For our family of six (with one still in diapers), I budget $600 a month for groceries, cleaners, and personal products, but I remember the days when we did not have the money in our budget for groceries.
Zip. Zilch. Nada.
We relied heavily on God to guide other people to provide for our needs and also used WIC (Women Infants and Children) for assistance, but saving money on groceries was an absolute necessity. During those years, I learned how to stretch every penny in hopes of keeping our family fed.
These are the best and most basic tips I have…
Easy ways for saving money on groceries
1) Know your prices
So many people shop blindly, never paying attention to the price they are paying for items. I’m not judging because I used to be the same way. But, when I started paying closer attention to what items cost, I was able to recognize deals more readily and could find the best value based on the price per ounce or item.
2) Shop with cash
There is something about going into a store with cash and knowing that you cannot spend more than what is in your wallet. You make tough choices and avoid impulse buys. You are able to put your priorities first and your grocery list is simplified. You also learn to maximize your money by looking for the lowest price.
As I memorized the prices on items we bought most often, I was able to buy them when they were at the cheapest possible price in quantities that would last our family for 6 to 8 weeks when the next sales cycle would rotate. Buying what we would eventually need while they were at rock-bottom prices saved us hundreds of dollars each month.
You can save without coupons but if your budget is non-existent and you just. need. food. Then you should really seek out ways to match coupons to the low prices because lots of groceries will be available for free or just pennies. Plus, matching coupons to sales prices is really easy when you use an app like Favado.
5) Buy in bulk
Not to be confused with stockpiling at rock-bottom prices, you can also buy in bulk and save. Consider those cafeteria-sized cans of tomato sauce… when you purchase in bulk and then repackaged into smaller quantities when you get home, you can save tremendously.
6) Use Rebates
I use rebates for everything, even groceries. By using a program like Ibotta, you can get paid cash back on your grocery purchases above and beyond the pennies you have paid by buying at a rock-bottom prices with coupons.
7) Make a menu
Take a look over your stockpile and then review the sales for the week. Start your menu there, with what you already have and the items that are marked down. Having a plan keeps you away from expensive fast food and also helps streamline what you purchase once inside the store because you know what you need to complete your meal preparations for the week.
No time to make a menu on your own? Using a service like Build a Menu is extremely economical and it saves you a ton of time.
8) Cook from Scratch
I know you are busy because I am too, but you really can cook from scratch when you start with homemade mixes. By spending a little time in the kitchen creating your favorite baking mixes, you can save time and money.
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9) Dry Beans and Rice
Eating beans and rice might sound boring but there is an abundance of flavorful beans and rice recipes available to give your family more variety. Plus, you can use beans and/or as a filler to stretch ground meat.
10) Match prices on produce
Walmart will match prices on store brands and… produce! (Please verify with your local Walmart as policies vary from store to store.) Since our local produce stands do not offer a quality selection, I take their sales ads to Walmart and match those prices, walking out with a buggy full of fruits and vegetables for $50.
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