By: Amber Moore
I don’t know about you, but we have 4 kids in our house and while the younger 2 (who are 2 and 11 months) don’t dig into the pantry too much, the oldest 2 make up for that (and then some)! Sometimes I wonder if there will ever ben enough food to satisfy their hunger!
At one point, we were spending close to $1,000 per month in groceries, OUCH! Some of you might be looking at that number and thinking that for a family of 6, that’s not bad, or perhaps that you are wondering why your number is higher than that. Now, I realize there are some areas with an extremely high cost of living or some people that live overseas and don’t have the same availability as those here in the lower 48, BUT I do believe that for a family of 6, you could live on $600 or less in groceries per month and I will tell you how.
3 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Budget in Half
1st – Meal Plan
You might think this is too time consuming or confusing, but its really not! And this is by far the quickest way to watch your grocery bill drop! There are so many meal plans already completed out there with recipes and grocery lists for any size family. Even healthy meal plans (so no more saying you can’t eat healthy on a budget). Here is a great meal plan (2-weeks) for family of 6.
But maybe you want to make your own. It’s simple. First, either download a calendar, use your google calendar, get your wall calendar, etc. Then figure out some good, budget-friendly recipes and start placing them on days on the calendar. Pinterest is great for this! Personally, I do 2 weeks at a time, or meal plan for everyday that falls within the pay period. Remember to be intentional with what meals you are planning: for example, if you know Mondays are hectic for your family, plan an easy crock pot meal. Don’t forget to plan things like breakfast and lunch as well as “leftover” days (usually one day a week where you take out all the leftovers from the week and everyone just kind makes their own hodge-podge plate).
Finally, as you are placing those meals on their days, start a list of ingredients you will need. As you need more of that same ingredient for other meals decide whether 1 package will be enough or if you need to increase quantities.
2nd – Change Your Eating Habits
If you are eating out all the time, that adds up fast! Make things at home, and more importantly, make things from scratch to avoid boxed, processed foods that are unhealthy. You can even make things like your own spice mixes and condiments!
Fresh is best! If you can start a small garden, that is a great way to save some money long-term and make sure you are eating fresh food that hasn’t been covered in chemicals. However, some people just don’t have that option, that’s okay. You can get all of your fresh ingredients at your local grocery store. The general rule of thumb is to stick to the outside and avoid the middle aisles. Fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, etc. are almost always found along the outside aisles (except for Aldi).
3rd – Shop Cheap and Look for Sales
If you have an Aldi store near you, I highly suggest making the switch. There might be 1 or 2 things that you can’t find, but for the most part, they will have everything you need and at a savings of up to 40% (location depending).
If you aren’t near an Aldi make sure you are checking all of the local sales and stocking up when something comes up at a great price. There are “suggested price lists” out there to let you know if what you are getting is really a good deal.
Also, try to use any coupons you get. Many times the stores include these in their sale catalog which you can get either in your local paper or at the store itself. Many also offer online accounts where you can save the coupons to your account to use when you check out.
Interested to find out if these steps would really work for you? Take a month to evaluate. First do your normal shopping routine and track for 2 weeks what you spend on groceries. Then make a meal plan complete with an ingredient or shopping list for the next 2 weeks (plan on making as much from scratch as you can) and then compare your shopping list to the local sales to make the most of your money (or shop at Aldi). Track what you spend those 2 weeks on groceries. I’d love to hear your stories and how these tips helped or didn’t!
As someone who always made people ask, “How does she do it?”, I had to learn how to fit more into my day without completely losing my mind. Now I’m excited to share how I did that and what I’ve learned with everyone else. I just want to see people able to live the life they want, doing the things they want, without the stress they think is normal. I want everyone to experience Peace of Time.