5 Ways To Save Money on Your Grocery Bill

If you have to shop frugally or you choose to.  Buying food for a family doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  In fact for the past 3 months I have tested ways to save money on your grocery bill.  I do use coupons but, if you choose to that is totally up to you.

The average american family of 4 spends $1000 or more on food every month.  For many this is not possible so, finding ways to save and not skimp on nutrition is important.  Ramen noodles does not have to be the only choice. I have found that $50-$75 a week on Groceries can feed a family of 4 and no one goes hungry.

If you have a garden or a way to get fresh eggs you will have an even easier time with budgeting as many of the items can be grown if you have the place to do it.

5 Tips to Help Save Money on Your Grocery Bill

1) Plan Out Your Meals In Advance- Most people eat 3 meals a day and a snack or two.  So, if you plan out your weekly menu based on what you already have on hand and then only purchase the items you need to complete the menu you will stick to the plan and not veer off course.  See Sample Meal Plan below:

Sunday-

Breakfast: Cereal with Milk

Lunch- Sandwiches either Meat and cheese or PB &J

Dinner- Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry and Rice

Monday-

Breakfast- Cereal with Milk or Fruit and Yogurt

Lunch- Sandwich with bread or a tortilla

Dinner-Pork chops, Pasta Side, Peas

Tuesday-

Breakfast- Cereal

Lunch- Sandwich

Dinner- Tacos

Wednesday-

Breakfast- Cereal or Yogurt or Oatmeal

Lunch- Sandwich

Dinner- Spaghetti

Thursday-

Breakfast- Cereal or Yogurt or Oatmeal

Lunch- Sandwich

Dinner- Homemade Pizza

Friday-

Breakfast- Cereal or Yogurt or Oatmeal

Lunch- Sandwich

Dinner- Ground Beef Hot Dish/Casserole

Saturday-

Breakfast- Cereal or Yogurt or Oatmeal

Lunch- Sandwich

Dinner- Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots

* Snacks and Sides- Sliced Bell Peppers, Apples, Bananas, (Fruit in season), Pretzels, Homemade Popcorn, Homemade desserts, Side salads.

*Drinks: Water, Coffee, Tea, Milk

*Sandwiches can be standard meat and cheese, grilled cheese, PB & J and can use bread or tortillas

2) Buy Fresh or Non-Prepackaged-

Pre-packaged snacks and fruits and veggies have an additional mark up.  So, buying loose items whenever possible will not only prevent waste but, will also save you some change.

It may take you time to peel potatoes or chop up garlic but, fresh is better anyway. Plus for those that have kids we want to give them the best nutritionally as possible.

3) Only Buy Meat Every Other Time-

Don’t get me wrong I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl but, buying meat in bulk and separating it in to separate meals will help with portion control and save you big money.  The price of Beef and Chicken has risen over the past 5 years and most people can’t afford to have meat at every meal.

So, when you do a meat stock up week your bill will be higher but, the next time it could be cut in more than half.

Look for lean cuts of Beef, Pork. With Chicken we do Thighs and Legs. (Here in Texas H-E-B has amazing deals on those cuts of chicken sometimes only 79 cents a pound)  A $5 Beef Roast can yield two meals.   One stir fry and one crockpot roast. Just cut it in half and freeze the other half until ready for the second meal.

4) Make Your Own Food Whenever Possible-

I am not saying you have to be a master baker.  The point here is a 5lb bag of flour can go along way.  Pancakes, Pizza Crust, Dinner Rolls, Cookies and more.

Also, learning to cook different things will keep your meals interesting.  There are many sites out there on the inter-webs that have recipes that are easy to follow and budget friendly. One of my Favorites is Allrecipes.com

5) Use Coupons, Check out Weekly Store Ad, Use Coupon Apps

This is a must in my opinion.  When planing your weekly meals check out what sales your stores are having….you just might get a great bargain on items you need.

Use Digital Coupons to save you time and money at the checkout. These are Free Apps for your Smartphone

Use Digital Coupons to save you time and money at the checkout. These are Free Apps for your Smartphone

Does your store have a Digital Coupon App?  If it does download it to your phone.  This will save you time instead of cutting them from your local paper you just select the ones you want and at checkout enter your phone number and the discounts will be taken off.

Another App I use is called Ibotta this app lets you pick rebates, do a little task like watch a video, take a poll or learn a fact to unlock the rebate.  After they are unlocked you just scan the item with the rebate to claim it and then upload a copy of your receipt.  Once validated the money is placed in your Ibotta account and as soon as you bank $10 you can cash out right to PayPal. It also, has a team work challenge….any of your friends that are on Facebook that use the app you can work together to get additional $$$ added to your account.

This is why I use Digital Coupons and read the local store ad.

This is why I use Digital Coupons and read the local store ad.

So, what does a grocery list look like to only spend $50-$100 a week on food?

Here is a sample list:

Produce:

Fruit: Apples, Bananas

Veggies: Green Beans 1/2lb, Peas 1/2lb, Potoatoes 2lbs, Broccoli 1/2lb, 1 Yellow Onion, 1 cluster whole Garlic, 4 Bell Peppers one in each color, green, yellow, red and orange. 3 small cucumbers, 4 lose on the vine tomatoes. One Head of Lettuce.

Dairy:

1 Gal Low Fat Milk

1 Dozen Eggs

1 16-24oz container of Low Fat Yogurt ( can be flavored or unflavored)

1lb Cheese (which ever flavor you prefer)

1lb Butter (sticks)

Grains:

Bread- We get 3 loaves of the cheapest (88 cents each) Or you can make your own

Tortillas- One 50 count package

1 package 2lb spaghetti (or make your own pasta)

Meats only on restocking weeks or omit if Vegitarian:

Ground Beef/Turkey or Skillet Mix 3lbs

Chicken Cuts 2 packages (thighs or leg and thigh combo which you can cut up)

Pork Chops enough to split into 2 meals

$5 Beef Roast

Snacks and extras:

Coffee- $4 with a coupon

Coffee Creamer- $1 with a coupon

Pretzels small bag 97cents

Frozen Fruit small bag mixed $1

Iced Tea Bags- $1

All of these items cost $152 and change as I shopped for two weeks this time and if you were doing one week: $76.

So, as you can see it is possible to eat for less that $100 a week and still get nutrition and not skimp on taste. After all we want to enjoy our food as well.

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