5 Money-Saving Tips to Maximize Your Grocery Budget

I love food. (Eating it, that is…)

Unfortunately, the whole process of meal planning, shopping and cooking– is a huge joy thief in my life. I find myself frequently folding under the pressure of my weekly food failures.

Some weeks, I spend more on food than I’ve budgeted.

Other weeks, I over-buy ingredients and end up throwing food out.

Sometimes, I ‘jump ship’ mid-week and order pizza.

Can you relate?

I have a lot of room to grow in this area, but I have found a good plan goes a long way in relieving stress. In my long (and unfinished) process of figuring food out, I’ve found a few tricks that seem to help me stay closer to my goals! 

 5 Things to Consider When Making Your Plan:

1. Check the Meat Sales First.

Before deciding what store (or stores) to shop at or what recipes to make for the week, try looking at the weekly ads and find out what meats are on sale. Meats tend to cost the most, which means the best savings, if you plan accordingly! Weekly ads are easily found on store websites or you can download store apps for a quick access.

2. Know Your Stores.

When making your list, it’s important to know what stores offer the best prices for certain items– and wait to buy those things until you can get there. For instance, Target has the best non-sale prices for things like cereals, canned goods and soups. Trader Joe’s has good prices on canned goods, snacks and cheeses, but never has sales! These are the types of things you want to notice when doing your shopping, so you can stock up on items at the right places!

3.Examine Your Pantry.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something and then found it in the back of my cupboard. Take a quick look before you shop!

4. Use Pinterest to maximize the ingredients you already have!

Once you’ve found the best meat (and other sales) and looked through the food in the pantry, type those ingredients into Pinterest to select recipes! For instance, if chicken tenders are on sale and you have a can of black beans in the cupboard, type “recipes chicken black bean” and pick from the recipes that come up. Sometimes you will find you only need a couple of ingredients to complete a recipe!

5.Consider Your Week.

As you are making your grocery list for the week, make sure you think about your schedule. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planned a meal and then realized we had plans for dinner that night! Also, if you missed it, check out my post on the AnyList app, which I use to streamline my grocery list-making.

 

When I follow these guidelines for planning meals, I stay closer to my goals and find food to be more of a joy and less of a drain!

Got any other money-saving, sane-mama food tips? Please, do share.

 

 

8 Replies to “5 Money-Saving Tips to Maximize Your Grocery Budget”

  1. These are great tips Bree! Thanks for sharing! Here’s some of mine: If you love sharp cheddar cheese (we do, especially after living in the U.K.) Vons sells a 1 lb block of it in a black plastic rectangle for $8.99 (on sale). It’s usually $9.99 which is still a great deal. We try to buy as much organic food as we can – great places for that are Trader Joe’s for just about everything, but especially organic bread, pita bread, naan bread, ready made meals and organic milk (I find Trader Joe’s to be much less expensive and healthier than most of the super markets out there and also so friendly and small – also my kids love sampling their food which means they try new things!) Costco does bulk in organic chicken and ground beef and though it’s not the best price on meat, its great for organic meat. They are also our go to place for bulk items we buy less often like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and bottled water. We also shop on Amazon Fresh which is so convenient cause you can buy your groceries online and they deliver straight to your home – if you have a family member or good friend with an account and they are willing to let you use it, Amazon Fresh lets you use multiple cards and they deliver to multiple locations for no extra charge to the account holder. Jons (an Armenian super market) has great deals on nonorganic deli meat you can get sliced fresh. They also have good deals on organic produce but you have to watch what you buy cause some of it can be over ripe and go off quickly. If you want a not so healthy but cheap fast food option you can get dinner for under $10 for a family of 4 at Costco if you order their pizza slices and just ask for cups for water. It’s a great way to get out of the house and not cook for a night without spending a fortune! I hadn’t intended to write so much, but I hope you find my suggestions helpful too Bree!

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  2. Great tips! As far as meat is concerned (because yes, it is a big chunk of the grocery budget!), I budget a certain amount every month for building my stockpile. When I see a great price, I buy a bunch of it and freeze what I’m not going to use that week. That way I always have meat in the freezer, and I don’t have to buy some every week. This is very helpful for those weeks that I don’t see any great sales.
    I also plan at least one meatless meal every week. (I could do more, but one night tests my carnivorous husband’s patience enough as it is 😉 )

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