As a mom of five, four of which are teenagers, I know first-hand how easy it is for the grocery spending to get out of hand. As a Dave Ramsey Preferred Financial Coach, grocery spending is one of the most difficult areas for clients to get under control. Here are 11 tips that either our family or my clients have implemented to get things under control.
Meal plan- I do the entire month at one time to save time during the month. The meals might be moved around on certain days, but it allows us to know what we are doing that week and how to make a list for shopping.
Use Items on hand- A huge way we cut costs was making sure we inventoried everything on-hand and made our meal plan using those items up first. This also prevents waste cost.
Grocery list-Having a list helps you avoid impulse shopping and buy what you actually need.
Eat before going- Everything looks great in the store when your hungry and it’s easy to over buy.
Pay attention to sales-Sometimes we will stock up on some items and put them in the freezer. This also allows us to pick up fresh items on sale that are in season.
Avoid pre-cut produce-It’s almost double the cost and doesn’t really save any time.
Pay attention for price differences for things eye level versus on the top shelf or lower shelves. Most items eye level are the most expensive.
Pay cash-It’s always painful to use cash vs. a card. This also lets you know exactly what you have left to spend.
On-line ordering for grocery pick-up- Some of my clients will create a separate checking account and put the grocery money in that account. They then use their debit card to order groceries on-line. This allows you to see the cart adding up and remove items to stay within budget.
Buy generic-For some products there is a quality difference. (Don’t mess with my Heinz ketchup) However, for most products it’s the exact same product in different packaging and will save you a lot of money.
Who does the shopping matters-Who is better at sticking to the grocery list and budget? That’s the person that should do the shopping.
By implementing these tips, ourselves we have lowered our grocery spending by $400 per month. That’s almost $5,000 a year that can go towards one of our other financial goals.
Pick a couple at a time to try them out to see what the biggest impact is for your family. Do you have other tips you use to save on grocery money? What financial goal would you love to apply the savings towards?