Friday, October 2, 2009

How Can I Cut My Grocery Budget?

Over the past year, I have cut our grocery budget from $400/month to just $200 per month for 2 adults, a baby, and a dog.  How did I do that?  MANY different ways!  Here are some ideas that may help you!
  1. Menu planning - Each week, I plan out our meals for that week.  I also formulate a basic idea of what we could have the next week as well.  I use a list of our favorite meals to help keep things fresh.  I generally try to plan half of the meals for items we currently have on hand and half that would need to be purchased.
  2. Couponing - I have learned to use coupons well.  As I make my shopping list for the week, I use the Kroger ad plus my coupons to maximize savings by matching coupons with sale items.  When I find a great deal on something, I buy a couple extra (I have about $20 built into the budget for these extra purchases) to keep in my stockpile.  I combine electronic coupons from pgesaver, cellfire, and shortcuts with paper coupons for greater savings.
  3. Drug Store/Supercenter shopping - I don't limit my grocery and household shopping to the grocery store.  I have been able to build a stockpile of toothpase, for example, of 7 tubes that I paid a total of $1.50 for all seven at various other stores.  These are GOOD toothpastes like Crest EnamelCare.  You can learn the basics of finding good deals at other stores with these links:  Target shopping, Rite Aid shopping, CVS Shopping part 1 and part 2.
  4. Eating Out - We eat out a lot less.  With a menu plan, we are tempted much less to go out and grab something quick.  I just need to look at my list and get a meal going without wondering what to cook.  
  5. Meals in Reserve - I keep several easy meals in reserve for those days we just don't feel like eating what was planned such as Chef Boyardee, soups, and box meals.  Sometimes I will get ambitious and cook and freeze a meal ahead.
  6. Build a stockpile - By slowly building a stockpile of items I have found at great prices, I have been able to eat from the pantry more and buy from the store less.   By keeping myself out of Kroger, I have spent a lot less!
  7. Be Honest - I had to be honest about what we will eat.  In the past, I would hoard food - even food we wouldn't eat.  I also would buy lots of expensive steaks (especially when we lived in Nebraska - they were just so darn good!) to treat ourselves.  I had to re-evaluate what meals would be treats.
Come back next week for more ideas to cut your grocery budget!  Go on over to Life As Mom for lots of frugal tips!


Lisa said...

ya know Im at about 300 per month on 2 adults 2 children one in diapers, 2 cats two gods and a gin pig. Its so great to be able to do it for so little I get sick when I hear of people spending 500.00 + and they have less mouths to feed then me!

~Sara said...

These are all great tips.

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