Around this time last year, I struggled with managing a reasonable grocery budget. I was spending over $400 per month for a family of two. Eeek! Something had to give, so I queried the blogosphere for a few tips. Based on collective responses
from the readers of my personal finance blog
, I gathered many helpful ideas. With the current rise is gas and grocery prices, the ideas apply even moreso today. So here are more than 40 ways to reduce your grocery bill:
1.) Create a budget and stick to it. (Easier said than done.)
2.) Use self checkout, scan important things first, then stop at budgeted amount.
3.) Take only cash to the grocery store.
4.) Make a list and stick to it.
5.) Meal plan with the weekly sales flyer.
6.) Buy large family packages when on sale and repackage for multiple meals.
7.) Invest in a deep freezer to store extras.
8.) Cook double batches of meals and freeze half for another day.
9.) Make meals in a crock pot.
10.) Find recipes using what you already have in the pantry/freezer.
11.) Meal plan in advance, only buy what you plan to cook.
12.) Make more for less with the same ingredients (i.e. pasta dishes).
13.) Prep meals in advance to avoid temptation to dine out.
14.) Clip coupons.
15.) Shop on double coupon days.
16.) Look for "buy one, get one free" coupons.
17.) Play The Grocery Game (or The Coupon Clippers and The Coupon Mom) where they match coupons with your preferred store. Some have fees, some are free.
18.) Watch out for sales (the same product goes on sale every 4-6 weeks).
19.) Only buy frozen dinners when they’re on sale.
20.) Buy extra when items go on sale.
21.) By generic and store brands.
22.) Buy in bulk at Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club.
23.) Shop around the edge of store for sales.
24.) Use grocery store discount card.
25.) Buy family drinks from the dollar store.
26.) Shop at markets for fruits and veggies.
27.) Stock up on loss leaders (canned food and cereals) for occasional meals.
28.) Shop early AM to catch reduced meat sales.
29.) Don’t buy pre-packaged/ready made meals.
30.) Avoid convenience foods.
31.) Cook from scratch.
32.) Don’t buy frozen dinners, esp. if not on sale.
33.) Say no to snacks (cookies, chips, etc.).
34.) Buy fresh meat sliced from the deli.
35.) Become a vegan -- no meat, eggs, dairy, etc.
36.) Buy lots of beans and pasta for meals.
37.) Take it easy on liquids, buy powdered version and mix yourself.
38.) Choose alternatives to things that are overpriced (i.e. olive oil).
39.) Establish regular staples on first trip to store.
40.) Have your groceries delivered to avoid temptation of unplanned items.
41.) Plan a potluck with family/friends.
42.) Freeload and eat at someone else’s house. <– thrown in by Single Ma LOL