Buying groceries is a dreaded task for some. From all corners there are ads, emails, and websites telling you what you should buy and how much you should spend for it. So what do you do? Do you go and buy all of those items?
Maybe you even get excited about all of the money you are going to be saving by hitting up all of the sales for the week. It can become a game. With all of the different options out there, how do you win the game of saving the most money buying groceries? Here are five ways.
5 Ways to Save on Groceries
1. Buy generic and buy in bulk. Generic and bulk items are often much cheaper. Buying bulk, though it takes up more space, can help you save some green. Check the unit price. See if they work as well or taste just as good. Is the item able to be frozen? If so, consider dividing food into more practical containers and taking out as needed. Be careful though, just because it is bigger, doesn’t mean it is better!
2. Meal plan. Imagine if every day you knew exactly what you were going to have for dinner, and you had the ingredients to make it. At the beginning of the week (or whenever it is convenient), I make a list of all the ingredients needed to make the meals I have on the meal plan. This is what I call intentional cooking. Having specific meals planned, doesn’t cause stress at 5:00, when everyone wonders what’s for dinner.
Keep your meals simple so that you really only need to plan for five days of meals. Why only five? The 6th day allows for leftovers and the 7th for meals you may not be home for. Meal planning prevents buying items that you have no use for or no recipe to use them in. It is all about intentional buying and cooking!
3. Garden! Think about how much you spend in the store and even driving to the store for food. What if you could walk out your back door and pick whatever you needed from your garden, FRESH? Seeds are incredibly cheap in comparison to the yield you will get from your crop. Often a pack of seeds is cheaper than buying one item from the produce section. Each day you pick something from your garden, consider it “free” produce!
4. Plan your meals based on what is on sale at the grocery store. This takes a little extra planning, but if a certain type of meat is on sale, think about making it that week. If you have a favorite meal, instead of making it only when you crave it (and the items aren’t on sale), stock up on them or make it that week when the items are on sale! Be careful though to not allow the ads to always tell you what to buy. Do not buy groceries that you typically wouldn’t buy, just because they are on sale.
5. Make a grocery list and stick to it! By making a list and sticking to it, you will prevent the instant gratification syndrome (buying what you do not need), while saving you money. In fact, start your grocery list when you walk in with your groceries. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? You just BOUGHT all of the groceries you needed! It never fails; the next day you will find something else you need. A running grocery list is vital so that you can remember everything you need to buy for the week, which prevents buying what you do not need.
Saving money on groceries is possible! I can assure you that you will see a change on your grocery receipt. Your wallet, your budget, and your family will thank you. Start saving today!
Good tips! I’d add freezer cooking to the list – I combine buying what’s on sale with freezer cooking plans. Then I meal plan from what’s already in the freezer and just keep the freezer stocked up.
Now to add gardening to our list … we have such a tiny backyard space.
Virginia Knowles says
These are my thoughts as a mom of 10. I wrote this years ago. http://virginiaknowles.blogspot.com/2008/07/saving-money-on-groceries.html