A few months ago, I became serious about saving money. I have cut out the unnecessary things like going out to eat and overindulging on wine. But it still wasn’t enough. I was still barely scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck.
One of the first “money-suckers” I decided to focus on was what I spend a month on groceries.
Your time is valuable so I won’t waste it with a lengthy introduction.
Let’s dig in…..
There are a lot of tips and links within this post. Bookmark it for later as you will want to return to it for reference.
Typically, to feed a family of 4 or more you would need to spend anywhere from $100 to $150 a week on groceries. This is equivalent to $400+ dollars each month or $4800 a year. That’s a ton of money!!
But what if you could cut that amount in half?
What could you do with an extra $2400 a year?
This was the question I asked myself when I first started down the money-saving road.
Cutting my grocery bill in half without sacrificing the nutrition my family needs to stay healthy was a big accomplishment, but I DID IT!!!!
And you can too!
What I Did To Cut My Grocery Bill In Half
Use A Weekly Meal Plan
Using a weekly meal plan saves time, money and relieves unnecessary stress in your life. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to create a shopping list that you can use to find the best deals at your local grocery stores.
Click the pin above for easy step by step instructions for creating a weekly meal plan of your own.
I use my bullet journal to plan and track my meals each week.
What? You don’t know what a bullet journal is?
The bullet journal method was created by Ryder Carroll. You can preview his book for FREE below. The theme behind the bullet journal method is to live intentionally.
Meal planning is easy with today’s technology. There are lots of different tools out there that you can use.
Two Examples Of Meal Planning Tools
For example, Meal Plan Magic is an app you can download for only $37.
Meal Plan Magic Meal Planning App
It makes meal planning and shopping easy with prebuilt lists, nutritional facts for weight loss or muscle gain, plus a built-in shopping list that you can print and use at the grocery store.
The app is also accessible via phone so you can plan your week while waiting in the school pick up line on your kids or while you are sitting at the doctor’s office waiting to be seen.
If you find you don’t have enough time to sit down each week and plan out your meals and shopping list, Meal Plan Magic might be just what you are looking for.
For $37 you get lifetime access to a diverse set of weekly meal plan templates.
Another meal planning app I have used before is eMeals.
eMeals offers a 14 day free trial for their app so you can get the full picture of what you are buying before you pay.
It’s FREE! And who doesn’t like free stuff? You’ve got nothing to lose!
If eMeals is not for you, back out before the 14-day trial ends. Again—there is nothing to lose.
Their program includes free weekly meal plans on a budget.
One feature I really like about the eMeals app is the ability to link your meal list to your local grocery store app (Walmart Grocery, Kroger, Amazon Fresh, Instacart, etc.).
This app makes buying, planning and saving easy.
Try eMeals Free for 14 Days
But, if like me, you enjoy planning ahead and trying new recipes, the bullet journal method might work best for you—or maybe a combination of both.
If you decide that you do not want to use an app or the bullet journal method, you can always use a meal planning worksheet.
I have one for you. Did I mention it is FREE!!!
Yep, I won’t charge you a penny.
After you have scheduled your meals for the week, you need to create a shopping list.
Take stock of what is in your cabinets, refrigerator, freezer, and pantry before you begin. This will save you time later when you prepare your shopping list.
There are 85 essential items you need to keep your pantry well stocked. Click here to find out what they are.
Your shopping list is your lifeline to money savings. After you make your list, don’t deviate. Don’t succumb to that pack of cookies at the register or the 20oz coke in the cooler at the checkout.
Stick to your shopping list!
Grocery Shopping Apps, Cash Back Savings, Online Purchases, and At Store Pickup
There are many different ways you can purchase your groceries each week. Apps are growing ever more popular as well as online purchasing.
Instacart, for example, is an online shopping program where you can purchase your groceries online and then someone will go to the store, pick them up and deliver them to your door.
This program is great for the busy mom. Not only can you get what you need, but you don’t have to waste time going to the store.
The downside of using InstaCart is the delivery you will pay and the prices of some of the items. InstaCart sets their prices instead of using store prices.
For this reason, you could potentially spend more than what you would if you physically went to the store to purchase your own groceries.
On the flip side, let’s say that the wine you want to buy can only be found at Whole Foods and Whole Foods is more than an hour drive from your house. The $5.99 delivery fee may be worth the 2 hours of drive time you will be saving.
