Something that I have been thinking hard about lately is How to stretch the grocery budget. Looking for ways to save has me thinking of ways to continue saving without having to sacrifice any fun for my family.
If you are looking for ways to save money and determine how much to spend on groceries, then this post will be perfect for you as well.
First, something that is working for me is meal planning. It’s seriously the easiest way to save money on your grocery budget. And, believe it or not, when done right, you can cut your grocery budget in half (or more).
How to Stretch Your Grocery Budget
Grocery costs are the most variable expense in most households, which is why it can be so easy to save money by just starting to plan ahead.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small compensation to support my blog.
I have always been used to shopping sales, which is why I used the have extra food that I save money o when buying it. Meaning, I will have a fridge, freezer, or pantry full of food that I had no plan for when or how to use.
With this said, I also wasted a lot of money on food after having certain items in my fridge go bad. Not to mention, having a pantry too full to find anything didn’t help either. I would just end up buying those same items over and over because I had no idea that I already have them.
So the first thing I need to do to start focusing on the wallet was to:
Take Inventory & Get Organized
I had to stop and take inventory of everything I have to stock (or overstock) on hand. I selected from product type, the expiration date, and how frequently we consume this product at home. That helped me have an idea of how often I use the same product and if I could continue stocking up on it or just get it whenever I need it.
A very simple example of this is yogurt… They are on promotion several times a month and I used to get a lot of those just because of the savings I got. But, I’m the only one that drinks yogurt at home so at the end of the month I had to throw them out when they expired. (money right to the garbage…).
It was easier for me to group all like items together. Boxes, jars and can beans, dry beans… all separated in my pantry and organized by expiration date first.
Also, I made my frozen products to be used as a priority to avoid any food going bad. While doing this, I saved myself from doing a full-blown grocery shopping trip for almost a month. I just needed to go and pick up what was necessary fo the week, (bread, coffee, eggs, veggies, etc) which was a big boost of encouragement to keep up with it.
Get My Daily Meal List Together
After I had my kitchen organized and knew what I have in it. It was time for me to get my daily meals together using what I already own in my pantry and refrigerator first.
Simple enough right?
Use what you already have, please don’t run to the store for one or 2 items… if not worthy and you probably will spend more on gas. Be creative and use something else you already have.
Also doing my weekly meals list helped me know what I need to buy in case I have already run out of it.
This is the time to get accustomed to reading all the store circulars get sales and put together your shopping list plan.
Sale Items are the core of my plan I won’t pay for full-price food items we use regularly, there is always another option. This includes meat, which is the biggest expense to most people’s grocery budget.
Now, I plan my meals around what is on sale and the store circulars are a big help, is just a matter of getting used to a new routine. Just like everything else, it takes time and some adjustment but is totally worth the effort.
Grocery stores run sales on items in cycles. They usually run cycles every four weeks all depending on the store. Once you know what the sale cycle is for the store you will be more conformable making your grocery list ad your meal schedule.
Also, I do use coupons, but it doesn’t mean that I’m an extreme couponer… lol No way!. Instead of buying the Sunday paper, I scan sites like coupon.com and print the coupons I know I’ll use on the items that are already on my shopping list or that we consume frequently.
For extra savings only purchase fruit and vegetables that are in season.