With the rising cost of groceries, actually everything we need to start being a little more aware of where our money is going. As they say, a penny saved is a penny earned. And with the inflation we have going on, with no end in sight we need to start looking at where every cent is going and start trying to stretch things even further than we already are. So one of the first places we can start is by trying to lower the grocery bill. Here are 17 tips that can help start reducing the bill.
This is the first in several posts I will be doing on how to save on our grocery bill. If you know someone who is struggling please share this with them, even if they can only use a few of the tips as I say every little bit helps.
1. Get away from Brand loyalty, A lot of the store brands are as good ( some even better) as the name brand. And so much cheaper. I do know there are a few things that the store brand isn’t good. Don’t get something just because it is cheaper if you or your family won’t eat it. Be sure to check the prices though because sometimes, not very often, the name brand is cheaper than the store brand.
2. Plan your meals. Make a menu for all three meals and snacks/desserts. When you start, look in the fridge and pantry to see if there is anything that needs to be used up, and add them to the menu.
3. Shop the sales, When planning your menu look at all the sales pages. If you don’t get a paper just look on the website for the sales. We have City Market here that I shop at so I look at the weekly sales when planning my menu. Walmart really doesn’t have sales, but I do have a price list of the prices of most of the things that I use so I can compare prices.
4. Make a list, and don’t forget to take it with you. If you need to you can take a picture of it when you get it done so if you forget the list you have it with you. When you make your list separate it by stores. Put the store name and then what you need to get from that store. When making your list try to separate items such as all the produce, then all the meat, canned goods, etc. then hopefully you are not bouncing around the store or forgetting something. Also if an item is on sale write down the price so you can make sure that that is what it is marked.
5. Plan your trips, Write down your plan. Not only will this save you gas but it will ensure that you don’t forget to go somewhere or forget to do something. Try to plan it so you are not going back and forth across town. Try to get everything done for the week/two weeks done in one trip.
6. Factor in the sale price, if you are going to a store for just one or two sale items and the store is out of the way and not in your normal path is it going to be worth the savings for gas to go the extra distance.
7. Try to plan as many MIY (make it yourself) items such as cream soups, seasoning blends, etc. Make sure you have the ingredients to do these. Most of these things are basic things that you more than likely already have in your cupboard.
8. Buy in bulk, when you can and if you can afford it. It is generally cheaper to buy things in larger quantities such as flour, sugar, oils, etc.
9. Try to build a deep pantry, If you have a few dollars left after buying what you need try to pick up a couple of extra things, especially if they are on sale. If you can build a deep enough pantry to where all you need to buy is things on sale and the few things that don’t normally go on sale you are a step ahead. Here is a link to why you should have a deep pantry.
10. Always check the markdown bins as soon as you get in the store. If there is meat marked down get it. If it is something you use and isn’t crazy expensive. If you are getting bread and there is some marked down get the marked down, you can adjust whatever you were going to use bread for to what is on sale. Same with produce. Always have an idea in the back of your mind about how you could use the marked-down item instead of something on your menu. When I see french bread marked down I will get one to make an easy quick supper of pizza with. And meats can be interchanged. If a recipe calls for ground beef a lot of times you can use chicken and vice versa. Andy doesn’t care for chicken so in a lot of recipes that call for chicken, I just use ground beef instead. BUT DON’T BUY MARKDOWNS IF IT ISN’T SOMETHING YOU KNOW YOU WILL USE.
11. Use coupons, I know these are kinda going by the wayside and most are for name-brand items but if you have one for something you are already going to buy use it, even if it is only a few cents.
12. Shop in season, when things are in season they are going to be a lot less expensive. If possible when in season and on sale buy extra to put in the freezer or can.
13. Leave kids at home, When they are with you it is too easy to give in and let them have that little treat or that cereal they want. Believe me, I know.
14. Don’t shop hungry, when you are hungry everything looks good and you will add something that isn’t on your list (or several somethings haha)
15. Try a meatless night, there are a lot of things you can fix meatless that are inexpensive and good.
16. Pay with cash, leave the credit card and debit card at home. This is huge if you only have x amount of money with you for groceries you are going to be very aware of what and how much you are spending.
17. Grow as much as you can. Even if it’s just sprouts, for everything you grow it is just one less thing you have to buy. If you don’t have much room look into container gardening, you can grow a lot in a few containers.
Hope this helps and if you can think of something else please feel free to share it with us.