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If your family is like most families, you may find that your monthly grocery budget is not going as far. My family saw our grocery budget double in just the last year. Of course, that isn’t sustainable for our budget, so I figured out how to cut our grocery spending. Here are my five tips for spending less on groceries.
The first thing you should do before grocery shopping is to take inventory of what you already have in the pantry and freezer. You don’t want to come home from the store with two cans of black beans to find you already have five in the pantry. You also don’t want to think you have chicken broth to then find out you don’t have any when you start cooking the risotto. I’ve done both.
View Store Ads
Before I make my list for the grocery store, I look at the sale ads for the stores I shop at most often. Because I go to a couple of stores, this allows me to make sure I am paying the least for my groceries. I won’t buy orange juice at Trader Joe’s if it is on sale at Fred Meyer.
Viewing store ads also helps me meal plan in a cost-effective way. Meal planning can actually end up costing more if you just pick out meals that sound good. I use the sale ad and the inventory list to plan my meals. If I know I have pork in the freezer and apples are on sale, I will plan on making pork and apples.
Make A Shopping List
Actually making a list is a critical step. Sometimes we think we can remember everything, especially when the list of things to get is short. No matter how short the list, I highly recommend writing it down and not losing it. I have two toddlers that come shopping with me. If I don’t bring a written list, I will always forget something. It doesn’t matter if I only have three things to buy.
Having the list will make sure you get everything you need in one trip. Multiple trips to the store usually result in spending more money.
Don’t Go Hungry
Unless you are a person with great self-control, don’t go to the grocery store when you are hungry. Even if you have great self-control, I wouldn’t recommend it anyway.
When I go to the store hungry, I end up buying junk food or convenience food. Maybe something from the deli counter… These small purchases add up over time. To avoid these expenses, I make sure to eat lunch or a small snack before I go to the store.
Avoid Prepackaged And Convenience Foods
The fastest way to blow your grocery budget is to rely on packaged food. Going to the grocery store and grabbing a sandwich or that delicious blackened chicken salad every time you go to the store really adds up fast. Sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to make dinner after going to the grocery store. Buying convenience food on occasion is understandable. I just have to ask myself if it is really necessary.
What About Coupons?
Some of you might be surprised that I don’t clip coupons. I have found that most grocery items that have coupons are things that I do not need to buy like chips, cookies, ice cream, and other packaged goods. Plus I don’t get the newspaper so I don’t get physical coupons. That being said, I do use digital coupons for Kroger as well as the Circle app for Target.
If you have any other money-saving tips, please share them with us in the comment section.
If you liked this post you might like my post on sheet pan dinners. They are a great way to save time and money.
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