Last week I had the pleasure of welcoming another friend into my home to teach them a little about how I menu plan and how I do my grocery shopping. I absolutely love sharing my knowledge with others and told her as she left to get back to me with any questions she might have.
Not ten minutes later she called me and asked,
"How much should I be spending
on my groceries anyway?"
This is such a good question, and one that I am so glad she asked. I think the vast majority of us just go to the grocery store and buy what we need to. We think of groceries as a necessity and therefore is just a cost we must pay.
Saving money at the grocery store will only come if you have a number in mind ( aka budget) and stick to it!
So what should that number be? I've done a bit of research on the topic and while everyone's situation is different I found a good guideline by which to go by.
$100/per person/per month
For example, a family of 4 would have a grocery budget of $400 per month or $100 a week. Now if that number freaks some of you out, I promise you are not alone. If your grocery budget is way over this, think of ways that you can slowly get it down. Try decreasing your grocery budget monthly or weekly by 5%.
The key here is to make this a slow/gradual change. We don't want to treat this like a crash diet that will fail in a few weeks. We want to make a lifestyle change.
$100 a month per person is totally doable, but it will and does take work.
*Make sure you are menu planning. This saves you time and money!
*Don't be a brand snob. Try the store brand. It is always cheaper and just as good. When your favorite brand does go on sale or has a coupon stock up so that you don't have to pay full price.
*Shop the deals and/or price match at Walmart. Most store ad's are found online and are updated weekly. You can also look for sights that have gone through the ad's already. Use google. It is your friend!
*Stock up when things are on sale. Recently chicken was 1.59/lb. I stocked up and now I have enough to last me until the next time it goes on sale. The trick is to never pay full price for anything!
*Learn what foods you can freeze. This is helpful for when you are stocking up on produce and can't use it before it goes bad.
*Double your recipes. Last week I made BBQ chicken sandwiches. I doubled the recipe, are half and tossed the other half into the freezer for a meal down the road.
*Leave the kiddos home. How many times have you been at the store and your toddler starts having a meltdown. You grab a box of fruit snacks off the shelf open one and fill the kid's mouth with them to keep them quiet? ( please say this isn't just me!) That costs you money right there! Buying something not on your list. It also will save you time not to take them along since you don't have to act as entertainer, discipliner, and mommy. You can just be a savvy shopper!
*STICK TO YOUR LIST! I've said it before, and I will probably say it 100 times more. Never go shopping without your list, and never buy anything not on your list. Every.Single.Time. I have strayed from my list I have gone over budget. Every. Time. Your list is there to help you, keep you organized and accountable.
I hope these suggestions and guidelines help. Getting your grocery bill down is so rewarding and it's so much more fun to spend (or save) that extra money on fun things instead of just food!