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Groceries is one of the biggest monthly expenses. And, unfortunately food prices continue to rise every day.
The good news is that you CAN use a few tricks to lower these costs, and still eat well.
10 Quick Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill
1. Meal Plan
Make a meal plan for all of your weekly meals and snacks. Browse through pinterest boards, and recipe books to give you fresh ideas of what to cook each week. As you meal plan, make a list of groceries to buy. Take this list with you to the grocery store and only buy what you wrote down, nothing else!
Get this Free Meal Planning Printable by signing up for my newsletter below! You will get 5 Free Budget Worksheets to help you budget better and save money! (I mean, who wouldn’t want that???)
2. Keep it Simple
I love experiencing and trying new meals. For example, I get a kick out of finding the famous restaurant copycat recipes and making them for my own family. But, the truth is…..fancy meals usually mean expensive meals. Start simplifying how you cook and you will begin to see yourself spending less.
Enjoy a few of these simple dinner ideas: breakfast for dinner, grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, bean burritos, etc. Try to incorporate the simple meals at least 3 or 4 times each week and you can make something a little nicer the other days.
3. Buy What’s On Sale
Check the weekly ads of your local stores to learn what is on sale that week. Plan your meals around those sales. It is also a good idea to stock up what you normally eat when they are at the discounted price.
I like using the Flipp App. It updates the ads every week and makes shopping sales a breeze!
4. Shop Your Pantry
Before you ever meal plan or even look at the weekly ads, look through your pantry. Take a quick inventory of what you already have. Plan your meals around those items. Turn it into a game and try to come up with as many meals as you can, only using the ingredients you own.
Sometimes I tell my kids that we are playing Box Car Children (did anyone else love those books as kids????). We pretend that the only food we can eat is what we can find and gather in our house. They think it’s the best, and I get help using up my pantry!
5. Utilize Cashback!
Take advantage of every cashback app available. It hardly takes any time to scan your receipts and you get FREE MONEY!
If I ever see my husband throw a receipt in the garbage without getting cashback I ask him, “Would you ever throw 50 cents in the trash can? No! But when you throw away a receipt without scanning it first, it is the same as throwing away money.” The small cashback adds up!
My 4 fave ways to earn:
Ibotta: I love shopping with ibotta. This is the very first app I check after completing my grocery shopping. All you have to do is shop, check the app for rebates, scan your receipt, and the money is instantly put in your ibotta account. Easy. Peasy. They have a wide selection of rebates, common items are milk, apples, pantry items, broccoli, beauty and household. I can almost always find at LEAST one or two items to receive a rebate for.
Discover Card: My FAVORITE way to earn cashback is by shopping with my Discover Card. In short, when I shop with my Discover Card I automatically earn cashback on all purchases. They give you 1% cashback on EVERYTHING and 5% on different categories that are rotated monthly. (Currently, I am receiving 5% on groceries). You don’t have to do anything, just use your card and your cashback will grow. I earn around $500 cashback with Discover a YEAR, and all I do is shop like normal! You can read more here; The one idea I disagree with Dave Ramsey on.
Fetch Rewards: Fetch is one of the EASIEST apps around! All you have to do download the Fetch Rewards app, scan your grocery reciept, and fetch will automatically reward you with points. These points can be redeemed for gift cards to ALLLL of your fave stores (I usually choose Amazon or Target!). Use my code: WC1TU for an automatic 2,000 points ($2) after scanning your first receipt!
Checkout 51: Checkout 51 is very similar to ibotta. You shop, scan your receipt and qualified purchases and you will get the rebated money instantly in your account. Once you reach $20 in your account you can request your money, same as ibotta. Most importantly, it only takes a few minutes to check for rebates and one minute to scan your receipt. I have made over $50 cashback using Checkout 51!
6. Cook From Scratch
The more you cook from scratch, the less money you will spend on groceries. It is so easy to grab one of those yummy prepackaged salad kits or snacks. This is a huge temptation I’m always battling! But, I know my grocery expensive will dramatically increase if I give in!
Consider setting aside one day each week as your Meal Prep day. As a result you will have a day to cook a few snacks and prep for your weekly meals. You can cook all of your meat, cut up veggies, and mix up a few quick snacks. Store everything in the fridge for quick to fix meals.
- Related: Homemade Graham Cracker Recipe
7. Buy Meat on Sale
Meat is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to groceries. Make a rule to only buy meat when it’s on sale. Find the sales by looking through the weekly sale flyers (or use the flipp app).
I buy a lot of meat from Savory Butcher. The meat quality is fantastic and the price is great! It comes in bulk, so you will have a little prep time (which is all explained in the article, What to do with your bulk chicken; including 6 Freezer Chicken Recipes).
If you want to try Savory Butcher for yourself use my link for $5 off your first order!
7. Shop Less Often
It really shouldn’t be a surprise that the less time we spend in the store, the less money we spend. (I know you’re shocked right). Try spreading your grocery days out a little more. For instance, if you’re going to the grocery store weekly, try going every 10 days or maybe every two weeks. See how far you can stretch out the food you already have. I like to pretend I’m in a little competition with myself!
8. Calculate Your Spending
You must have a grocery budget, but you must also stick to that budget. It’s so easy to just throw this and that into your shopping cart and forget how quickly the total cost is rising.
While you are at the grocery store, get out your phone calculator and add up every item that you put into your shopping cart. This helps keep you on track so there is no surprises at the checkout counter. If you see you are going over your budget, take some of the food out of your cart and put them back on the shelf.
I do a lot of my shopping using Walmarts Free Grocery Pickup. This awesome service makes it easy to keep track of my cart total while shopping. Using the Walmart Grocery App, I add everything from my list to my cart, check my total, and then delete a few items until I get to my budgeted amount.
If you want to try Walmarts Free Grocery Pickup (AKA My Favorite Thing Ever!) you can get $10 off your first order by using this link!
9. Buy Generic
Clever marketing would like to convince you that name brand is always best. In some cases that may be true, but when it comes to groceries the generic brand is usually just as good! Sometimes even better!
You will save a lot of money by simply switching from name brand foods to the generic brand.
10. Meatless Mondays
Incorporate a few meatless meals into your weekly meal plan. For instance, you could have Meatless Mondays or No Meat Weekends. The less meat meals, the bigger your savings will be. Look for recipes involving beans, quinoa, soups and pastas.
I challenge you to focus on these 10 tips over the next month. I would LOVE to hear how your grocery budget improves with these changes.