We all need to buy food. Is it just me or is food expensive? Seriously, I remember food being a lot cheaper when I was young. Yes… I realize that makes me sound old, but man my grocery bill can be depressing to look at. I have researched and found some really great ways to save on the dreaded grocery bill so I thought I would list a few of them:
- Plan your meals (and snacks if you eat them). I plan just about everything out ahead of time. We usually eat pretty close to the same thing every week so our grocery list doesn’t deviate that much. Lots of fruit, veggies, eggs, yogurt, tortilla chips, homemade salsa and guacamole. Just a small list of what we buy each week. Having a list helps cut down on spending while shopping. You can check out how I plan our meals here.
- Create a rotating menu. I found this idea last year and it is a really cool idea. So basically this will help with the time it takes to meal plan. Create a list of meals you like to eat and would eat on a routine basis. Keep the recipes in a binder. Keep a calendar for the month at the beginning of the binder and just go through the binder and choose the meals for the month. The recipes should have page numbers on them. When you create your meals, include the page number to indicate which page the recipe can be found on. So basically if you come up with 14 meals, you can choose which meals to eat when and just go back to the first recipe after you finished the last one. Does that make sense?
For example, we eat chili almost every week. Most of the time we have it on a Monday or a Friday because those days are my long days at work. So if Tuesday we had turkey burgers and veggies, Wednesday we had tacos, Thursday we made baked potato bar, Friday we had salmon and veggies, Saturday we ate homemade pizza and Sunday we ate a soup, we just continue with the original rotation the following week starting with chili on Monday, etc. It would help to have several recipes in the binder so you don’t get bored or once a month Pin some new recipes to Pinterest to print out for the binder. Just a suggestion. This was an idea I saw on the Organize Yourself Skinny page. I read her ebook and she preps her meals using freezer cooking. You can learn more about freezer cooking by checking out her ebook.
- Meatless meals. Meat can attack your grocery budget. We eat at least one meatless meal a week. Honestly, most of the time it is when Greg is away. He prefers to eat meat. I could care less and Joey doesn’t seem to mind either way. Logan has food allergies so his diet is somewhat limited anyways ( my poor baby 🙁 …)
- Buy frozen fruit and veggies in winter. It is totally ok to buy frozen as the produce was frozen when it was in peak season. Also, you may want to consider buying extra produce in the summer and freezing it yourself. It is super easy to do . I have done this and it was really nice to have it. ( I didn’t do it this past year and wish I would have made the time to do it). Another tidbit, consider planting some fruits and veggies on your own to freeze for winter. We have a small raised garden and it is nice to be able to pull stuff out of your own garden to use.
- Buy local or at low cost stores. In the summer months, I like to buy fresh produce and I generally like to go to a farmers market or some stores in our area even sell produce from local farmers. I buy that first because it is local and second it does tend to cost less. I generally shop at Aldi’s and a lot of my friends shop there as well. It is a lot cheaper. The other store that is popular in our area is Marc’s. I love it there too and shop there often as well. Where I shop just depends on when I get a chance to grocery shop (ya know with the kids and all). Trader Joes is another very popular store with a great variety (unfortunately it just isn’t super close to us)
- Consider buying a membership to Sam’s, BJ’s, Costco. Especially if you have a big family. We have found some really great deals at Sam’s and BJ’s which are stores local to us. They offer some really good organic options for those of you who buy all or mostly organic. Buying foods in bulk can save some $$$.
- Coupons. I am sure you have seen people clean up with coupons! I have seen the shows but have not gotten into couponing. I do think it is a great way to reduce the cost of groceries though. You can also use an app like Ibotta to save money on food. You can learn more about Ibotta here.
- Use what you have. Before you grocery shop, check your cabinets for what you still have to see how you can use what you have. Just as an example, I do not like buying pancake mix because I always have flour in my pantry and I more than likely have eggs on hand (if not did you know you can make flax eggs? I have flax on hand!), I have honey, baking powder and all the necessities to make pancakes. It only takes a minute to whip them up and if there is extra batter, I keep it in the fridge to make it later in the week or make the pancakes and freeze them.
- Be creative. Eat leftovers or think of new ways to use the leftovers. Make extra so you have leftovers for the next days lunch. Make breakfast for dinner if that is what you have.
Can you think of other ways to save on groceries? I always love finding other ways to save. And if you coupon, feel free to leave some tips for me. I am still trying to figure all that stuff out:)
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