Learn how to stop spending so much money on groceries with these simple tips
Are you trying to cut your grocery budget, mama?
Maybe you’re paying off debt, or trying to stay at home with your kids. Or maybe you’re just sick of paying out so much money for groceries each week!
When my twins were born, I couldn’t face the idea of going back to work. Looking for ways to make money at home, I knew I had to cut my family’s food budget.
And at first it was so hard!
I hated the idea of my family missing out. But I stuck at it and along the way I picked up some simple tricks on how to save money while grocery shopping – WITHOUT using tons of coupons every week.
So here are my eleven simple ways to save money on groceries.
1. Analyze your Receipts
Yes, I’ve got some homework for you, mama! Haha.
You can’t start to save money at the grocery store unless you know where your money is going. So grab your receipt from your last trip to for groceries and take a look at where your money went to.
What did you spend the most money on?
And what could you have done without?
And you might want to set up some kind of tracking system – if you haven’t already – so you can write down what you spend on groceries each week. I keep mine in my bullet journal but use whatever works for you.
2. Eat Vegan
Talking of big ticket items – meat is a real drain on your grocery budget.
So why not eat vegetarian – or vegan – once a week? I’ve been trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into our weekly meal plan and we honestly haven’t missed meat.
I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and it’s has changed the way I cook. My family just gobbles up recipes like sweet potato black bean chili. So delicious – and so budget friendly!
3. Stop Spending Money on Bottled Water
How much money are you spending each week on bottled water?
I totally get it, mama.
I love to drink water and it’s really helped me shift the baby weight. But that bottled water habit costs a small fortune!
So I’ve been looking at this water filter recently. As a family that drinks a lot of water – especially me – we need something much better than water bottles.
Each filter replaces 300 standard 16.9 oz water bottles!
That’s a massive saving for you and the planet.
4. Learn Some New Skills
Let’s get real!
When it comes to saving money as a big family, learning a few new skills can help you dramatically reduce that grocery bill.
How about these culinary skills to get you started:
Cut Up a Whole Chicken
Buying a whole chicken is usually a lot cheaper than buying pre-cut chicken breast or thighs. And yes, I know cutting up a whole chicken can be daunting. But once you’ve mastered that skill you’ll be able to use the whole chicken by freezing excess meat and making soup with the carcass.
Make Your Own Pizza Base
I love pizza. But I can’t deny that ready made pizzas – and take out pizzas – are pricey!
So why not learn to make your own pizza dough and then add your own toppings? This recipe is freezer-friendly so you could have fun making it with your little ones and then freeze any extra for later.
Use Your Freezer
Stock up on meat and other produce when it’s on sale. And then freeze the excess for later.
Or make some delicious meals you can freeze. I can’t believe how much time and money my freezer has saved me!
Do you use cilantro or rosemary or parsley in cooking? If you regularly buy fresh herbs from the store, you could be saving so much money by growing your own in pots at home.
If you do well growing herbs, why not move on to growing some vegetables in pots to save more money? This is a great summer activity to do with the kids.
5. Learn Some New Recipes
Eating on a budget doesn’t have to mean rice and beans on repeat!
Pinterest is filled with healthy and budget-friendly recipes. And there are lots of cookbooks catering to those of us who want to eat well for less. Just looking at this one makes my mouth water.
Challenge yourself to find a few new recipes that are super cheap to make.
6. Use Cheaper Substitutes
Sometimes a recipe can work out quite expensive because of one or two pricey ingredients. But eating on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t eat your favorite dishes.
With some clever substitutions, your family will never tell the difference!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Swap chicken breasts for cheaper chicken thighs
- Opt for turkey mince instead of beef mince
- Ask your butcher – or browse Pinterest – for some recipes using cheaper cuts of meat
- Replace those expensive take out meals with homemade copycat versions
- Check out this list for more substitutions
7. Stop Buying Disposable Products
Since I had my twins, I’ve pretty much spent a fortune on disposable products – diapers, baby wipes, Swiffer mop heads and so much more.
How can I reduce my monthly grocery spending when I’m buying all these disposable products I have to buy….again…and again?
Can you relate, mama?
But I recently noticed how much these disposable products were costing me. And I’ve been trying to figure out how I could replace a lot of these products with cheaper – more environmentally friendly – alternatives.
What disposable products do you regularly buy that you could either give up or replace with reusable versions?
8. Don’t Stick to Your Shopping List
Ok, you know this one is going to be controversial, right?
The usual advice is ‘only buy what’s on your shopping list.’ But what if you see a crazy good deal on meat?
Should you just walk on by, because it’s not on your list? No, mama! Grab it and then make some great freezer meals with it.
The same goes for anything else that you spot at an awesome price. Don’t forget you can freeze, dehydrate, can, or pickle the excess!
If you need some help meal planning, check out these five awesome meal planning apps.
9. Create a Price Book
But how do you know if something is a crazy good grocery deal?
Supermarkets are known for using all kinds of tricks to make prices look attractive. So fight back by creating your own price book!
A price book is simply a list of the items you buy most weeks and the best prices you’ve spotted for those items. I’d recommend listing the unit price and the weight per 100g or ounces – then you can easily compare prices and get the best deals.
You could make a grocery list on your phone. Or keep a list in your bullet journal. Or just take photos on your phone.
A price book is especially helpful if you’re shopping in different stores to get the best deals – another great frugal shopping tip to save money on groceries!
10. Stop Throwing Food Away
Did you know the average American throws away over $2,000 worth of food every year? And where I live – Canada – we waste 875 pounds of food per person a year!
So one simple and easy way to cut your grocery spending is by not throwing food away.
But that’s easier said than done though, isn’t it?
My top tip for not wasting food is to make a meal plan – and stick to it. So make sure that if you’ve planned to make chili, you actually make that chili. Don’t let the meat and veggies go to waste in your fridge!
If you keep finding yourself having to throw food away, try making a meal plan for only 5 or 6 days a week. Then for the other two days, just use up what you’ve already got in the fridge and pantry.
My last tip to stop wasting food is to organize your fridge, freezer and pantry so that you know what food you have in there. No more buying duplicates or throwing away out of date food.
11. Make It Fun
Budgeting can feel a bit like dieting.
But why not try to make saving money on groceries a fun challenge?
See if you cut your grocery budget week after week. Have a competition to see who can find the cheapest and most delicious meal. And why not share the challenge of cutting your grocery budget with your friends?
More Ways to Save Money
Are you looking for more ways to save money? Check out this list of 63 ways to live frugally.
Here are 63 more ways to live on one income and stay at home as a mom.
How to Spend Less on Groceries
Cutting your grocery budget can feel tough.
But hopefully these eleven ways to save on your groceries will give you a flying start!
Don’t expect to cut your grocery budget in half overnight. But try to make small changes week after week – you’ll soon see significant savings on your groceries!
Your turn – tell me in the comments what you’re going to try first. If you’re a pro at shopping on a budget, what’s your favorite way to save on groceries?
Don’t forget to pin for later!!