If you want to check out InstaCart, >> (opens in a new tab)”>click here>>>
Walmart Grocery Pickup
The first time I used Walmart Grocery Pickup, I was sold! The app is user-friendly and I was able to buy everything while I sipped on a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.
Plus I saved an additional 3% cash back by paying with my Walmart Credit Card.
There are a few cons to using the Walmart Grocery App. The app doesn’t recognize online or clipped coupons. Also, you don’t get a paper receipt. Without a paper receipt, you miss out on cash back savings.
Your receipt is sent via email. There is a TC# at the bottom that you can enter on the Walmart App under the savings catcher to earn back a few bucks, but you will miss out on other cash savings opportunities.
Cash Back Apps
Ibotta is one of the most popular cash back apps out there.
It is simple to set up and very user-friendly.
Sign up for Ibotta Here and earn $10 right from the start.
Ibotta partners with lots of retailers. It’s easy.
Choose a deal and upload your receipt.
That’s it! Quick, easy and convenient.
The app is free. There is nothing to lose.
For a limited time, you can earn an additional $20 for redeeming 10 offers. If you are asked for a referral code: tkrvcbf
Flipp is great when comparing sales prices at different stores.
Instead of going through different websites or sifting through a handful of emails, all of your weekly circulars are gathered in one place.
You can flip through the circulars, easily find products, clip items into a shopping list, find the best discounts and clip coupons straight from the app.
This is also a good way to save a little extra when shopping at retailers that use price match, like Walmart.
Click here to check out Flipp
Retail Me Not offers local deals and coupons for some of your favorite retailers like Kohls, Target, Starbucks, and more.
Savings Star is a cash back app where you can earn money for buying groceries and get refunded via pay pal or gift card.
It’s easy to use. You just select your store, select what you bought and upload your receipt. It’s that easy.
Ebates will help you earn cash back by shopping at your local retailer via online or in store. Link your credit card to your account, find an available offer through Ebates and then go shopping. It’s that easy.
Money earned will be paid out via pay pal or check.
Use Your Local Rewards Program
Add even more savings by using your local rewards program. Ingles, for example, offers not only discounts at checkout but also $0.05 cash back on gas purchase for every $100 spent.
This adds up over the year.
I am the first to admit that I don’t have time to clip coupons. I use coupon surfer or Flipp when looking up a coupon for a particular product.
But if you are a mom that has the time, clipping coupons can be extremely valuable.
If you are like me and you don’t have time to clip coupons, you can use a coupon clipping service like coupon carry out.
Coupon carry out clips the coupons for you. Simply choose the coupons you want and within a few days, you will receive them via mail.
Other Savings Tips
Stock up on items that are on sale.
For example, whole turkeys and hams go on sale around Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. I stockpile and put them in the deep freezer.
Fruits and vegetables are cheaper when they are in season. Buying from the local farmers’ market is a great way to save. Plus, you are helping the local farmers. It’s win-win!
Canning Fruits & Vegetables
Canning is simple and doesn’t take long. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment. All you need is a large stock pot, some mason jars, and a little bit of know-how.
Apples go on sale in September. This is when I start canning apple pie filling and apple sauce for later.
When you find a good sale on vegetables like a 25lb bag of carrots, for example, you can put up 10 or so quart jars of carrots for later use.
Whether you can them in water or pickle them (if you haven’t tried pickled carrot sticks, you are missing out!), it’s up to you.
Buy Frozen Foods
Although fresh is best and has nutritional benefits, frozen foods keep longer and are convenient when you are in a hurry to make dinner.
Utilize Dollar Store Deals
Some items are cheaper to buy at the dollar store rather than at the grocery store.
For example, a small bottle of olive oil is less expensive at the dollar tree than what I would pay at ingles.
If You Only Try One Tip to Save Money on Grocery Shopping
If you only try one tip to save money on your grocery bill, try creating a meal plan and sticking to it. This is the single most cost-effective and money saving tip I can give you. Planning ahead will make your shopping easier and detour you from impulse buys.
With anything new, give it a try before you decide that you don’t like it.
What tips did I miss? Share your tip by adding a comment below!
Looking For More To Read?
- Stepping Back To Move Forward
- Finding Your Drive When You Are All Out Of Gas
- Book Review: Braving The Elements by K. F. Breene
- Book Review: Into The Darkness by K. F. Breene
- Which Point Of View Is Best When Writing A Story
- Vacation 2019: A Trip To Mechanicsville, Maryland