If you’re anything like me, you’re always shocked at how expensive your grocery bill is each month. That’s why I wanted to talk about how to save money on grocery shopping. Chances are you are spending more than you realize or even need to. These tips will help you cut back on spending while still enjoying the food you and your family love.
Every time I go to the grocery store it feels like prices have gone up. The boxes and bags get smaller and the price tag gets bigger.
I’ll leave the store with five items and the bill will be $30 bucks. Without fail, I always think something has been rung up incorrectly, but it hasn’t.
I’ll look at my one little bag and think, “How in the world is food this expensive?”
As prices aren’t going to go down anytime soon, I had to find a way to cut my costs, and I was able to do just that.
So, I wanted to share the same tips I use to reduce my grocery store bill each and every week, to help you get saving too.
How to Save Money at the Grocery Store
None of this is rocket science and you may have even heard some of these ideas before or thought about trying them, but the simple truth is if you put one or two or three of these tips into practice, you will start saving money week one.
I know I did. So, let’s get to it…
Tip One: Only Go to the Grocery Store Once a Week
When it comes to how to save money on grocery shopping, this is the first tip that I tried. I have a confession to make.
I used to go to the store once a week for my major weekly purchase, but then I’d find myself back at the grocery store 2 or 3 or heck even sometimes 4 times a week to buy “one” item.
Be honest, how many times have you planned to run to the store to buy one item and actually left with only one item? For me, that would be zero times.
I’ve learned a couple of things from only shopping once a week.
First, I can live without something for a week. If I run out of an item, I do without until the next week, or I get creative with what is in my pantry.
This really isn’t too difficult, and I’ve found that now that I plan out what I’m going to buy, I usually have everything I need.
The second thing I’ve discovered is that I am saving a lot of money by cutting out those extra trips.
In fact, I save about $50 a week just by going once and being done with it. That’s a lot of savings.
Even if I didn’t save any other money each month, this tip alone allows me to put $200 in my savings each month.
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Tip Two: Make a List
This really goes hand-in-hand with tip number one on how to save money on grocery shopping. If I make a list, then I am pretty sure I’ll get everything I need for the week, so I don’t run out.
What I find is that it just takes me a few minutes to put the list together. I walk around and look in the cabinets and fridge and I’m pretty good to go.
You might want to get your kids in on the act as well. Add what they need, and some want’s, to the list, so everyone feels like they are taken care of.
Don’t stress over making a list. What I do is write down what I need when I think of it on a notepad that’s attached to the fridge.
Then before I actually go to the store, I do a quick check of the bathroom, the dog supplies, and the kitchen before I leave.
Making a list and sticking to it is super easy once you have done it a couple of weeks. I find now that I don’t even think about going to the store more than once a week, and I certainly don’t miss it.
Tip Three: Coupons
You know, I could write a whole book about coupons, but the truth is, I hate them. I hate looking for them. I hate clipping them, and I hate trying to use them at the store. I am super lazy when it comes to coupons.
So, what I do instead is use a free app that locates where I can find the cheapest items I need for the week.
The app is called Flipp. You select the stores you like to shop at and the mileage range you are willing to drive and the app will pull up all the fliers for the stores.
The feature that I really like and use the most allows you to put in a specific food, and it will pull up where you can find it the cheapest that week.
The app is free, so you should give it a try. Heck, it beats cutting coupons!
Tip Four: Use a Calculator at the Store
While we’re on the subject of apps, there is one already on your phone that will let you add up your groceries while you are shopping.
It’s your calculator.
Adding up what you are buying it as you are shopping is a great way to save money as it makes you think twice before throwing something extra into your cart when you see just how much you are already spending, and when it comes to how to save money on grocery shopping this one is a no-brainer.
I used to do this when I didn’t have any money to make sure I didn’t go over what I could afford.
Even now that I’m in a better place financially, I still do this just to make sure I don’t go over my budget.
It’s easy and is a really good reality check when I’m shopping.
When it comes to how to save money on grocery shopping, it really isn’t too hard. These four tips have helped me save over $3,500 in the last year and a half and I’m not the only one.
A friend of mine started doing the same thing and here are her results…
How to Save Money on Grocery Shopping – A Case Study
Case Study: Kelly B., found that she was spending, an average of $1,200 a month on groceries. (She is married with 5 kids.) That’s an average of $300 a week.
She realized it was a huge amount of money. In fact, when her kids asked her where all their money went she told them, “We eat it.”
Kelly knew something had to be done. Her plan was simple.
She made a list each week and even checked it twice before she went to the store. Once there, she didn’t buy anything that wasn’t on the list. Then, and perhaps most importantly, she refused to go back to the store again that week.
After a few months, she realized that she was saving an average of $100 per week.
That $400 dollars per month gave her the breathing room she needed in her budget to set money aside for an emergency fund and just some fun for the kids.
Here’s what Kelly had to say about the experience:
“I never thought making a list and only going to the store once a week would save me so much money, but it has. Even more importantly, I’ve found that the kids and I aren’t missing out on anything we really want. I’ve been cooking more meals and while it does take a little time, I think we all enjoy the food more when we sit down to eat it. The kids have even got into the act and helped with the list and when someone wants something we don’t have, they’ll say – No you have to wait until next week! It’s been a good lesson for all of us.”
If you are looking at how to save money on grocery shopping give one or all of these tips a try.
Personally, I’d start with only shopping once a week. You’ll be surprised just how much money you can save. In fact, leave a comment on how you’re saving money on groceries below and share your successes and challenges.