Have you ever noticed that one of the biggest budget-eating category is food /groceries? In fact, according to Global News, an average family of four spends $220 on groceries. That sums up to $880 every month.
Groceries is undeniably one of our biggest expense too. We used to spend around $600-$800 every month depending on our stocks. When I say groceries, we include food and household items. Looking at those numbers that’s a lot. Therefore, we decided to make things better and work on ways how we can reduce the amount of money we have been spending.
Our family of four adults are meat-eaters and also wants variety especially at dinner time. This is the only time where we all sit together to share a meal on weekdays. However, having a lot of variety is not only expensive but also a bit exhausting on my part because I have to get food ready on the table by 6:00 to 6:30 pm.
In the past, I have tried ways on reducing our grocery budget but I FAILED. I failed because I gave up easily. Yet, when I decided to really tackle this journey of getting out of debt I discovered ways that helped us reduce our grocery expenses.
WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR GROCERY BUDGET
- Meal Planning
Meal planning is a total game changer for my family. Not only it did help us save money, it also saved me time in making meals during the week and my sanity as well. It also kept us organized and updated with our stocks ( freezer and pantry).
For me, every week I’ll pick a day where I can sit down to look for easy dinner recipes that my family enjoys. I also ask their ideas what they wanted for the week so I can include in our list. This way, it lessens my burden trying to pick or decide which is which.
2. Shop with a list
Have you ever been to a grocery without a list? Oh boy! That was a disaster for me. I could hardly ever remember what’s on my list. With everyday’s hustle and bustle with work and family I couldn’t get my brain working properly. And I end up just grabbing this and that and get home, only to find out I forgot the most important thing on my list.
Shopping without a list could result to multiple trips to the store which is a waste of money and time. Because if you’re like me who love to wander in the store you could really get in trouble. Ever experienced going to the store to buy one item but you end up with 3 more? That’s totally me. Therefore, a list is important.
3. Download the grocery apps
- Flipp – helps you saves time in finding good deals and helps you navigate stores easily.
- Checkout51 – is one of the best rebate apps that allows you to earn cash back to qualifying offers. You also earn money through referral. When you sign up you get a referral code that you can share to your friends.
- Caddle – is like Checkout51, the only difference is that Caddle have mini surveys that you can take and get paid by doing it.
4. Buy generic brand.
Are you a brand-loyal type of person? I used to be. And I used to buy only a specific type of brand because I thought these specific brands were better than the store or generic brand. It ends up that I’m wrong.
I have been throwing up dollars in our grocery budget buying brands that are no better than the store brand. When I learned about this lesson, we always make sure to start comparing prices for every item that we buy. We only pick items that are on sale.
5. Lessen grocery shopping trips.
Our weekly grocery expenses used to be around $150 or $600 a month and sometimes it’s even more. But then, I talked to my husband that we need to try change our grocery shopping schedule to bi-weekly instead of weekly. At first he was hesitant about it, telling me that we’re going to starve. As determined as I am, we followed the schedule. And it was a success for us.
Believe it or not, our bi-weekly grocery expenses is in between $150 ( if we’re only buying food) to $200 ( if household items are included). I learned later on that grocery shopping every week results in overstocking our freezer and pantry. Whereas, when you buy less often, you will be able to use up everything.
6. Create an inventory list for your freezer, pantry, and household items.
An inventory list gives you a specific idea about your stocks at home to avoid overbuying grocery items that you already have in stock. Neither I overstock our freezer nor I run out of other everyday essential other than food in our house. Yes, that’s how unorganized I am. Now, that I have an inventory list, it keeps me track with our grocery lists and helps me avoid from spending too much in our groceries.
7. Shop household items in bulk.
Think about the items in your house that you can buy in bulk. It should be something that you use everyday,every week or monthly and something that doesn’t go bad so easily. Examples of these would be body wash, shampoos, toothpaste and etc.
For me, I keep stocks of those items mentioned above that lasts us for a month or even longer. I buy them mostly when they’re on sale to make the most out of the deals’ offer. Shopping in bulk doesn’t only save me time but mostly money.
8. Practice zero food waste.
Zero food waste is a good ways of reducing money waste because you are allowing yourself to use up all the food that you buy instead of throwing in the garbage. Here’s an example of it. Let’s say you went on a grocery shopping but ended up eating out most of the time instead of cooking at home. Then what happened? The vegetables and fruit you bought went bad.
Think about how many times many times this happened in your household? For every bag of fruit or vegetable that ended up in the garbage is equal to the amount of money that you have wasted. There’s a ton of ways how you can do zero good ways and it’s not that even hard. It’s a matter starting it and becoming more aware of it.
Saving money is hard especially when you don’t know where to start. Cutting back on expenses won’t work unless you start to become more aware of where every dollar goes. Bringing awareness to your trips to the grocery stores will help you save money.