Are you looking for a way to cut back on costs around the house? Grocery store visits pack a big punch on my bank account each month so we have come up with five ways you can cut back on your grocery bill and feed the family on a frugal budget.
1. Meal Plan.
Set aside time each weekend to plan what you will be eating in the week ahead. Make a list of exactly what you need before you head to the store. This will help you stick to your list and not add random items while shopping. The more meals you plan out, the less likely overbuying will happen. Writing and following a weekly menu to save money at the grocery store will save money and limit impulse purchases.
2. Go shopping once a week
It’s easy, the more you go shopping, the more you spend. At one point we were able to do cut down our trips to one big grocery store trip a month and then once a week hit our farmers market for fruits and veggies to accompany our meals. Try new stores when you go shopping too. Trader Joe’s is a favorite of mine but I recently tried the new Aldi in Annapolis, which is actually a sister store to Trader Joe’s. They have great prices and an impressive selection of healthy food to choose from.
3. Eat healthier, it’s satisfying
Purchase high quality foods full of fiber and nutrients, like wholegrain breads, bean and lentil dishes, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Often we stick to the perimeter of the grocery store when shopping. The perimeter is usually full of the all the fresh vegetables, fruits, and dairy. These high quality items will fill you up quicker than processed foods so you actually eat less. Eating less meat will help you save too, meat is expensive! If you aren’t a vegetarian family, try to opt in for one meatless dish a week to save some money. Check out this Vegetarian Taco Bake recipe here to get you started.
4. Reserve the Preserves
Reserve soda, chips, lattes, ice cream, and other treats for special occasions. Cutting back to one latte a week can save nearly $1,000. Just this passed year I traded in buying my morning coffee for making it at home and bringing it to work in a Yeti cup (keeping it warm or cold) and have saved $1,300. When you do splurge on snack items, try keeping it generic. Check ingredients against your name brand items, you will find that most of the time, the same stuff is inside and it tastes great, name brands just charge more.
5. Learn to cook!
A family of four can save up to $400 a month simply by eating out less and cooking at home more often. Besides saving money, learning to cook has plenty of perks. It can be extremely therapeutic and you get to eat what you make! If a recipe won’t cut it for you and you are more of a visual learner, try a cooking class or tutorial online like Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay demonstrating basic cooking skills below.
Slow down! Savor your food and eat less. Eating less only leads to good things. You’ll save money, lose weight, be healthier, and live longer.
Some tips excerpted from this article, “Feed Your Family Without Going Broke” by Renee Pottle. Find this and other cosumer articles at winebarrelgourmet.com. Article updated March 2021 by Jenny Patrick Cardoza.