How To Save Big on Groceries

After your mortgage, the next biggest expense you have is probably groceries. If you are looking for ways to save money, your food budget is a great place to start. Try some of these tips that have worked well for my family.

  • Buy in bulk. Although not always, it is usually cheaper to buy in bulk. I buy all of our flour, dried beans, sugar, rice, and other staples in 25-50 lb. bags. In addition to saving us money, this provides my family with a stockpile of food in case of an emergency.
  • Cut back on meat. Meatless Mondays have become a popular way for families to lower expenses. Meat can be one of the most expensive items in your shopping cart. Our family doesn’t buy meat at all. When we first cut meat out of our diet, it reduced our grocery bill by half!
  • Cook from scratch. Processed foods are costly and typically not very healthy. Cooking from scratch saves lots of money. When my family eliminated processed foods from our diet, we shaved about $30/week off our grocery budget!
  • Eat in season and what’s on sale. Knowing what’s in season and on sale can save a lot. Not only will food that’s in season taste better, it will also save money as stores will have an abundance of it and price it accordingly. 
  • Cook in bulk. When I cook, I make a big batch of whatever it is. Then I freeze half of it for an easy meal later. This helps me take full advantage of sale items.
  • Grow some food yourself. There is nothing like fresh grown food. A small investment in seeds can produce pounds and pounds of nearly free fruits and veggies. Small spaces, even if indoors, can still yield a good amount of home grown food.
  • Shop once a week or less. The less you go to the grocery store, the less you will spend. Choose one day of the week (or month, if you are really looking for a challenge) to shop and stick to it. I’ve seen this advice save couples hundreds of dollars a month!
  • Cut back on eating out. Usually when I sit down to help someone with their budget they tell me, “I don’t know where my money is going.” Almost always the answer is, going out to eat. Eating out adds up quickly. Even only one reasonably priced meal per week for a family of four costs about $140/month.
  • Have a plan. Meal planning is a big money saver. If you are new to meal planning, get ideas from your family. For a family of four, ask each member to name their two favorite meals. Voila! Your weekly meals are planned!
  • Get everyone involved. Shopping for the best deals on food, growing your own fruits and veggies, and cooking from scratch are great teaching tools for children. Kids and grown-ups alike are more likely to eat and enjoy a meal if they had a hand in preparing it.

This is a guest post by Bobbie Bushman, author of Budgeting with the Bushmans. Bobbie’s family of four lives debt free on one part-time income. Her typical grocery bill is $300/month.

You can also read a post on budgeting time and money by BeFrugal founder Jon Lal featured on Bobbie Bushman's Budgeting with the Bushmans.  

Image thanks to karmadude.

1 thought on “How To Save Big on Groceries”

  1. Enjoyed all these great tips! Thanks for the post; it was thorough and well-done! You almost make me want to have you sort out my budget...;) ! Cheeryshirley

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