Food is the one thing that we can’t live without. It’s the one thing that we can’t radically compromise on because our health depends on it. But how can you be smart about the way you grocery shop so you can save tons of money? This article is packed full of amazing tips to save money on groceries without compromising your family’s health!
Growing up, one of the things that my mom taught me is that good, healthy food is of utmost importance to our bodies. It’s the nourishment we need to feel well and function well. With this, she also made sure to tell us that it’s one of our greatest priorities when it comes to where we spend our money.
Saving on food in a way that compromises your health so that you can acquire other things is probably not the best way to go about it. If you can’t afford healthy food, there are programs (like WIC) that are designed to help you and your family eat healthy even when money is tight. But if you can afford healthy food, by all means, spend money on it so your family can be well nourished and able to thrive.
Now, there are smart ways to save money on food so that you don’t have to compromise on your family’s health and well being! That’s exactly what we’re gonna talk about here today!
Let’s take a look at 5 tips that will change the way you grocery shop forever.
5 amazing tips to save money on groceries without compromising your family’s health
#1. Determine your grocery shopping frequency
Personally, I think buying a week’s worth of food is the perfect frequency. If you go more frequently than that, you’re bound to buy more items than you actually need and spend more money than you should.
If you wait too long, you’re going to run out of fruits and vegetables because they will be rotten before you get groceries again. If for some reason, going weekly doesn’t work for you and your family, you can figure out another frequency, but make sure to determine one so you’re not stopping by the grocery store all the time. Thus, spending more gas and money than you should.
Related: 4 Fun Ways to Save Money as a Family
#2. Make a list and stick to it
When my husband and I used to go grocery shopping without a list, we’d make sure to walk by every single aisle in the store so we would see everything they had, because you never know what you’re going to need, right? Wrong! You do if you have a list.
One day, we said “enough is enough” and started bringing a list with us. We realized it was just waaaay too much food and a lot of it ended up going to the trash can because they were bad before we even got to them.
We also realized that when we were hungry and didn’t have a list to stick to, we would just grab everything that had mouth-watering images on the package!?
#3. Try to cook as much as you can from what you already have, before going to the grocery store again
Yes, I know that it’s not always possible to cook or eat everything you bought before you go to the store again. Usually, you still have a couple things to whip up a recipe together, but some of the other ingredients are missing. I get it!
But if every time you run out of one single ingredient, you run to the store, you’re going to end up coming back from there with a ton of other ingredients you didn’t need. So hold on… Try to be creative and come up with new recipes and new meals with what you already have at home.
If you have to go to the store, it’s fine! Just go. But like I said, try to cook and eat as much as you can from what you already have at home. Every time I force myself to do that, I not only end up learning a new recipe, but I also use ingredients that were being completely neglected on my pantry shelves.
#4. Define the food budget
How much are you willing to spend monthly to feed your family? In our home, we have a budget for food, cleaning products, and personal care items. We’re able to eat healthy food with this budget, but we’re only able to stay at this limit if we’re extremely intentional about selecting what we buy.
We also don’t pay for groceries with credit or debit cards. Having paper money, allows us to see and feel exactly what’s coming out of our wallet! This helps us keep track of our spending and make sure we don’t go over our budget.
If you don’t yet have a food budget, here’s something you can do to help you figure out how much would be a good budget for your family:
- If you pay for your groceries with credit/debit cards at the moment, go on your bank statement and add all of your grocery store expenses. How much was that? Take note of this total. This will be your first step.
- If you pay for groceries with cash, like we do, it will be a little bit trickier for you to find out how much you spend monthly, this first time. You’ll have to be diligent and write it down every single time you go to the store. Take note of the total amount you spend.
Now, if you feel comfortable with the total you discovered by keeping track of your expenses, awesome. You’re done here. Just make sure to stay within that limit every month.
But if you’re not at all happy with that, your next step would be working your way down. If you’d like to spend less than you do now, try reducing $100 in your budget each month until you’re comfortable with the total. Once you figure out a sweet spot for your family, you can a) withdraw that money each month so it’s easier for you to control your spending, or b) keep an eye on your bank account every time you shop to make sure you’re on track.
An easy way to do that is breaking down your monthly budget by week. For example, if your total grocery budget is $500 per month, you know you can spend about $125/week. If you spend more than that, you know you have to spend less next week to compensate. If you spend less than that, you can either spending more next week or you can celebrate the win and transfer that extra money to your savings. Sound good?
If you define a frequency and a budget, you know exactly how much you can spend each time you go to the store. If you go weekly to the store and your monthly budget is $500, allowing you to spend $125 each week, you know that each time you go to the store you can spend $125. This makes it a lot easier for you to stay within your budget.
#5. Use free grocery pickup services
Several grocery stores nowadays offer free grocery pickup services. This means you can make your grocery order online, their team will put it all together (for free) and all you have to do is show up and pick it up. Isn’t this neat?
There are tons of benefits to using these free pickup services. Here are some I can think of:
- It saves you A LOT of time;
- It saves you money because you don’t have to walk around the tempting aisles of the store;
- If you have kids, it saves you from major public temper tantrums;
- It allows you to see the total of your order as you’re adding products to the cart, so you can always remove or add more things to stay on budget.
- If they don’t have a product you ordered, they will usually upgrade it to a better option for free.
I don’t know about you, but I often use Walmart grocery pickup services. It’s very convenient for me and I love when they don’t have what I ordered because they always add something better. ?
[This post is not sponsored by Walmart in any way. I just really enjoy and benefit from their service.]
Now that you know 5 amazing grocery shopping tips that will save you a lot of money, what’s the first one you’re thinking about implementing in your family’s life?
For a quick refresher, let’s see what the 5 of them are, one more time: determining your grocery shopping frequency, making a list and sticking to it, cooking and eating from what you have at home before going to the store again, defining a food budget, and finally, using free grocery pickup services.
Are there any tips that you already practice? If so, which ones? Would you be so kind to share with us any other tips you might have on saving money on groceries? We’d love to know what you do!