Are you scared to go to the grocery store because it feels like you need a loan every time you go? It actually isn’t that hard to save money on food but you have to be intentional and plan. A family of four eating out can easily be $100! Below are a few of my favorite ways to help you actually save on food.
These won’t make you rich but they are super easy to use and will help you save while you’re grocery shopping. Fetch is an app that allows you to snap a picture of any receipt that you have to earn points. With those points you can trade them in for gift cards. It can even be hooked to your email and Amazon account so you can get points for online purchases. Ibotta is another great app to help you save money. Ibotta can be used in-store, online or on the app. You can download the app and download an extension to your computer. Click on the deals that you want and you can earn cash back.
I am not saying you have to become an extreme couponer but just checking your store’s weekly ad before you shop can potentially save you some money. Use those coupons to help you decide what you are going to buy that week. If ground beef is on sale, maybe think hamburgers, tacos, beef stroganoff, meatloaf, etc. for your weeknight meals. You can always buy it to freeze it later (if possible). Try to plan your meals around foods that are in season and are on sale.
Make a List
Have you gone to the grocery store without a list and a plan? What do you do? Buy way more than you should aka I buy ALL the snacks and candy. Before you go, actually make a plan of what you actually need. Think about the meals you are going to make for the week and put those ingredients on your list. Also, take into account any snacks or drinks you might want to buy. Don’t deprive yourself of what you want but make a list so that you are not randomly putting food in your cart. Making a list ensures that you get food that will make meals, not just random food items.
Shop Your Kitchen
I don’t know how many times I have come from the store and have bought something that I already had in the kitchen. I have like 4 bottles of ranch in my pantry because I keep thinking I don’t have ranch…but I do. To keep that from happening, try to shop your kitchen before you go to the store. Look at what is actually in your pantry, what meat do you have in the freezer? What veggies do you have? Use what you have to help make your list so you are adding to what you have instead of just adding more food to the kitchen.
Grocery Store Pickup
One great thing that came out of COVID was grocery store pickup! It is a great way to help you stay on budget since you can see exactly how much you are spending before you check out. You can put things back before you make the commitment to standing in line. It helps save you from hungry shopping. You know when you go to the grocery store hungry and you buy whatever looks good right then. Grocery store pickup really helps keep your shopping under control and stops that impulse shopping. There’s no candy waiting for you at the cash register. It also makes it a lot easier if you have kids who try to grab everything in the store.
Shop More Than One Store
We all have a favorite grocery store but sometimes it is helpful to at least look at other stores. There are stores that have better deals on meat or a better veggies and fruits section. Look at the flyers while you are couponing and see which store has the best deal on what you need. Now, if it means going to a store that is far away, it might not be your best choice but if the stores are close, why not look around? Bulk shopping of some of the items that you know you will use like snacks, toilet paper, sodas, etc. might help you save some money aka Sam’s Club or Costco. Although I spend more at once at Sam’s Club, it saves me a lot overtime.
Restaurant Gift Cards
Let’s be honest, we aren’t eating at home for every meal. Life is busy. Cooking can be tiring and sometimes, you just don’t want to cook. to help you avoid spending too much at a restaurant, buy a gift card to the restaurant you want to go to and only spend that amount. That keeps you from going out too much or ordering too much just because. It’s also a great gift to ask others to give you! We keep a drawer of gift cards for the nights we just do NOT feel like cooking. Our gift card drawer comes in handy.
Food is something that we clearly have to buy and lately it has become a serious drain on all of our budgets. If you are having trouble with your budget and it is just stressing you out, fill out this short form to see how we can work together (or if you’re not ready, start with my freebies).