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In this ultimate guide to your grocery budget, you'll learn how to save money on groceries with simple steps you can take everyday!


Anyone else ready to tackle their grocery budget this month and learn how to save money on groceries? 


You're not alone!


After Christmas I always feel like it's a great time to reign our grocery budget in, so today is the perfect day to start.


There is no other area in your family's finances that you have such control over than your grocery budget.


You can't change your car payment. (At least, not easily.)

You can't drop your mortgage by 50% this month.

You can't skimp on your health care costs. Or your utility bill. Or how much you pay for your cell phone.


But every single week, you decide how much you spend at the grocery store.


You know what I love about that?


you. have. control.


{I like control.}




You decide where you want to shop and exactly what you want your money to do every single time you shop.


I just love that. 

Here are 10 ways to save money on groceries by reducing your grocery budget:
1. Start with a GREAT menu plan

Not only will this help to do your grocery shopping on a budget, but this will also help with managing your home.  It's a huge relief to not have to wonder what you're making for dinner every night.  These menu plans come with a grocery list already made each week too – saving you time! You can also take advantage of curbside pickup and online ordering when using these plans – that way you're not tempted to grab items not on your grocery budget list!

2. Determine your grocery budget.

Before you start really tackling your grocery budget, look at what you’ve spent over the last few months on groceries and decide how much you’d like to cut your grocery budget.  Expect to save about 20% on your grocery bill over the next month as you’re building your pantry with basic staples, and you should see significantly larger savings in the next six months.

3. Shop your pantry

Before heading to the store, I look over my menu plan & grocery list and determine what I already have in my fridge, freezer and pantry. I also take stock of what we're low on for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and household items for the week.

4. Shop two stores.

Folks, this is huge and I know may not work for everyone, but is well worth it for our family. I typically shop Kroger each week for major sales and loss leaders, but also make a trip to Fresh Thyme (or a similar store) for meat and produce at least every other week, saving our family a bundle.

If you have an Aldi, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, or even possibly Trader Joe's in your area, I highly recommend a trip once a week (or at least every two weeks), to stock up on meat and produce.


Their sale prices are significantly lower than anything I've seen at local grocery stores (unless your grocery store has a rockstar sale), and it's pretty easy to get in and out in a few minutes. I don't shop anything else at those stores at all (really, only produce and meat), but it saves a bundle and is well worth the extra trip at least every other week for our family!

(FYI – I don't typically buy meat at Aldi, because I have the option of Fresh Thyme. I've heard people say they've been very pleased with it, but I love my Fresh Thyme meat and poultry and you just can't beat the prices!)



5. Decide how much you want to spend each week on “stockpile” items and shop loss leaders at your store

Remember that just about every item in the grocery store will go on sale within six to twelve weeks, so purchase enough non-perishable items when they’re on sale so that you won’t have to purchase those items again at full price. When I see a great price on something I'll purchase as much as my grocery budget can afford, so I'm not paying full price when it's not on sale.   Also keep an eye out for “loss leaders” – these are items that the stores put at such a good price that you'll come into the store to shop.

6. Don't be brand specific.

If you need a certain item for a meal this week, buy whichever brand is on sale at the best price per ounce. For example, Del Monte tomatoes were “on sale” for $1.25 this week, but the Kroger brand was just $.73. From what I can tell, tomatoes are tomatoes (at least when you’re choosing between Kroger and Del Monte), and there’s no way my family will have any idea whether I use the Del Monte or Kroger brand in our recipes this week.  This is an easy way to save money on groceries without sacrificing anything with flavor or items.

Now, there are some items which a certain brand really does seem better, but if you can give yourself a little freedom to try out the less expensive item, you might save quite a few pennies each week just for going with the sale item! And, if you really do love your Charmin or Quilted Northern (toilet paper seems to be one of those areas where people love their brands?) find where to buy toilet paper online at a great price, or shop the drug stores for a really good deal.

Here's one other example ~  laundry detergent. Tide was on sale for $4.99 for a small bottle, or the HUGE bottle of Purex with Oxi was $5.99. I've been pleased with Purex in the past and it was a MUCH better price per ounce, so well worth it to stock up while it's on sale!


7. Know your prices.

Goodness, this is probably my biggest frustration ever when talking to folks who spend too much on groceries!  So many people naively go blindly into the grocery store with a list in hand (or maybe worse, with no list at all), without even considering what’s on sale. This is the easiest way to spend way too much at the grocery store, and you can easily save big if you just put a little forethought into shopping!

