Saving money on groceries every single month is a quick and easy way to make a huge difference in your finances over the year. Why? Because food is one of your family’s biggest expenses. And, the easiest one to change.
There’s not a quick and easy way to reduce your mortgage, insurance, and auto expenses, but we can all immediately reduce our grocery spending — starting right now.
There are a few things you can do every week that will save you the most money on groceries. Without them, you just might be losing out on hundreds of dollars of grocery savings.
Read along to see some quick tips to save big money on food.
How to Save Money on Groceries Every Month
#1.) Check Grocery Store Ads
This may be obvious, and you’ve probably already thought about it, but it is one of the most important things you can do.
I check the ads every single week for my 2 favorite grocery stores. By checking every single week, you will start to get a better idea of what good prices are and how often certain items go on sale.
What other reasons should you be checking the ads? Well, it will allow you to stock up on things when they’re on sale, and then plan your meals around those things.
Look on the front page for the loss leaders, these are going to be the things you’ll get the best price on, then check for any produce sales so that you’re not overpaying for your fruits and vegetables.
Most of us don’t have time to run around to a bunch of stores, but we can probably go to two of them if the savings are worth it. Sometimes, I’ll even send my husband to one and I do the other.
#2.) Make Loss Leaders Your Friend
I buy the loss leaders if they’re worth the money, but only if I have space.
Once I see what items are on sale at a great price, I decide whether we’d actually use that item and see if we have the space to store it. For example, if chicken breast is a great price, but I already have several packages of frozen chicken, then I’ll pass.
Here are the loss leaders I typically buy:
- Chicken Breast
- Pork Roast
- Salad Mix
Do you notice that these are all staples that nearly every family can use?
This is intentional on the part of the grocery stores. They want you shopping with them and are willing to give you a great deal in order to get you to spend your money at their store.
You don’t have to do all your shopping in their store, though. You can just buy the loss leaders, then do the rest of your shopping at another store that might have better overall prices.
Remember, though, that there’s no point in buying something that you won’t get around to using. Sometimes I overbuy because something is a great deal, but then end up throwing it away because we couldn’t use it up in time. That usually happens with produce, so be intentional about using the produce that you buy.
Manage the Groceries at Home
#3.) Use The Groceries In Your Refrigerator
It’s extremely important to review and organize your refrigerator.
This is one of the most important aspects of grocery savings. I do this every day or every couple of days and it only takes a few minutes.
Good management of your refrigerator keeps you from throwing food out and wasting your money.
Pay attention to what leftovers you have, deli products, and especially the produce that needs to be used. How many times have you had to throw away a whole head of lettuce? No judgment … I’ve done it plenty. We can always do better, though.
Here are some ideas for using up items before they need to be tossed:
- Make a salad for dinner
- Eat leftovers for lunch
- Serve veggies at snacktime
- Have a smorgasbord night
- Do a snacky dinner ( set out meat, cheese, veggies, dips, fruit, crackers, etc.)
- Hide things in a smoothie
#4.) Plan Meals Around Groceries You Already Have
At the beginning of each week, take a look at what is in the freezer and the pantry, then decide what you can make with what you already have.
Remember to first use anything that might go bad.
After planning a few meals, take the meat out of the freezer and stick it in the refrigerator to thaw, then add any needed ingredients to a shopping list. We don’t always know which night we’ll eat each meal, but I keep a list of the meals we plan to eat for the week.
If you have activities scheduled in the evenings, it’s a really good idea to plan out which night you’ll eat what. That way, you can plan super simple dinners on busy days and more complicated meals on days that you have a little extra time.
More Reading to Help Save Money on Groceries:
- How to Make a Frugal Meal Plan
- 15 Frugal Pantry Staples That Will Save You Money
- How to Set Up a Grocery Price Book
- 10 Killer Ways to Save Money on Groceries
As you can see, these 4 steps don’t take that much time. They are just small actions that you can easily turn into habits. And these habits will make a big difference every month.
They say that “Results can only change when we change our consistent actions and make them habits.” -Billy Cox
Start using this process today and you’ll not only waste less food but you’ll also set yourself up for great grocery savings.
Saving money on groceries is the best thing we can do to help our families stay on budget. Because … how much we spend on food is the easiest thing we can control.