Every month I am amazed by how much money we end up spending on food and groceries. There are only two of us in our household so we can’t be eating that much food, right? Of course being a food blogger, I understand that I’m prone to spending more on groceries, not because I buy expensive ingredients (I almost always buy the cheapest possible) but because I am always trying new recipes and needing new ingredients (especially if we are making desserts – my favorite!).
Most of the time I would much rather put our extra money into our savings account than into our bellies so I am always trying to think of ways to save money when it comes to shopping for food.
Here are 9 tips that I have found when I am trying to save money on grocery costs.
1. Meal Plan. Make a meal plan for the week (or the month) and stick to it. This way you know what you will need for the month and can stock up on things that are on sale (that won’t expire or go bad in the meantime). Try to keep your “regulars” in stock in your cupboard so that you have them for whenever you need them, and can also buy them when they go on sale.
2. Write a grocery list. If you write a list (and stick to it) you are only going to be buying the things you need and not the extra things you want.
3. Shop on a full stomach. If you go to the store when you are hungry, you are much more likely to buy extra convenience foods and snack items (food items that you can eat now) to quench your hunger.
4. Find one store that has the best deals on most of the things you buy. Although it would be nice if we could go to every store to get the different items that are on sale that week, its not practical. Its a waste of time and a waste of gas. Find one store that has good prices on your most purchased items. Or …
5. Price Match. This means that you can take ads from any where to the store that price matches and they will give you the discounted price from the ad. Walmart is best known for this, but Target will price match as well (with a few restrictions). Also, for home supplies Home Depot will actually price match and beat the price by 10%. You can use sites like dealstomeals.com or pricematchwithrachel.com to find out where the best deals are and take the information to your price matching store.
6. Keep track of what you already have. Keep a list of what ingredients you already have on hand. Too often I find myself going to the store and then trying to remember if I have chocolate chips, or oregano, or whatever on hand at home. I end up buying it at the store because I don’t want to risk not having it and I often end up with double.
7. Try to make recipes with 2-4 new ingredients max. This will help you so that you aren’t going to the store and buying 10 new ingredients for just 1 recipe. It will also help so that you aren’t buying a new ingredient that will only get used once and then forgotten.
8. If you have space, plant a garden (no matter how small). This will help you so that you don’t have to spend extra money on fresh produce every couple of days. It’s also very rewarding to go to your own garden and pick something that you grew yourself and then eat it!
9. Use coupons. It will help if you receive the newspaper, but there are also a lot of coupon printing sites online (watch out for viruses though!). Of course coupons can save you money, but make sure not to buy extra stuff just because “it’s on sale” (I use that excuse so much!), only buy the things you actually need. Check to see if your store has a double coupon day as well. Couponing does take a lot of patience, but if you are careful you will find some really great deals.
How do you save money on groceries?
Thanks to these ladies for their input and ideas for this post!
Aly from Entirely Eventful
Amber from Rick-a-Bam-Boo
Andrea from I Get Ready
Carly from Living the Scream
Elise from I Heart Pears
Erin from Cutting Back and Going Green
Kari from Newlyweds on a Budget
Kirsten from Lots 2 Save
Mikaela fromIndie Ogden and Mama Mouse Says