How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Groceries are something we spend almost as much on as household bills. We have to eat, and let’s face it we love to eat, but it can really put a dent in your budget if you’re not careful. If you’re going to economize on food you might have nightmares about living on instant noodles but with some savvy spending and planning you can really make a difference and still eat good.

Meal Planning

We’re all guilty of going to the store 3,5, even 10 times a week for items but really if we shopped once with planning we’d save gas and likely spend less because of all the “ooh” items we spot while we’re there. Start by planning your weeks meals out in advance. Here’s an example sheet you can use:

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Extreme couponers can even make money grocery shopping but if you haven’t got the time for that you can still save a bit by using them. It’s likely you get coupons in the mail all the time but joining brand loyalty programs and couponing websites will get you even more. Some of them can be doubled and used more than once so make sure you read the fine print. Coupons are like free money because in the end it’s money you’re not spending.

Buy Off Brand/Sale

Sales magazines come every week, by choosing meals based off of sale and clearance foods which you’re going to eat immediately you can save a significant amount of money. The same goes for buying store brand items. Just be sure to read the fine print and check sizes to make sure it is as good a deal as it seems. If something isn’t on sale this week, wait until next week. The key is to avoid buying stuff that you’re just going to shove in the freezer for eternity because “it’s on sale”.

Choose Alternatives

Meatless Mondays originally started out as a way of helping the environment and testing out vegetarianism but meat is actually one of the most expensive grocery staples. Consider swapping out for beans or alternative proteins once a week to cut down the meat money. This is definitely a “try it” for most people because the average person thinks they need meat for protein when in fact there are plenty of alternative options. The same goes with choosing bulk or cheaper cuts of meat.

Buy Bulk

Bulk stores are hit and miss, sometimes buying in bulk is a cheaper choice but only if you’re actually going to use all of it. If you’ve got the storage space or freezer space to afford it then making a once a month trip for bulk items does end up cheaper in the long term. Items like beans, rice, pasta, flour, peanut butter and oats are some of the cheapest staples which you can do the most with.

Grow Your Own

While not everyone will be able to do this growing some foods at home (and some can even be grown from scraps) can save you money at the store if you’re smart about it. For example, don’t run your water bill up when you can just collect rainwater to use in the garden, your plants won’t know the difference. Growing at home is also a rewarding experience and good exercise so it’s all round good for you.

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