*There may be affiliate links in this post. (Please see our legal pages, link in the footer, for more information.) We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Not got time for couponing and visiting five different stores to see who is stocking the cheapest apples this week?
I hear ya and I think I speak for everyone when I say ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’.
What we need is effective, but quick ways to reduce our grocery bill.
Which is exactly what I will be delivering in this post. So carry on reading if you’re ready to slash your grocery bill to make those debt free early retirement dreams that little bit closer.
1) Meal planning
Let’s have a look at the most effective method of saving money on your grocery bill first.
So what’s so money saving about meal planning?
Well you see, by deciding exactly what you will be eating in the next week or month you will know exactly what to buy to make those meals.
Suddenly all that wasted food that you never get round to eating will be old news because you will have only purchased items necessary for meals that week.
I have tried this method and meal planning seriously works to cut those costs.
You know what else it does, makes you eat healthier because you end up cooking more rather than just grabbing a take out because you can’t be bothered to decided what to make for dinner that night.
So health boosting and money saving, I’m in!
Don’t think that meal planning has to be super complicated. At it’s most basic level all you need to do is write down what you plan to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next week.
Breakfast and lunch is super easy because you tend to eat similar things for those meals. Think cereal, scrambled eggs, toast, sandwiches and salads.
Dinner does take a little more thinking about but have a quick brain storm of the sorts of dinner everyone in the household enjoys and then just decided which days you’re going to have them
See super easy.
Before I go shopping I will have a look at what I already have in the kitchen and then using my meal plan write a shopping list of the extra ingredients I need to get.
That way I’m using things I already have in stock while also only buying what I need.
Major money saving score!
2) Eat less meat
I’m going to put politics, the environment, animal rights and climate change aside because I know the topic of ‘eating less meat’ can get a bit heated. (Understatement of the century right.)
Basically meat is expensive and if you eat less you will save more on your grocery bill. It’s that simple.
Now I’m not suggesting that you should never eat meat again, although if you think that’s something for you then go for it. But even just one meat free meal per week can make a massive different to your bottom line!
Plus meat free meals can be absolutely delicious. In fact one of my favorite meals ever is a pea risotto, yeah I get that’s a bit fancy for a weeknight meal but I’m just saying how yummy meat free can be.
Some meat free meal ideas:
– Margareta pizza (yes that movie night favorite is just cheese and tomato sauce on a pizza base, not the healthiest but great and cheap for a treat).
– Risotto (Pea, mushroom, asparagus it’s so yummy and I just had to include it for that reason, good for a fancy meal when you’re trying to impress).
– Vegetable curry (packed full of flavor and full of health from all those veggies).
– Creamy veggie pasta (white cheese pasta sauce, plus some delicious veggies and some pasta and you have one hearty and yummy meal).
– Mushroom lasagna (because mushrooms can be so meaty in texture they make an excellent meat substitute and who doesn’t love lasagna).
– Veggie burgers (you can make your own, have a look for some awesome recipes on Pinterest, or you can buy them premade. Either way they make an awesome alternative to the traditional beef burger).
3) Bulk buying
Bulk buying can be an incredible way to save money on your shop. Sure you have to shell out a bit more to begin with but the savings are really worth it.
Stores like Costo are your best bet for bulk buying. Although online places like Amazon or even Ebay can also be an awesome place to stock up on foods and household items that your family uses a lot of.
The best savings with bulk buying are normally found on things like household cleaning items.
This is something I do and it’s oddly comforting you have enough washing powder and toilet roll to last six months…
4) Make meals from scratch
Pre-made food (microwave meals, ready meals, premade sandwiches, salads or desserts) are SO expensive in comparison to buying the ingredients and making the meal from scratch.
Particularly if you bulk buy some of the ingredients like in the tip above.
Plus a great idea is to then bulk cook a load of meals and put them in the freezer. Meaning you can have the convenience of ready meals without all the added expense or negative health effects.
Trust me it’s so worth cooking from scratch, both your wallet and health will thank me.
If you’re panicking right now because you literally have no idea how to cook don’t worry. You can find out how to do everything on the internet nowadays.
I advise you hop over to Youtube and type in your favorite meal, then watch a few different videos on how people make them.
Once you’ve got the general gist pick one video and make the meal whilst following along.
Be warned you are bound to have a few duff meals, especially in the beginning, but don’t lose faith. This is a skill that anyone can learn, yourself included.
5) Say goodbye to snacks, deserts and flavored drinks
If your main meals are healthy and fulfilling then you just don’t need snacks or desserts. While flavored drinks like pop or juice are just plain unhealthy, you should be drinking water instead (although let’s be honest you already know this…).
Some households have snacks, desserts and flavored drinks everyday. If you’re serious about cutting your grocery bill it’s time to say goodbye to these items. All they are doing is depleting your wallet and increase your waistline. Not good.
Try going down to only having desserts and snacks on the weekend as a treat and see what a different that makes to your grocery bill.
Our household is so use to not having any of those items now we really don’t notice it at all. Our meals are super nutritious and filling so it’s not like we’re hungry, plus we all feel so much healthier as a result of not filling up on junk and drinking empty calories and liquid sugar.
Note: I know I said no more snacks but fresh fruit is the exception to the rule. It’s so good for you, so feel free to get your fill of fruit if you do get hungry, that or chopped vegetables also makes a great and healthy snack.
6) Stock up on items when things are on sale
Honestly you can make incredible savings here because stores will seriously slash prices expecting you to only buy enough for the next week or so. But if you instead buy enough to last you months (only non-perishable items of course) you will be beating the supermarkets at their own game.
However this will back fire if you buy everything on sale. Do not do this. Make sure you’re only buying things your family will actually use.
So don’t kid yourself that your family are going to suddenly start loving porridge if they have never eaten porridge in their lives. Just no. Only buy things you already use and love.
7) Grow your own
Growing even a tiny portion of the food you eat each week can make a huge different to your bottom line. However you do need to be clever about what you grow.
For example salad leaves like lettuce or cut and come again are a very high value crop because it’s sold and brought for a high cost per kg/lbs. But it’s so easy to grow! Whereas potatoes are super cheap to buy in the grocery store and take up loads of space to grow so they really aren’t worth your time.
You can grow things like lettuce and salad leaves in a pot on your windowsill or just in a bed in the garden. Buy a bag of compost and some seeds, plant, water and wait. Within around 6 to 12 weeks you will have a crop you can harvest and eat!
High value crops you can grow super easily but cost a lot to buy are:
– Lettuce/salad leaves
– Fine beans
All of the above can be grown in pots if you don’t have a garden or just don’t want the hassle of maintaining beds. A quick search on Pinterest and you will have all the information you need on how to grow them.
So what do you think, can you slash your grocery bill now? I know you can literally save hundreds using the above tips because I’ve done it!
Have any tips of your own? Tell me on the comments!
Plus don’t forget to pin this so it can help someone else!