How to Save Money on Groceries
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Food is a huge expense for any family! I’ve talked a bit about how we got into debt before, but eating out so much and over-shopping was our biggest mistake. We used to buy foods in bulk that we would never be able to finish before they went bad! Now that we’re teaching ourselves to eat at home more, we’re discovering ways to save money on groceries. It’s taken some time to learn and actually implement these strategies, but with some discipline, you can too!
How We Save Money on Groceries
Now, we have our grocery spending under control! We try to spend an average of $100 per week for three hungry people, including household goods. And we’re sticking to it! In order to keep our spending down, we’ve learned a few tricks about where and when to shop, and what to shop for.
Shop at the Right Places
We currently go to three stores: Costco, Aldi, and Target. Costco and Aldi are the least expensive and best quality stores in our area. And we go to Target for whatever they didn’t have at the other two stores! We save 5% on everything with our Target RedCard. My husband also maintains a price comparison list, so we know what foods are cheapest at which stores. What are the least expensive stores in your area? Make sure to check them out – you could save money on groceries without a lot of effort!
Shop at the Right Time
First, we eat a nice breakfast so we’re not hungry. We also go shopping on the weekend, so it’s busy enough to be uncomfortable, so we’ll want to finish up quickly! And we go together so we can check and balance each other.
The first store we go to is Aldi, because they have the lowest prices. We stock up on whatever we can find there that’s on our list. Then we usually go to Costco and get the bulk stuff. We finish up at Target and get whatever we couldn’t find at the other two stores. Then we get lunch! Make sure you’re stopping at the right stores first, and at a time when you won’t be tempted to meander and throw things into your cart. Timing is essential to save money on groceries!
Buy the Right Foods
Our menu plan is pretty stable for a few reasons. First, I don’t really like to try new recipes! Second, with our family’s weird schedule, I like to stick with the tried and true. And last, it’s less expensive to buy fewer types of ingredients! I stock our pantry with the basics, and that’s it. I don’t buy fancy, expensive, or single use ingredients. Either the recipe can be adapted, or I just won’t make it! A simple, easy way to save money on groceries, and your sanity at dinnertime.
Similarly, be flexible about what foods you buy! If there’s a great deal on pork shoulder this week, would if save you money to add it to your meal plan? Or maybe your husband loves to bring grapes to work, but apples are on sale. Test out how flexible you can be. Meal planning is a great way to save money on groceries, but it’ll work even better if you’re willing to be flexible.
How do you save money on groceries? What did I miss? Leave a comment and tell me!
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