Can I just tell you the easiest thing you can do EVER to reduce your grocery budget is to know what really is a good price? By determining a stock up price (at the very least just for produce, dairy and meat products?) and only buying items at their stock up price, I’m betting you can cut your grocery bill by at least 1/3 each week.

8. Watch for easy coupons and savings deals

If you're needing toothpaste, and you notice Colgate is on sale….pull up your store app and see if there are any eCoupons available.  Sometimes this can reduce your “regular cost” by half or more!

Just taking a few extra minutes to quickly watch for easy deals helped me stock up on things we'll need all month long.  This helps SO much since each week I don't have to buy everything because I know my stock up prices well enough that I can stock up when I can easily get a deal ~ and it makes shopping so much easier!

If you're completely new to menu planning and shopping based on the sales this may take a few weeks to get the hang of, but I promise it's so worth it.

9. Be Resourceful

Folks, this tip alone could save you $20 this week.

Don't believe me?

Let me show you how to save money on groceries just by one simple idea….

Recently I went to the store with my grocery list.  There were a few items that aren't regular purchases for me and would have been pretty large expenses on my grocery budget this week, so I got a wee bit creative. First, I looked through my list and checked my pantry, fridge and freezer to see what I already had in stock (easy, right?)

Then, I did this while I shopped through the grocery list:

on the list ~ cranberries (not in season and only found in the frozen aisle or as whole cranberries in the dried produce aisle.)

Since I was determined to only spend $100 this week, and a big bag of whole cranberries would cost me $8.99 (eek!), I grabbed a 6 pack of small Craisins that happened to be on sale for $1.50.

Now, they won't be the same as cranberries (but I couldn't find them at my store anyways), and for $1.50 instead of $9 I'm pretty sure our Pork Chop, Veggie and Cranberry Sheet Pan will taste just fine. (Honestly, I could have probably omitted them completely but it just sounded so good!)

on the list ~ cajun seasoning ($6.99 ~ eek!)

Many spice blends can be made at home, and since we don't use that one all that often it's way cheaper for me to use what I already have at home. I looked up this Cajun Spice Mix on All Recipes, and sure enough have everything in my spice cabinet I need to make that one pretty easily.

on the list ~ 2 tsp sesame seeds (also $6.99)

I really struggled with this one (because I knew the sesame seeds would last through several recipes), but I realized that in 20+ years I can't remember even once cooking with sesame seeds, so they aren't a necessary staple at our house. I also knew that my kids aren't big fans of sesame seeds, I could care less whether they're there or not, and my husband would never know the difference.

Honestly? I'm like this every time I shop, and with just about everything we use.

I constantly think of ways to use less ~ like using rags instead of paper towels, plastic grocery sacks for trash instead of large bags, and cloth napkins instead of paper ones.

Most seasoning packets, mixes and even cleaning supplies can be mixed up at home, costing you a fraction of the cost.

This has changed some in the last few years as we have a little more money and a lot less time, but when I can, I still try to be resourceful as much as possible.

You probably have lots of items already in your pantry that you use before buying one more thing, so this week I want you to constantly think of ways to be resourceful and use what you already have. Remember ~ you have control over what you spend, so see how much you can save with this one simple trick!

10. Shop no more than once per week

Y'all, this is so important. Before you shop, make a very clear list of everything you're going to need for the following week, so you aren't tempted to buy extra stuff on a second trip. Before shopping I used my shopping list, and I love knowing that I've got everything I need in my kitchen to make an entire week's worth of meals!

And remember, the best tip for how to save money on groceries and grocery shopping on a budget …. 

shop with a grocery list and menu plan. 

When I'm completely on track, I use my very favorite Menu Planning recipe cards.  Before shopping, I go through the grocery list, shop my stockpile, and mark off what I can by shopping my pantry before heading to the store. It's quick, easy, and I get my grocery shopping done in record time. 

So, start with your grocery budget, know your prices, and make a menu plan and grocery list ~ I know you can do this. 


Looking for more yummy meals? We have three different menu plans you can choose from! You'll also get lifetime membership in our private Facebook group, full of other families encouraging one another to make dinner each night together too.

These are the BEST MENU PLANS on the planet (and, the only menu plan that ship all the grocery lists, menu plans and recipe cards right out to you ~ no downloading or hunting down recipes on your phone at dinnertime ever again!) Go HERE to learn more. Not only are they delicious, but they'll be a great step in learning how to save money on groceries. I know you're going to love these!

The post The Ultimate Guide To A Better Grocery Budget (How To Save Money on Groceries!) appeared first on Passionate Penny Pincher.

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