After a difficult night trying to coach a friend through some financial issues, I started thinking about the easiest way to cut back on expenses. It’s the food. It’s always the food! Here are my tried and true methods I’ve been using to keep my large family’s grocery bill around $200 a month for the last few years and I know they will work for you.
1. Meal Plan
This will be your main source of savings. Going into the store with a plan instead of aimlessly wandering the isles will save you the most off of your grocery bill. Find some recipes your family likes, write down the ingredients you need, and off you go!
2. Once a Week
Multiple trips = many more ways to drop a few more dollars because “It’s on sale!” or “It’s only $2, no big deal!” Hitting up your favorite food supplier less often will add up to more money in your pocket.
3. What Season is it?
If you shop certain produce items in the seasons that they grow, you will save 2-4x more than if you buy them whenever you want. I could buy asparagus right now for $5.99/lb, but if I wait until late April, I can get it for $.99/lb. That’s a deal I can get behind!
4. Eat a Snack
The times I have gone way over budget and bought items that I didn’t plan on is when I’m hungry. I’m so out of my head that I can’t think straight and I start throwing things into my cart that I don’t even like on a normal day. Have a meal, then head to the store.
5. Cut the Crap
It’s no surprise that items like cookies, ice cream, chips, soda, and juice are expensive. Not only do they cost you a lot of money, but most snack foods do you no favors for your health. Cutting these unnecessary items from your life will loosen your waistline and fatten your wallet.
You work hard for those dollars, it makes sense that you would want to enjoy it doing fun things like vacations, new clothes, and perhaps a date night once in a while. Try one or all of these ideas and see how much you can save. And then take all your kids out to a movie this weekend.
Check out my youtube series on feeding my family for $200 a month in 2019.