Three Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

grocery bill, save money on groceries, grocery shopping

The average American family spends roughly $150 a week on food—over $6,000 every year. For most of us, groceries eat up a large portion of our monthly budget. If you want to cut back on expenses, food is actually one of the best places to start.

You already know that bringing your lunch with you to work instead of going out, skipping your daily Starbucks, and cutting back on junk will help you save money. If you’ve already done all that, take a look at some additional ways to trim your grocery budget.

Start planning.
Planning will be an essential part of the new, thriftier you. Don’t toss the weekly ads you get in the mail. Go over all of them, find the best deals and sales on the food you want to buy, and make a list. Signing up for the store’s savings cards will also help you get the lowest advertised prices and digital coupons.

To save time and gas as well as money, do your shopping at a store that offers price matching. I’ve found that this is one of the best ways to save money, especially on produce.

Prepare frugal meals.
What do oatmeal with raisins, soup and salad, and spaghetti all have in common? They’re all frugal meals. How about filet mignon, shrimp cocktail, and a rack of lamb? Definitely not frugal meals. You get the idea. Save expensive ingredients and elaborate meals for special occasions or holidays, and opt for simple, less expensive meals for everyday.

Keep in mind that frugal doesn’t have to be unhealthy. In fact, you’ll probably end up spending less money buying healthy foods, since junk food doesn’t fill you up and you end up eating (and consequently buying) more to satisfy yourself.

Use cash.
In my younger years, when I was fairly inexperienced with money and thought budgets were for old people, I remember wondering where all my money was going every month. I pulled up my bank statement online and started adding it all up. My grocery store purchases, stops at 7-Eleven for treats, and quick trips to Wal-Mart for “one thing” were costing far more than I could really afford.

To control my spending, I made a budget and adopted the cash system. Every pay period, I withdrew my allotted amount for food and kept it in my wallet. If I was going to the store, I only took cash. It’s amazing how disciplined this approach forces you to become.

Cutting down on spending at the grocery store doesn’t mean you have to live on Ramen noodles. These are just a few painless ways to save money on food and groceries.

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