All it takes to save money on your groceries is three simple things right now, this week. Don’t go grocery shopping until you get your pen, paper, coffee, and read or watch the video below. Today is the day you decide to control your finances and give yourself a bit of breathing room by starting with an easier way to save money.
One of the most frustrating things is not having enough money to pay for all the things we need to pay for in life, right? It puts a strain on every single relationship. It puts the most tension on you and your spouse because you have to work together to pay the bills.
You can watch the video below with all the three tips I have for you or scroll down for the written text.
The first thing you need to oi to save money on your groceries is to know how much money you actually have to spend. So many times, we get caught up in buying our family’s favorites we forget to stop and see if we can afford those favorites this week.
In other words, you have to make a budget. Of course, if one of these free budget sheets is just too much for you to handle, you can take an easier route, but that is only for a limited time.
Eventually, you will need to track everything you are spending and really dig into a full-on budget sheet.
Here’s How to Start Small
Write out every bill that has to be paid each month.
- Car Insurance
- Car Loan
- Credit Card
- Student Loan
- Cell Phone Etc.
Write down the amount of money you spend on each bill. Add that together.
Next, combine all your weekly income.
Do the old basic math of subtracting your total bills from your weekly income.
That’s what you have left for food and anything else.
Figure out how much to spend on your groceries that week. Then, get the cash out for that amount. This is a key step, but one that seems silly to many.
When you are holding the cash in your hand while you make your grocery list, all of a sudden, you are starting to think about every item you’re adding.
For the Over Achievers
I challenge you to try to decrease that grocery amount by $20. When our grocery budget was $80 a week, I would decrease it by an extra $20 a week. Think of this like when you went to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The bank usually gives you a much higher amount than you want to spend.
That leftover amount shouldn’t all go to your grocery budget.
A side note tip, don’t go out to eat at all this week. Just don’t. It’s a grocery budget killer, and how many of the restaurants you are dining in are using frozen food?! Think about it. Not worth the money when finances are already tight.
Hold that cash next to you while you do step two.
2.Shop from Your Pantry
It sounds simple when people say these things:
Don’t eat more calories than you burn off in a day.
Don’t spend money you don’t have.
Shop from your pantry before you go grocery shopping.
Sure it sounds easy, but they are difficult things for many people to commit to. Today you can commit to saving money right now on groceries by using what you already have.
We are all guilty of this one. I wrote an entire post on our pantry spending freeze and all the meals I came up with using what we already have.
After organizing it and hiding away some snacks, I didn’t have to make a huge grocery shopping trip for THREE weeks! You can check out all the details on the pantry spending freeze here.
If you don’t want to check out the article now, be sure to pin it and know you create as many meals as you can from items in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Then, step three is using what you need to fill in the gaps.
Related: How to Make a Perfect Grocery List
3. Store Flyers Are Your Friend
Now it’s time to prepare your grocery list. The budget you made earlier for groceries, go get out that cash amount. Right now. Bookmark this and come back. Get that cash out next to you by looking through the sales flyer and making your grocery list.
Today, it is easy to go grocery shopping even with cash in hand and see something we love or something that is a great price, and we toss it in the cart. We probably went over our cash budget but told ourselves, “I’ll just use my debit card OR put it on the credit card.”
Leave all your other plastic cards in the car. You won’t be tempted when you have to leave all your groceries to run and get your card right?
This will train your mindset only to buy what is on sale and needed. Go through your local grocery store’s sale flyer and only add items from it to your list.
Related: How to Stop Emotionally Spending
Of course, there are things we all buy weekly, milk, eggs, etc. That’s fine. I’m talking about all the other stuff. Snacks treat frozen meals—things you could do without this week.
Stick to adding items you need, can make meals from, and are on sale ONLY.
If you feel overwhelmed with making your own list, we have over 20 store coupon matchup lists here. Using coupons is a bonus or a tip you can use AFTER you master this new way of shopping.
Those lists have all the items that we personally think are a good deal at that store for the week.
Of course, something at one store may be cheaper than another- you can use the price comparison tool for that.
Right now, you are just buying items on sale. It’s easier to stick to one store for now. As you feel comfortable with these three tips, you can start to shop from store to store with coupons.
You are on your way to becoming a master saver at grocery shopping.