The reason why ALDI is cheaper compared to Kroger or other stores is that most of the food products are their own brand, so the middleman is cut off, and their prices are just right. You will save a lot of $$$ there. It is also perfect to shop there for a healthy diet, as their healthy food options are also very affordable.
3. Do not shop on an empty stomach
Go grocery shopping on a full stomach, that way you avoid buying mini snacks or foods that you wouldn’t usually buy. According to research, the average shopping trip takes 41 minutes. You’re guaranteed to buy unusual snacks while you’re on the run if you don’t eat before you go shopping.
4. Write it all down
Make a grocery list before leaving the house, and calculate the $$$. Unless you are buying something new, chances are you already know how much the things you usually buy, cost.
If you’re planning on changing your diet, consider using one of these grocery apps to do a price check and get discounts on those items. That way, you have a set list of things to buy and a ballpark of the amount you will be spending. I usually add an extra $10-$15 for miscellaneous.
5. Buy a water filter
I came across an article on The Water Project, that states that the average person in the U.S. spends around $100 per year on bottled water.
Instead of spending $100 on bottled water each year, you could buy a water filter, and drink the water from your own home
Note: Yes, sadly there are some towns out there where water is not clean. If you truly do not feel safe drinking the tap water at your home, then please don’t. While saving money is the goal here, maintaining a good health is also very important.
6. Do not buy if you won’t use
All the time we see stuff on sale and tend to buy them because they are on sale, don’t. Don’t buy stuff because it’s on sale, especially when you don’t really need it. It is only a great buy, if you need it and will use it.
7. Buy just enough
Only buy the amount of food you need and can afford. A 5-for-10 is only a good deal if you can use 10.
8. Shop like a math teacher
This is a golden nugget especially when you’re shopping with kids. Bring a calculator on your shopping journey and add up everything you or anyone else puts in the cart.