Sticking to a budget is much easier when you have friends in the same boat. Please welcome fellow milspouse Susie to the blog. I’m grateful to her for sharing these words of wisdom on saving money on groceries. ~Rebecca
As a mother it is very hard to shop smart and be frugal. I don’t know about you, but I have always hated grocery shopping. Why? Because the cost of groceries is crazy expensive. I can’t imagine how families with more than three people can afford it. And the prices just keep going up. I hate how much money we spend on groceries.
There are several ways to shop frugally, I’m sure you know the basics. But how do you really save money on groceries? That is the ultimate question. My family consists of one son under 2, my husband (who has to have a vegetable and meat for dinner, every night), and two dogs who eat and eat and eat.
So with all of that being said, we like food and eat a lot. But, we do manage to keep our grocery bill under $300 a month. I’m going to share our tricks with you.
Make a Grocery Budget
I know this seems like an obvious one, but if you spend a couple of months comparing your budget with what you actually spend, you may be surprised. You really need to keep track of how much you actually spend, each time. Even if you just run in for a gallon of milk. This allows you to see if you end the month over or under the budget. Also, try to keep track of each item and how much it really was. This can help you manage where your spending money. Some things may be worth cutting out or buying elsewhere to save money. Really keep to your list when you are shopping.
Yes! Another somewhat easy one. Be careful not to overuse them though. Only use the ones that are for items you would buy anyway. Consider switching brands for a coupon or sale, if you can. A great place to save money using coupons is paper products, toiletries, and canned foods.
Make Your Own Things
Try making your own laundry detergent, hand soap, and cleaners. I love creating these items. Also, be cheap whenever possible. Have you ever shopped for these items at the dollar store? They usually have the same products, but for a much better price! I love to stock up on hand soap from there whenever possible!
Shop the Pantry
Several times we return from food shopping and realize we didn’t actually need to buy more tomato sauce. This is why having a list is so important. You really need to have everything on the list and check to make sure you really need it. One thing I do is write things down immediately upon running out. I write it on the whiteboard so that I can remember.
Buy Groceries in Bulk
Buying in bulk can be really helpful, but usually only for certain things. We like to buy things in bulk such as paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper. These items last for such a long time, I am talking months, so it really does help us save.
Keep Meals Simple
Sometimes using simple ingredients helps save money. We used to buy Jimmy Deans meals for breakfast and it got quite expensive. Now we have a banana, two eggs, and a sausage, or maybe a yogurt. It is actually enough to fill us all up until a morning snack or early lunch. I always aim for lunch to cost less than $5 a day. You can make healthy, simple meals for a minimal amount of money.
Cashback apps like Walmart’s Savings Catcher and Ibotta are great for saving money. Well, they are really more rebate programs. You can get cash back with certain items, sometimes $0.25 and sometimes a few dollars.
Susie Liberatore, is a graphic designer and the owner of Vision2Images as well as an accomplished blogger. She’s worked with brands such as Stride Rite, Huggies, and Gerber. She blogs about parenting an autistic child, frugal living, and fashion. You can follow Susie on her blog, and on social media. Check out her extensive Pinterest page, as well as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Ready to learn more about saving money? Check out Rebecca’s Guide to Freezer Cooking for more tips.