Learning how to save money on food is one of the most important steps to take when you are trying to reduce your spending.
Even spending fifty dollars less on your groceries per month can make a difference.
Fifty dollars a month adds up to $600 a year.
Over ten years, you will have saved an extra $6000. Don’t tell me $50 a month doesn’t count, because it does.
I am someone that enjoys making efforts to cut our spending, but saving money on our grocery bill often feels close to impossible.
Already frugal by nature, our grocery bill seems to be stretched to the limit.
That is until I read articles where families are spending only $600/month for their family of 7.
How??? We are a family of seven, and our grocery bill is close to a thousand a month.
That’s more than our mortgage.
We are eating more money than we are paying for our home! Granted, we have a small mortgage, but still.
Spending $12000 a year on food seems excessive.
This is besides the fact we have a large garden every year, and we also raise a lot of our own meat.
How do we spend a thousand dollars every month on our groceries, and is there no way we can save money on food?
On the other hand, this article recommends budgeting a minimum of $250 per adult, and $150 per child per month.
That would equal $1250 per month. According to that, we are right on target.
Considering we raise all of our own poultry and beef. These costs seem hidden and are harder to add because it’s usually an upfront cost.
I know we can do better than that, though.
How to Save Money On Groceries
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We do live in Canada. Food prices are definitely higher in Canada, so that would account for some of it, but I also know we have some bad habits.
Some of our grocery items have become essential (in our minds) when in reality they are not.
Our family eats a lot of meat. We also enjoy cereal, and with five kids, we can go through a lot of cereal.
Too often, we also enjoy potato chips as a snack, and at $3/ bag, this cost adds up quickly.
Join me in learning how to save money on food!
1.Track your spending for one month.
If you don’t know where your money is going, you can’t control it.
Track your spending for a month. This is good for your overall budget, but especially for groceries.
Keep your receipts, and tally them up when you’re home. A simple spreadsheet is great for this.
2.Decide what you can cut out.
After seeing where your grocery money is going, assess the situation.
Where are you overspending, and what can you cut out. For us, cutting out packaged cereal was the first step.
Unhealthy, and costly, boxed cereal is an unnecessary expense (now I just need to find a healthier alternative).
We already buy very little bread, as I try to make my own as much as possible, but that is another one to spend less on.
3.Determine A Feasible Budget
Decide what would be a practical goal for a grocery budget.
You have to be realistic.
We need to eat, and healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables are usually more expensive than the packaged stuff.
You don’t want to buy cheaper foods, at the cost of your health.
4.Save money on groceries by incorporating more beans.
Beans are a great source of fiber, as well as protein, and can take the place of meat in at least one of your meals per week.
Learning to cook with more beans will help you cut back on your grocery bill and save you money. Our problem is our kids are picky eaters, so I am slowly trying to get them accustomed to eating beans.
Chili is a great place to start. For more bean-filled recipes, try this cookbook.
5.Cook 2 Meals At A Time.
Once a week, when you are cooking supper, make enough for two meals.
Freezing, or even having the same meal five days later is a cost-efficient and easy way to eat cheaper and healthier as well.
Don’t like leftovers? Try making variations of the same thing to mix it up.
6.Shop Sales (but only if you need it!).
Shopping sales is where I save the bulk of our grocery money. However, only buy stuff that’s on sale if you really need it.
When flour is on sale, buy two sacks instead of one, and store it in the freezer if you don’t use a lot. We use enough flour that I just store mine in the pantry.
7.Buy Bulk When Possible.
Buying in bulk is usually cheaper than prepackaged.
BUT….be sure that you are really saving money doing this. Figuring the cost per 100 grams will help you to see if it is really cheaper.
8.Shop Only Once A Week (or less).
The more often you go, the more you will spend. Shopping only once a week, and going with a list will help you spend less. It is possible.
We have gone months where we only shopped once every two weeks, and even sometimes three weeks.
The cupboards definitely get bare doing this, but you get creative after a while, discovering different meals to make.
Also, simple meals are just as effective in filling your stomach then complex ones.
9.Don’t Shop On An Empty Stomach.
This is a mistake I make much too often.
Shopping on an empty stomach means you spend more, simply because you’re hungry.
Eat something before you go, so that you will have more willpower to leave the unhealthy and costly stuff there.
10.Meal Plan Around the Sales.
Before going for your weekly shopping list, make a meal plan around the sales.
This will help you to save money on your meals, and also give you a boot up on the following week because you will have planned out all your dinners.
There is not nothing that you can do about your grocery bill.
The cost of groceries is usually one of the biggest expenses a family has, often being close to or over the amount of a mortgage.
Save money on groceries this month with these ten steps, and start putting that extra towards debt.
Have you been able to save money on food? Leave me a comment, and let me know what tip works best for you.