Saving money on groceries all starts with a list. A grocery list that has a plan. Not a list you jot down what you are out of.
A well-planned grocery list will save you money this week. Right now you could save $30 and have your monthly phone bill paid. All it takes is making the right grocery list.
The first thing to remember always when writing a list is this.
Don’t buy an item UNLESS IT IS ON SALE! ( If you don’t read the rest of this post take that to heart and it can change your grocery budget)
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4 STEPS TO HELP YOU CREATE A MONEY SAVING GROCERY LIST
Only buy something that is on sale.
Have you noticed the flyers for stores in your Sunday Newspaper? If not, start noticing now. It would help if you had those.
When you make a list, you will save the most money when you buy items on sale.
Add those on-sale items to a list and then go through and find any coupons for it or rebate apps offering a discount on it. You can easily search for coupon deals through this website here by typing in the item you are looking for.
The best beginner apps to save money by scanning your receipts to start with are Ibotta– join here and get a $10 welcome bonus and Fetch– sign up to get bonus points with my referral link.
If you are a wholesale shopper be sure to check out my BJs deals blog here and my Costco deals blog here.
Know Your Budget
Then think about your budget. Do you have a budget? Oh dear if not go here.
If your budget is $100 for the week you need to head over to your pantry and take a quick scan. I personally think BJ’s or Aldi has amazing prices on their spices and pantry items.
If you don’t have the basic pantry items this first week your list will be long and over budget. Next week you may even come under budget. Think of the positive!
So you know you have a $100. You looked in your freezer and pantry. You have some chicken stock and some pork tenderloin.
First, think of meals you can make based on what you have. This is good to use up what you have to create more space in your kitchen and not spend money on food you don’t need.
BUT, if you have basic pantry staples and some protein, do you need all those carb-loaded snacks?
So let’s say you came up with two meals based on what you already have. We have 7 days a week. You need to figure out 5 more meals to make. Also when you browsed in your pantry you were looking for any snacks, breakfast and lunch ideas too right?
Remember breakfast can always be simple. Eggs, toast, oatmeal, cereal. All these things are cheap.
I use this search tool here. You can type in a product or brand name and it will show if it is on sale at any grocery retailer that week.
You are going to fill the rest of your week with that protein. You can get two meals out of that roaster. They are bigger. What should you have as a side? Frozen veggies? Whatever you are thinking for a side do a search again for it on the coupon matchup list.
If nothing comes up you can check your local grocery store’s ad. Otherwise, stick with frozen veggies. These are always a great price at BJ’s– we always get the Organic variety too or Aldi I find has great prices. Target and Walmart you will find deals wait for a sale or get the store brand.
Now you have three meals. Do you need to have a meat all three meals?
If you really hate meal planning check out my favorite meal planning app here. You can create your list on your phone. Swipe away the items in the store that you put in your cart and customize it for every single diet out there!
Complete Your Meal Planning & List
Could you do pasta for a couple nights? Pasta is something you can get free or dirt cheap at BJ’s and many other grocery stores. This depends on your budget again. If things are tighter this week have pasta three nights. If not pick another meat or a meat-free protein.
Then think of the snacks your family likes. Start typing those in the coupon matchups. You can use the pricebook for almost all the items at BJ’s so you will know how much you are spending for the week.
If you are thinking ok that’s all fine and dandy I have NO IDEA what to make my family. Think simple. You do not need three sides. Do one protein and one side. You do not need dessert every night. That’s too much work. Think simple.
Check out this website where you can type in what you have in your fridge and it will create meals for you.
I know meal planning is a need for so many people and the struggle is real. If you want a healthy real foods meal planner you can get the app here.
You are creating the perfect money saving grocery list when you are buying things you need. Buying items on sale and when you can maximize the sale price with a manufacturer or an app e-coupon.
My friend this completes the 4 steps to creating a perfect grocery list. Remember this may seem like a lot the first few times you do it. In a week or so it will be easier.
Motivation will take place as the savings increases.