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Your grocery budget is one of the easiest places to find out how to save money and be more frugal. We all know that grocery shopping is a big part of our budget, especially if you have a large family.
I have a family of five, and I can tell you that I have figured out how to feed our family by spending less than $100/ week on groceries.
First, some basics on budgeting:
If you take away one thing from this post, please know that budgeting is absolutely a vital part of your financial success.
You can’t just keep blindly spending money, allowing your money to control your entire life. You have to control your money.
How to Save Money on Groceries
1. Be Aware of Spending Distractions
There are three parts to tip #1 of how to save money on groceries. Let me break them down for you.
- Do not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. If you are hungry, you will likely overspend and bust your budget on junk…on things that you don’t need or things that your household doesn’t need because you were hungry when you went shopping.
- Don’t bring kids with you to the grocery store. I know this is hard for some families. I have three kids of my own, and a lot of times I don’t have a choice but to bring them.
But if I can go grocery shopping while they’re at school or while they’re with their Dad, it makes things so much easier. I sometimes have my husband sit in the car after Church with the kids while I go into the grocery store shopping by myself so that I can focus.
I need to be able to get the things that we need and get out. I stay on task easier when I’m alone than when I have our kids with me. The main idea is to not be distracted by all of the delicious, flashy end caps and displays of food.
- Part 3 of tip #1 is don’t talk on the phone while you are grocery shopping because, I mean, this is an obvious one. It’s easy to get distracted having a conversation and you’re not paying attention to what you’re really doing.
I can be having a conversation with someone, and before you know it, I’ve added all sorts of items to the shopping cart that weren’t on my original shopping list.
2. Follow a List and Calculate Cost as You Go
Another tip on how to save money on groceries is to make sure that you’re adding up how much each item costs when you put it in the basket.
You need to have already created a budget when you go in and KNOW “I’m not gonna spend more than $75 this grocery trip” and really stick to it.
The way to do that is to grab one item at a time. If it costs $1.39, you’ll round up to $1.50. You’ve got two of those, so that’s $3.00.
And you just start adding in your head, and before you know it, you’re up to $27, $32, $33, $38, etc.
You just keep adding as you place items in the shopping cart. Amazon sells these counters that you can click, and they will count for you as you’re grocery shopping.
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These are so handy and perfect for those who aren’t great at calculating in their head. You definitely want to add as you go so that you don’t go over budget.
Use the Cash Envelope Wallet System
Another way to save money on groceries is to pay with cash. When you are grocery shopping, this comes out of your cash envelope wallet for grocery money.
I explain how to use the cash envelope system to avoid going over budget in this post. Here’s the skinny:
If you take $75 in cash with no backup plan and go over budget, you’re gonna have to take something out of your basket.
So having cash envelopes and keeping track of spending will help you stick to the plan…stick to the budget when you have an actual cash budget and grocery list to follow.
When you use your debit card, you tend to overspend because you really aren’t keeping track of how much you’re spending. For tips on how to manage your personal banking accounts, check out this post.
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3. Shop at Aldi
Another way to save money when grocery shopping is to shop at Aldi whenever possible. Aldi is a great money-saver for our family. This post is in no way sponsored by Aldi. I’m just a huge fan of saving money!
I can buy a dozen eggs for 25 cents and milk for $1.80 for a gallon. You can save so much money on a lot of the staple items and stay within budget.
If there are some items that you prefer a specific brand that is not available at Aldi, you can go to Walmart or to your local grocery store for the filler items. But it is definitely worth making two separate trips.
I know it’s a pain, but you will save money.
If you use even one or two of these tips when trying to save money on groceries, I can promise you’ll come out of the store with more than you expected.
Life is a collection of memories and experiences. There are ups and downs. I am so grateful for God’s grace and am on the journey to a renewed spirit, free of perfectionism. Perfection Hangover offers the sober truth – no filter.