How to Save Money is a monthly think fruitful series with helpful hints and tips for taking control of your finances. Get your free monthly budget template and 4 tips for smarter grocery shopping!
Today, I’m really excited to be back with our monthly How to Save Money post.
Your first step to saving money is to read my first post about budgeting. Budgeting is at the basis of tracking and saving money…and it’s important to grocery shopping, too!
To grocery shop well, you’ve got to first just go grocery shopping. Make eating and cooking at home a priority.
The sole act of cooking at home means you’ll be saving money and calories vs. eating out.
I also find that eating in allows me to sharpen my cooking skills and spend more quality time with my husband. That’s a win-win.
So, back to grocery shopping, here are a few tips to make your trip worthwhile to your pantry and bank account:
1. Prep for your trip
Do a few little things before stepping into those food-filled aisles. Make a meal plan for every meal you’ll eat at home. I don’t worry too much about breakfast and lunch (since I just do cereal or yogurt and leftovers), but I just write down 4-5 recipes I plan to make during the week.
Pro tip: If you’ve done your budget, you’ll know what you have budgeted for groceries per week or month. Get that amount out in cash, or keep in mind what you have to spend and stick to it as best as you can.
2. Make a list
Look through your selected recipes and write down the ingredients on a list.
It really is that simple!
I like to use a grocery list app (mine is just called “Grocery List”) to keep track of our food needs throughout the week. Whether it’s paper or digital, going into the grocery store with a list based on your meal plan will keep you on track and on budget. And remember to only buy what is on your list for that week.
3. The more plant-based meals, the better
I’m not asking you to change your diet, but I will tell you that a more vegetarian diet will save you money! We like to just have 1 meat meal per week (and I like to eat meat when we eat out), which means that we only have to spend $10-20 on meat per week. Another bonus, vegetables stay fresh longer.
Here are some of my favorite vegetarian meals to get you started.
4. Don’t be afraid to shop around
Balance your gas money with the various deals at grocery stores near you. It may not be the case that you can get the quantity and quality of food that you want at just one store.
Personally, I like to get my basics at Kroger (where they have great deals and good organic options), specialty foods at Trader Joe’s, and the occasional meat at Lowe’s Foods or Whole Foods. Make sure to use your rewards card at the grocery store, or explore the store’s app or digital coupons to see if you can save.
Shopping at the farmers market is another great way to get bang for your buck, while supporting local and buying food that will stay fresh longer.
How do you save money grocery shopping?
Good luck out there, everyone, and happy saving!