When we decided to reevaluate our budget a few months ago, one of the first items to downsize was our grocery cost. We were spending far too much, making frequent trips to the store, bringing home tons of food only to throw it out… spoiled within a week. We didn’t mean to waste so much, we just didn’t have a plan. In order to succeed you need a plan of action. So that’s exactly what we set up with a cash budget system.
Think about your budget, if you have one. If you don’t … well that’s a whole other topic!
Write down your monthly expenses, where do you see the most money slip away? I’m assuming groceries and restaurants are at the top of the list.
Do you make frequent, expensive trips to the grocery store only to feel overwhelmed; picking up dinner at a restaurant on the way home? Come home from work exhausted and unsure of what to prepare for dinner?
Here’s some simple ways to cut your grocery cost in half giving you flexibility to save, tithe or spend in other categories that might be lacking!
- Set a realistic budget. We have gotten ours down to $200 per month! We used to spend upwards of $400 some months…. mostly my fault, I felt overwhelmed and purchased items that looked good but had no plan. Which leads me to number 2!
- Establish a meal plan. We choose to set ours up two weeks at a time. We utilize our pantry items, frozen meat and stick to eating home cooked meals. When it comes time to go grocery shopping we only need produce, dairy items and pantry staples we have run out of. With our meal plan we make four home cooked dinners and have three days for leftovers in order to cut back food waste. If you think you are too busy to meal plan try freezer meals, crockpot recipes etc! Saves you time and you can still cut your budget!
- If you eat meat, buy it in bulk and on sale. Personally, we buy beef and pork from a local farm so we pay one lump sum but have meat for 9 – 12 months! We buy chicken from Aldi and freeze it in order to preserve it and prevent waste.
- Only buy the produce you will eat, it’s pricey and spoils quickly. Utilize everything you can to eliminate wasted items and throwing your money away.
- Budget for fun- date night, family pizza night, booze, lunch out at work. Life is short and you don’t want to miss out, there’s a fine line and you will have to find out what works best for you.
When finding ways to cut back our biggest savings was simply found through switching grocery stores. Yesterday we purchased two weeks of groceries at Aldi for $84.00. Two whole weeks! A cart full of fresh produce, bread, coffee/creamer, dairy essentials, cereal, noodles, pasta sauce, chips, chicken, peanut butter etc. $84.00! Ignore the boxes, we forgot our bags and refused to buy more! Ha!
We will need to stop for more milk, maybe bread next week but that will cost less than $10.00! That keeps our grocery budget under $200.00 this month, we succeeded last month too! If you want to change your financial status, you have to stick to it and get creative! Establish a set amount per month and stick to it. When you run out, pack a lunch for work. Eat the leftovers for dinner. You’ll be okay and your wallet will thank you.