9.26.2011

5 Ways to Trim Down Your Grocery Budget

Grocery shopping can be one of the most dreaded things a wife or mother has on her weekly agenda, especially when the cashier pulls the last item from her cart across the scanner and the triple digit total appears.

If you are trying to save money, let me encourage you that cutting back on your grocery bill is a great place to start. Kyle and I have tried a few different things to help us cut our weekly grocery spending from $150 to $100, then down to $75, and now to $50 a week.

Let me share with you 5 ways to trim down your grocery budget that has worked for us.

1. Look for sales. Know the lowest prices in your area on certain items that you buy regularly. For example, I know that chicken breasts will only go as low as $1.99 per pound where I live. This week, they happen to be listed at that price, so when I go to the store tomorrow, I am going to buy a little extra than usual. In fact, if I was really planning well in terms of budgeting, I might buy as much as a few months worth of chicken breasts and pop them in the freezer, so I wouldn't have the need to buy them again until the price was as low as $1.99

2. Buy in bulk. Shopping at Sam's Club, Costco, or other warehouse type stores are a great way to stock up on things that you know you will use a lot of. I buy all purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, rice, brown sugar, salt, pinto beans, honey, peanut butter, canola oil, and olive oil at Sam's Club. These are items that I use very often in cooking, and I can get them for a significantly lower price in bulk at the warehouse.

3. Avoid buying pre-made or processed foods. These are some of the most expensive foods at the grocery store. Kyle's food allergies (he is allergic to soy and dairy mostly) play to our advantage when it comes to our grocery budget. We rarely buy chips, candy, frozen dinners, pre-made meals, cereal, or granola bars.

4. Try to break away from brand dependence. So many people buy the name brand product before even trying the store brand. Many times the store brand is just as tasty as the name brand, and is much less expensive. Try a few items in the store brand next time you make a trip to the store. Keep an open mind. You might be surprised!

5. Make use of leftovers. Since we are still just a family of two, we almost always have leftovers. I try to save everything that is left over, even if it is just a few spoonfuls. Usually twice a week, sometimes three times a week, we have leftover night. I just open up all of the containers of leftovers from the refrigerator, and we pick what we want to eat that night. It feels sort of like a buffet.

Here are some other posts from here at Grassroot Elegance that you might find helpful when it comes to saving money on groceries.

Buying in Bulk: Sam's Club Shopping Trip
Slow Cooker Beans
Back 2 School: Ideas for Cheap Homemade Lunches
Homemade Hot Dog Buns
Sweet Sugar Sale 
Monthly Menu Planning: Why It Works for Us
Frozen Bananas

Questions? Feel free to ask in the comments.
What are some ways you save on groceries each week?

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