10 Ways to Cut Back on Your Grocery Bill

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Are you constantly looking for ways to cut back on your grocery bill? Do you walk into your favorite grocery store with the intent to pick up just 2 or 3 items and come out with a whole cart of things because “you might need them?” Or maybe every time you go to buy your groceries you spend way over your budget? How about this one.  You have to make daily trips to the grocery store just to be able to feed your family dinner? Or perhaps you avoid the grocery store all together until your family’s ready to declare mutiny if you don’t get food in the house. 

We found some great ways to cut back on your grocery bills. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Make a menu

If you are looking for ways to cut back on your grocery bill, then you’ll have to get serious about menu planning. You can make it yourself (some people enjoy that) or you can join a menu planning service that will help you do it. I spend my days planning menus for other families who don’t have the time or the desire to do it. That’s perfectly fine. As long as you have a menu before you head to the store, it doesn’t matter if you did it or someone else. The advantage of having someone else do it for you is that even on your busy crazy weeks, you’ll still have your weekly menus.

2. Don’t shop when you’re hungry

Yes, I know you’ve heard that one but it’s worth mentioning it again. We’re far more prone to buying junk food or the “quick fix” when we’re hungry. This can really add to your bill.

3. Buy generic

There’s nothing wrong with it. There are a couple of things that I don’t like to purchase generic, but otherwise I buy everything generic. So, if you are a generic snob please get over it. Your bank account will thank you.  Buying generic is a great way to cut back on your grocery bill.

4. Set a grocery budget and stick to it

If you don’t have a game plan before you go shopping, you won’t be able to stay within your budget. That’s where that menu and shopping list comes in.  Build A Menu can help you with that by telling you approximately how much your groceries will cost before you go to the store. Or, if you are very familiar with your stores prices you might be able to take an educated guess. Either way, stick to your budget like glue.

5. Don’t buy prepared foods

Usually, the more a food item has been processed, the more expensive it is. You can purchase the uncooked rice for not much or the instant boil in a bag, but you’ll spend quite a bit more. Besides, the processed foods are never as healthy.

6. Make fewer shopping trips

The more trips you make to the grocery store each week, the more you’ll spend. Again, planning a menu and sticking to your grocery list will cut down on the multiple trips to the store. If in between shopping trips you find you really do need something from the store, make sure you have a mini-list of what you are after and stick to that list. There are times I threaten to buy a milk cow and put it in our back yard because of how much milk my boys go through. Rather than filling a cart up with gallons of milk during my once a week shopping trip, I stop by the store a couple of times in between to get milk. But, I have that mini list and know just what I need.

7. Buy on sale

However, don’t fall into the “it’s on sale so I have to buy it trap.” If it’s on your list or you know you REALLY will need it soon, then buy it. Many things (like cheese) you can freeze.   Also, much of the time you’ll find name brand items on sale but the store brand will still be cheaper.

8. Don’t purchase processed breakfast foods

Not only is the so called healthiest cereals not really that healthy, but you’ll save loads of money when you avoid the cereal, Pop Tarts and frozen waffle isles. Instead, when you are making your menus, plan for breakfast as well. It doesn’t have to be a four course meal. My kids are happy with toast and fruit, oatmeal, eggs, and the occasional pancakes or waffles (homemade and not store bought). It really doesn’t take that much time in the morning but the benefits both financially and health wise are great.

9. Shop when you’re not stressed or in a hurry

Ok, there are some weeks when if I had to wait till I had plenty of time or I wasn’t slightly stressed, my shopping might not get done.  Try to find a time that’s good for you. That might mean going shopping after your kids are in bed and your husband can watch the little ones. Or, maybe you have older kids that can watch younger ones while you go shop. Whatever the case, try to plan sometime during your week that will allow you to shop without the stress of being slammed for time.

10. Avoid buying something just because it seems cool

Anytime an items main function is geared toward convenience (single serving mac and cheese for example) or a cool appearance, that item will cost you more.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to cut back on your grocery bill. Every little thing adds up. The most important item however is taking the time to make a menu to plan your family’s meals.   You’ll save time and money and be glad you did!

Lisa

Want more information on how to save money?  Check out these articles.

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