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With the cost of groceries rising, you may be taking a closer look at your grocery budget! Dave Ramsey suggests spending just 10-15% of your take home pay on food. Here are some ways to make some cuts in that area of your budget.
Buy Less, Use More
Check your pantry on a monthly basis to see what items are close to expiration. Find a way to incorporate those into your meal plan for the next month. Use your freezer to prevent food waste using these tips from All Mom Does. By using more of what you buy, you won’t need to spend as much next time!
Cook from scratch when you have time. Buying processed or prepared foods is almost always more expensive than preparing them yourself. Find out which foods you should make from scratch from My Joy In Chaos.
Consider starting a backyard garden in the summer if your weather allows. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you could even get a few backyard chickens to eliminate the cost of eggs!
Meal Plan, Make a List and Stick to It!
If you’re not meal planning, you should be! Here are some meal planning resources from other bloggers:
Meal Planning Guides with Free Printables
– Your Easy Guide to Creating a Family Meal Plan from Fab Working Mom Life
– How and Why to Start Meal Planning from Just a Simple Home
– Meal Planning 101 from Aileen Cooks
– Meal Plan and Prep for Busy Moms from Imperfectly Perfect Mama
– How to Simplify Meal Planning from The House of Plaidfuzz
Other Meal Planning Guides
– Your Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning from Big Tiny Steps (with free ebook: How to Save Money When Eating Healthy)
– Meal Planning 101: Meal Planning Made Easy from Chaos & Quiet (a simple guide for beginners)
– Meal Planning from Nuggetlands (includes web resources and a sample menu with recipes)
Go to the store with a specific grocery budget in mind and don’t exceed it. Supermarkets will get you to spend on impulse buys. By the way, try to avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry!
Change your Buying Habits
Try the Store Brand
I’m brand loyal on a few items, but I find that store brands are usually similar to what you’d get from a name brand. A lot of stores are also releasing their own organic brands, so you can save that way also.
Stock Up on Sale Items
Buy frequently used staples when they’re on sale. But, don’t overbuy. Only buy as much as you will reasonably use before the expiration date. Getting a great deal is not a great deal if you end up tossing an expired product.
Buy Meat in Bulk
We have an extra freezer in our garage, which really allows us to stock up on meat when we can get a good deal. This can make a huge difference in a grocery budget. Check out these other ways a deep freeze can save you money from Big Tiny Steps!
We recently purchased a quarter of a cow, and this filled about one-third of our freezer. By buying meat this way, we were able to get a good deal on higher quality meat. It has forced me to find new recipes to use up the lesser-known cuts of beef.
We use a ton of ground beef, so we also buy bulk meat from Zaycon Fresh. You don’t have to make a huge commitment to a cow, but you still get considerable savings. The deliveries for Zaycon happen just a couple times per year, so you have to time it right!
Most stores offer digital coupons through their website and app. Even if you already use paper coupons, you can find additional savings by putting the digital coupons on your loyalty card and using it at checkout.
There are also money saving grocery apps that can get you some additional savings on specific products. They will usually apply to name brand items.
If you really want to maximize your savings, see if your grocery store has a fuel points program where your grocery purchases can reduce your fuel costs.
Reducing your Grocery Budget with Special Dietary Restrictions
You can reduce your grocery spending, even if you have dietary restrictions. If you like to purchase organic foods, learn the dirty dozen, which are the most important produce items to purchase organic.
Also, check out this post from Rooted & Relishing about saving on groceries while on a Paleo AIP diet.