18 + 1 Tips to Cut Your Grocery Bill

Save-on-Groceries

Do you really know how much you are spending on groceries every month? Probably not. Likely you just take some money each week, biweekly or monthly and head to the store. More likely is that your money is in your bank account and though you know how much is in there, you likely haven’t set a specific amount away for certain things.

First thing you should do if your intention is to save money on groceries, is to know exactly how much you have been spending. So for the next month or so don’t fret and just do things the way they are now. The one thing you will do different is KEEP all your grocery bills each time you go out even if it’s a small trip for milk and eggs during the week.

Then after a month passes, have a look at these bills. Add them up and see what you’ve been purchasing. You might find this to be your first wake up call and just what you need to get things started. Once you’ve done that you are ready to follow these tips to help you save even more.

1 Plan Ahead

Take 15-20 minutes before you head out shopping to make a grocery list and plan your meals for the week ahead of time. This way you can maximize your ingredients and avoid those impulse buys.

2 Set a Budget (and stick to it)

This may be a tough one but the easiest way to do it is either to take cash with you or only have a certain amount in your account that you can spend, while transferring other funds out, just while you go shopping. In order to decide how much you will need, start by collecting a few weeks worth of receipts. Calculate an average based on these bills and deduct about 10% so you can start saving and making wiser shopping decisions.

sale3 Buy What’s on Sale

Sale items will help you have a well rounded diet by substituting one ingredient or type of food for another. A great way to expand your palette too. So if portabellas are on sale instead of button mushrooms, give them a try!

4 Buy Clearance Items

Every store will have a rack or shelf somewhere where they put items marked down. Often you can save as much as 30-50%. If you are worried the grocery item may no longer taste good, most stores will refund you if the product has gone bad.

Cinderella Tickets

5 DIY Snacks & Lunches

Making your own snacks and lunches for work and school is not only a whole lot healthier for you but you will minimize the ingredients found in some “junk foods” and save money by only buying what you like instead of throwing away the “chocolate pieces” found in the trail mix you just bought. Here’s a cool recipe for Omelette Muffins you can make and freeze for the entire week at breakfast or as a healthy snack.

freshfruit6 Eat more Fruits & Veggies

One great tip I’ve learned a long time ago is to stay to the outer aisles when shopping. The inner aisles are full of processed, packaged goods while the outer aisles have all the fresh, wholesome foods. Making more vegetarian style dishes will trim your grocery bill and your waistline.

7 Shop Seasonally

Just like buying foods that are only on sale will rotate your diet so will shopping seasonally. In spring and summer we love fresh fruits, especially at the market and in fall we love things like butternut, spaghetti and pumpkin squashes. As these rotate in and out of season we not only change our diet but we save money by buying what is in season.

8 Freezing Fruits & Veggies

Can-or-FreezeSome things I still enjoy even when out of season. One of my favorites is cranberry sauce. So while it is in season I buy quite a few bags of it at Costco (where I usually find the best price for them) and have enough to last me the entire year until next season.

The same can be done for strawberries, carrots, plums, cherries, cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers and so much more. Many will freeze quite easily after a simple blanching; while others you may have to make into jams or other dishes you can vacuum seal.

9 Freeze Fresh Herbs in Oil

Oh the yummy smell of fresh herbs. To keep them for all year long use simply freeze some cut herbs in a ice cube tray along with oil like coconut oil. This method works best with tougher herbs though like rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano.

Generic-Brands10 No Name & Generic Brands

Yes even I have issues sometimes buying no name but on many items I can substitute. These no name products are often half the cost of the name brands items. Give generic a chance and find out what you feel comfortable substituting and how much you can save just by doing this.

11 DIY Gardening

Even if you don’t have a big backyard, many veggies will grow well in balcony pots. Why not try planting some this year and save some money on herbs and veggies like carrots, lettuce, and peppers. Digging in the dirt is also healthy for you!

12 Couponing

In this digital day and age I don’t like to clip coupons and read through a ton of papers but some people really enjoy doing this. Just sit with your weekly flyers or online flyers with your cup of coffee and make notes of all the items for this weeks shopping list.

13 Food Apps

Checkout 51 Offers Me personally, I’ve found and religiously use, these two food apps on my smartphone. They are “flipp” to help find local bargains and assist in price matching and Checkout 51¬†which pays reimburses you for purchases made. By using both in combination you will find the sale items and be paid cash back. Checkout 51 has paid about $20 each month via cheque and using flipp saves me tons more too.

14 Price Matching

As I mentioned, I use the flipp app on my phone to find local deals and sales. Then I go to stores that offer price matching. You don’t have to physically shop around to save big money. You can locate price match stores with a quick Google search. In my area there’s Walmart, FreshCo and No Frills just for starters. Keep in mind not only grocery stores price match either. So when shopping for a new small appliance or a couch, remember to compare and save big!

15 Bulk Purchases

Buying larger portions that are on sale that you can freeze for later is a great way to save some cash. We will buy whole pork pieces and cut them into chops, and stew portion sizes as well as a few roasts. It costs us about $7 per whole piece and we have enough to last several weeks. Same goes for any pantry items and even veggies and fruits can be saved by buying in season and blanching for freezing and using off season.

16 Stop Wasting Food

Make sure to use up foods before they go bad. Plan a meal to use them or prepare them for the freezer so they can last a little longer. Use leftovers from dinner as lunch the next day. Combine some odds and ends to create your own masterpiece of a meal, you might be surprised at some of the interesting concoctions you come up with. I’ve done this many a time and the only issue I have is not knowing exactly what was in a meal and can’t replicate the same meal twice. LOL

Pink Tickets

17 Try Unusual Cuts of Meat

Instead of purchasing the most expensive beef steak and ribs etc try buying something like beef liver and oxtail. I have bought 3 chicken bone carcasses for only $1.50 for all 3 of them and made some amazing bone broth. These unusual cuts will be far less expensive and you will open your palette to some amazingly new tastes that are also very healthy for you. Try this delicious Oxtail Soup recipe.

18 Stop Overeating

Generally speaking meals shouldn’t be larger than the size of the palm of your hand and maybe a small side dish. We currently use 1-2 pork-chops in an entire meal for a family of 4 rather than eating one each. Same goes for chicken breast, 1 breast will feed us all. Instead we use meat as a small portion of our meals with the rest consisting of vegetables and rice. Eating smaller meals will save you money as you stretch each piece of food but also reduces your waistline while you find yourself filling up on much less foods.

19 Cut Your Shopping Trips

We actually shop once per month and then weekly I go for small perishable items which normally consist of fruits and cream. Reducing the number of times you hit the store will certainly prevent a lot of your impulse buys. Being tempted by everything else you may feel as if you should be a horse wearing blinders. Once you get use to this new way of shopping things will get easier.

If you have any other tips I’d love to hear them and I’m sure our readers would too.

Money is sooo hard to come by and yet sooo easy to spend as we all know only too well. Be sure to subscribe to receive all our posts on How to Become Debt Free, Save Money, Work Online and much more, directly to your inbox.