31 Days Towards Financial Freedom ~ Day 4 *Shaving Down the Grocery Bill*

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I will be the first to admit that grocery shopping is my biggest struggle!  I have the hardest time cutting expenses here.  So I thought I would share some of my best tips of staying on budget when it comes to buying your food.

Plan a Menu ~ If I don't plan a menu and write an exact list when going to the store I overspend by probably $50 - $100 and I am not exaggerating!  Also, when I buy without a plan in mind I can't begin to tell you how many things actually end up in the trash at the end of a week because we didn't get around to cooking them.  It is really sad to think about how much money I have wasted doing this.  Planning a menu should go hand in hand with looking at your family's activities for the week.  If you kids have sports a couple nights or your husband is working late, plan accordingly so nothing goes to waste.

Shop the Sales ~Try to plan your menu around the items that are on sale.  Also try to stock up on certain items that are on sale that you can freeze.

Beware the Bulk Stores ~
I like to make one trip to Costco at the beginning of the month with a LIST to take advantage of the bulk prices on meat and other items.  However, it is very easy to get carried away with thinking that you need to buy so much more than you really need because it is on sale or the sample just tasted so good ;-)  This goes for normal store sale items as well, just because it is on sale does not mean that you have to buy it.

Cook Ahead of Time ~ I love to be able to prepare a couple meals on Sunday before the week starts so that I don't have to worry about it when I get off work and am trying to get the kids situated at home and looking forward to spending time with my husband.  However, this doesn't always happen :-(  If this is unrealistic for the week, I at least plan out exactly what we will eat the next night so that I am prepared when the evening comes.  I can't even count how many times we have ordered a pizza or eaten out because I didn't have the meat thawed or anything prepared for dinner.  The last thing I want to think about when getting home is what I should make for dinner.  We even plan when we are going to have a free night from dinner...meaning that we will just make Top Ramon, grilled cheese, salad, or something else easy so that no one has to cook.  If something is in my head ahead of time it really helps me to stay on track.

Leftovers ~ Use them!  If you are one of those who hates to eat the left overs, try changing it up so that you can at least incorporate some of the ingredients into a new dish. 


Analyze the Garage Can ~ Look and see what is being wasted each week and adjust your grocery shopping accordingly.  I find that I have so much waste on the weeks that I go to the store without a plan (and this includes lunches).  I find that I spend so much time focusing on dinners that I just buy ingredients to make lunches without really planning them.  I throw out so much rotten cheese, meat and bread this way :-(

Keep a Clean Fridge ~ Don't you just hate it when you clean out your fridge and realize there was a perfectly good pack of cheese underneath everything that you have been using and now it is all moldy!  If I don't clean out my fridge and take inventory before heading to the store it never fails that I will buy multiple things that I thought I needed and really didn't and forget the things I really did need.

Hope these tips can help you shave your grocery bill down just a bit.  Feel free to add any tips that you find helpful to keeping you on track with your grocery budget.


Karen said...

Wow. You are amazing. How did I miss your blog all summer?!! And your profile pictures! Where did those come from? You're the real deal! Can't wait to see where you go with this! Love to you and the fam, Karen

Shannon said...

Love all your tips and for the most part I follow everyone already! I also find it very helpful to display the weeks menu so everyone is on the same page. I made a menu board out of an old picture frame, some scrap paper and dry erase marker. Everyone used to ask every day "What's for dinner?" Drove me crazy!!LOL!! Now it's written out plan as day and nobody asks. They just go look!! Keep up the great work!!

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