Grocery shopping may look different than it did a few months ago. Several things have changed. The one thing that hasn’t changed is a system to save money when shopping for food.
If you are on a tight budget and want to save money on your groceries, here are tips to help you this year.
When I start to feel like my grocery bill has gone above our budget, I’ll step back and put these tips into practice again.
If you aren’t sure how much to spend on your groceries, check out this post with a FREE grocery calculator.
The first thing that will save you so much money is to make a meal menu. Making a menu helps you stay home instead of eating out. Eating out even once or twice a week can be the one factor putting you over your grocery budget.
Not sure how to make a meal menu? Sign up below.
One of my favorite meal planners lately is this one on Amazon. It’s under $8, and you can tear off each sheet. And it’s magnetic.
If you do not enjoy cooking from scratch-start with slow cooker/Instant pot meals.
Shop From Pantry When Making a Grocery List
Look through your pantry to fill in your meals/snacks. Get creative and try to use up what you have. Lately, my biggest issue has had snacks and pantry items that keep getting pushed to the back.
So stockpiling is my strong suit; now, it’s important to use it all up before we go and buy more.
If you are burnt out on meals for your family, now is the time to grab my FAVORITE meal planning app. You can even put in your pantry items for meal ideas- no shopping needed sometimes!
Shop in Bulk
This leads me to my next tip- shopping in bulk for certain items. It is so worth the $25 BJ’s membership for many items we buy in bulk.
For example, meat tends to be cheaper, and you don’t have to wait for a sale every 2-3 weeks: lettuce, rice, yogurt, and many household items I find cheaper in bulk.
The other great thing about wholesale clubs, they offer their own store brand. So shopping store brands for items you need is another great way to save money.
Plus I love shopping once a month for many of the items. You can see plenty of things to buy and not buy in bulk here.
Of course, you can do this at Costco and Sam’s club too. It depends which is closer to you. For deals on that membership, clubs tap here.
Avoid Convenience Foods
If you are going into the grocery store without a list or a meal menu, you may want to grab the nearest pack of sliced-up fruits and veggies.
Or maybe you want to grab the pre-made meals. This is all fine to give yourself a break once in a while from cooking, but not if you are trying to save money on groceries.
You pay for the convenience, and you can prep these things just as fast.
If cooking intimates you, search for 30-minute meals. Start with preparing frozen veggies as a side dish.
Meals do not need to be elaborate to taste good. Simple, fresh ingredients make all the difference when it comes to cooking.
Follow my Frugal Meal Planning Pinterest board for more inspiration.
Choose a Cheap Grocery Store
There is no shame in shopping at Aldi! This store is known for its lower prices. It’s a great place to start when needing to cut back the amount you’re spending on groceries.
My second favorites are wholesale clubs. Like I mentioned before, BJ’s, Costco, Sam’s. You will pay more upfront during a shopping trip, but you won’t have to shop every week. This can help in several ways.
If you want tips for shopping in bulk and only grocery shopping once a month, check this post with free printables here.
Use the Sales Flyer
If you aren’t opting to shop at a cheaper store, you can shop in your preferred store but only buy items on sale. I talk about the importance of this in the video below. You can read the full article here.
When you buy things on sale, you will instantly save money. If you shop the cheaper stores mentioned above and only buy things on sale, you are on your way to saving a bunch of cash.
For example, Costco and BJ’s send out monthly sales books. It’s a good idea to only buy the items on sale and not repurchase them until they go on sale. The sales cycle goes every 2-3 months.
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Use CashBack Apps
This is a straightforward way to earn money back on things you are already buying. It takes a few trips to program your brain to scan recipes or whatnot. I shared how crazy easy it is to use the cashback app Ibotta at Walmart here.
I’ve shared my top 7 grocery apps that are free to save money here.
Stock up on Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Using frozen fruits and veggies is a lot cheaper. Suppose we aren’t growing the veggies in our garden most of the time. We are using frozen. It doesn’t help we have such a short growing season. Here is one of my favorite smoothie recipes.
It’s important to buy fresh fruits and veggies when they are in season. It makes the cost more affordable.
Frozen fruits are great for smoothies, desserts, pies, and more. I know my kids aren’t huge fans of frozen fruit that has thawed. But, they do love eating frozen fruit in the summer.
This is a great buy at wholesale clubs too.
Keep Your Pantry Stocked with Frugal Items
Some of the top things you can always make a meal with
- Canned tomatoes
- Chicken, Beef Stock
- Peanut Butter
The list continues here.
Things are finally slowing a bit after the Covid-19 outbreak. Meaning you only have to wait one day now to schedule your Walmart Grocery pickup. This is a great option if you get distracted easily at the store.
Go through my link here, and you’ll get $10 off your first order. Then you can refer your friends and save them $10!
Those items that sound so good at the moment, but you paid full price for and really didn’t need?
You can avoid most impulse buys when you choose your groceries online. But, still make a list and menu like the options listed above. You can even use cashback apps as well.