We all have to do it. We make a list and head out to the grocery store every week. If you’re like me you hate wasting money, but unfortunately food is the number one place Nick and I spend (and sometimes waste) money.
Over the years we have definitely cut down our grocery bill substantially. We currently spend $400-$500 a month on groceries for two people. How does that compare to what you spend? I’d love to know if we’re in the average – or above and below it.
Our grocery savings have been a combination of becoming more price aware meaning we actively buy items that are on sale and letting go of more expensive items such as steak, snacks and sweets. Yes we are living without some items we love, but we aren’t hungry. We still buy our favorite items, but only when they’re on sale.
How do you save money on groceries?
Set a weekly budget
I know this seems like standard advice, but setting a budget is only one part of saving money at the grocery store. Sticking to your budget is the second half of the equation. Every week when Nick and I make our grocery list on his app we also include the price we expect to pay for each item. This helps us micro-manage our budget per item and stay on budget. Here’s a list of popular grocery list apps.
Eat before you leave the house
Have you ever bought an item because you felt like eating it while you were at the grocery store but then the craving passes once you get home. I know I have. This usually happens if I go to the grocery store when I’m hungry because when I’m hungry I’ll eat anything. However this is a huge waste of money because the item just ends up sitting in the cupboard until it expires and we throw it in the garbage. I’ve learned to only shop for groceries on a full belly.
Use multi-purpose ingredients
This is my favorite way to save money. I like to buy ingredients that we can use for more than one meal because that way we can stretch out our weekly budget. If I buy green peppers (cheaper than yellow or red) and onions we can use them in stir fry with noodles, as pasta primavera or as a fajita mix. It’s multiple meals with the same ingredients and that helps save money.
Plan easy to cook meals
I don’t know about you, but if cooking seems like too much work I avoid it like the plague. I like the idea of a multi-course meal set on the table, but the reality is Nick and I just don’t have time to do that. Although one of our goals next year will be to learn to cook and make time to do it a few nights a week. When you plan easy to cook meals like Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals you can be sure you’re eating healthy home cooked meals without taking up too much of your time.