Need some ideas to get your grocery budget under control? Here are 5 easy tips that you can use to save money and stick to your grocery budget!
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We are just one month into the New Year, so I know a lot of you are getting organized and making small (or big!) changes to your budget and your routine.
One of the biggest expenses for most people is food. Grocery shopping (and eating out because you didn’t grocery shop) can really add up when you don’t have a good budget plan.
Here are my 5 tips to help you stick to a grocery budget, they are easy to get started with today!
#1 Make a Plan Before Heading to the Store
I’m a huge believer in meal planning. It’s saved me hundreds of dollars and it’s so simple! I take 5 minutes each weekend to plan out our meals for the next week, including making a lunch for my husband to bring to work each day.
Before I started meal planning, I would end up going to the store several times a week. The more I go to the store, the more impulse items I end up buying, which really add up.
#2 Meal Plan Based on Sales
Lately I’ve been making a point to only buy meat on sale or in bulk at Sam’s Club. I’ve been able to build up my freezer stash this way and it saves me so much money.
When I sit down to meal plan, I pull up the sales ads for a few local stores and see what types of meat are on sale. I plan my meals based on which types of meat I can get on sale or what I already have in the freezer.
#3 Create a Dinner Recipe Rotation
Instead of constantly trying out new recipes, build a recipe rotation of your favorites. I have a folder on my phone with the links to 15 or so of our favorite dinner recipes. Most weeks I try one new recipe that I find on Pinterest or in a cookbook, but fill the other days with our go-to favorites.
By having a dinner rotation, you will end up keeping the same items in your refrigerator and pantry, so you know what to buy each week.
#4 Shop at Several Stores
Over the past few months I’ve been strategizing how best to save money on groceries. One of the ways I do this is by visiting multiple stores. For me, I can get the items I need at the best prices this way.
I go to Sam’s Club and Aldi about once every 4-6 weeks and stock up. I buy most of my meat at Sam’s Club unless there is a great sale elsewhere. Also, I typically buy canned goods, butter, cheese and some household items there. And I buy most of my baking supplies, snack items and frozen fruit and veggies at Aldi.
I include household items like paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, etc. in our grocery budget as well. I’ve found that one of the best ways I can save on these items as well as some food items is with Amazon Subscribe and Save. I get 15% off of most items and 20% off of baby items.
Then each week I just have to make a small trip to the grocery store and the farm market to fill in the other items I need.
#5 Have a Few Go-To Meals and Keep the Ingredients in the House
I have a couple of meals that I make on a weekly or bi-weekly basis that are cheap and easy to make. I buy the ingredients for these meals in bulk and always have them in the house.
These go-to meals also save us money because we don’t eat out as often if I have something ready to make. There are sometimes rough days where I just don’t feel like cooking, but I do because I have the ingredients in the house already and I know what I’m going to make.