Weekly roundup: How to save money on groceries

by Kristina on June 26, 2015 · 5 comments

Good morning Dinks.  Let me ask you a question, how much do you spend on groceries each month?  Nick and I spend approximately $120 a week on groceries for the two of us.  I’m not sure if that’s a reasonable amount.

How do you save money on groceries each week?

Plan your menus

I try to do this as much as possible but the problem is sometimes I feel like eating a certain food when I’m at the grocery store and then a couple days later I don’t feel like it anymore.  This usually ends up in me eating something I don’t want to or food being wasted – which makes me very angry.

Planning your menus makes you think about the ingredients and maybe you can reuse them in several menus.  For example I love Mexican food.  A mixture of peppers and onions can be used for several dishes such as burritos, tacos and quesadillas.  They all have very different tastes and one batch of ingredients can make all three. That’s a big money saver.

Think about the cost per unit

This is how I’ve adapted my shopping strategy over the last year and it’s helped save a lot of money.  Sometimes there are two sizes of the same item on sale and you’re not sure which one is the best deal.  The way to know is to figure out the cost per unit.  The smaller size is usually cheaper but it’s not always the best deal.  It might be better to pay a little more because you’ll be getting more bang for your buck.

Many grocery stores and pharmacies are starting to list their prices with the sale price as well as with the cost per unit.  This helps everyone become more savvy shoppers.

Eat the same meals

In a couple or in a family we always try to accommodate each other and sometimes this means making multiple meals.  I know my Dad always did…and he still does.  I am a vegetarian and my sister is gluten-free so this makes for a very interesting family meal.

Cooking multiple versions of the same meal can be very costly.  The economic thing to do is to is to try and find meals that everyone can eat and include the same ingredients.  It makes grocery shopping a lot simpler and cooking meals a lot easier.

How to save money on eating out

Dining out in restaurants is not exactly grocery shopping, but it has to do with food.  Nick and I eat out quite a bit but it’s always grab and go food or takeout, we rarely order delivery or eat out in restaurants, why?  Because it’s expensive.

If you go to pick up your food you can save on the delivery fee and tip.  Many restaurants also give a discount for takeout orders.  That makes eating out economical and worthwhile.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy June 26, 2015 at 8:38 am

I know a lot of personal finance people stress over their grocery budget, but $we don’t worry about it. We have a goal that we would like to stay under, but if we go over it is seriously no big deal. Out monthly goal is $600 for two but we stay under that, just as frequently as we go over. There are time like Christmas when we buy more baking supplies, and other times when we go to our favorite meat shop and stock up on chops, chicken breasts and hamburger. I definitely shop sales and try to remember those coupons we clipped but most of the time, I simply forget. The thing I dislike so much about getting groceries is that try as I might to have move fresh vegetables and salad ingredients in the fridge, too often we end up having something else and then that food gets bad and is tossed. I know this is a tremendous waste of money and opportunity to eat more healthy, but sometimes life gets in the way.

2 Linda W June 26, 2015 at 1:36 pm

We belong to a non-profit food co-op BountifulBaskets.org When I come home with our fresh fruit and vegetables, I wash them first. Then I make a vegetable stew in one of my crock pots with many of the appropriate vegetables. We eat the leafy vegetables in a salad right away because they might spoil first. I check the fridge often to determine what needs to be prepared next. It doesn’t take much effort to do this.

3 Katie June 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

I budget $350 monthly for food, but there are some power struggles that keep forcing us over. Instead of telling me what he wants, my husband will go grocery shopping without looking to see what we already have, and then often doesn’t want the things he’s bought, so he comes home with takeout. It’s very frustrating but he’s not willing to let me take over that chore completely.

4 Heather @ Simply Save June 26, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Planning my meals will also help me cut back on eating out over lunch because I can plan for leftovers! I need to get better about this!

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