How to Reduce Your Grocery Bill: Budgeting & Money-Saving Tips

​​I have dealt with food for a long time. I am going to teach you how to reduce your grocery bill immediately. If you change one thing and make it your way of life, your grocery bills will be significantly reduced week after week after week.

I used to own a 120-seater restaurant, so I know how to budget. It means I know how to reduce costs and reduce waste. I have been doing this for so long that my actual expenditure for groceries is minimal. I don't spend what I don't want to spend, and I don't spend what I can't afford to spend.

1. Food waste

I have ongoing conversations with my friends and with colleagues who simply want to be able to reduce their grocery bills.

When I ask them if they're eating all this food, the answer is not usually yes. A lot of it is going to waste. We can't justify doing that. You've got to make the most out of whatever you have got. This is what I'm going to show you how to do.

2. Make a list

Before you even leave the house on your shopping day, you're going to grab yourself a piece of paper. I've got a grocery shopping list, and I've got a weekly meal plan as well. I'm going to use these simultaneously. I do my meal plan for the week and then do my budget and see what I need to go and buy. Now, this is taking it a step further.

3. Check your fridge

The first thing that you're going to do before you even get out the door is open up your fridge. I'm going to open my fridge, and I'm looking to see what I've got in here. Now, I have got red peppers, which need to be used up ASAP.

I have some Bolognese sauce that I cooked a double batch of, so I can use that over the next couple of days. That will stay in the fridge for maybe three days, or I could put it in the freezer. I can use that as a meal. I've got some fresh peas and some chicken that I've defrosted that's been in there for the last 12 hours. So I need to be using that up as well.

Fresh groceries

I've got some milk, fruit, potatoes, and some onions. Okay. I've got a defrosted joint of brisket. So I have quite a few things to work with before I even need to go shopping.

It used to be that I would go shopping and buy multiple packs of chicken and steak and freeze them without even thinking. I've already got some in the freezer, and it stays in the freezer too long. It's not great. It needs to get thrown away.

So I needed to put a stop to that. I have got some pretty sorry-looking broccoli that's been in there a bit, but that's okay. These peppers and tomatoes could also do with using up over the next few days. They do last quite a while because they're in the fridge, and they've been prepped.

4. Check your pantry

The next thing you'll want to do is open up your cupboard, look, and see what you've got in there as well. I am one who will generally encourage you to buy something in bulk to buy it multiple times over.

If you can afford it, however, it's pretty silly going out doing that, paying a premium for something. Don't just go and buy something if you've got stuff already in your cupboard.

I tend to buy canned tomatoes on their offer. I've got quite a few in here now, so I know I can probably do some sort of chicken curry with the chicken I've got.

Stocking a pantry

As always, I've got a fully stocked cupboard with herbs and spices. That should be your absolute staple when you're trying to save yourself some money. I've got rice, which is fine. I can use that.

I could do with maybe getting some more canned sweet corn. My children like canned sweet corn. So I know where I'm up to now. Let's have another look. I've checked, and I've got about a dozen eggs left there, so that's sorted for breakfast. I'm good for those things, and I know my cereal is fine as well.

5. Create your meal plan

Look through what needs to be used up before you even walk out the door, and then start to put together your meal plan based on that. That's what I'm going to do now, thinking about the ingredients I already have. Then I'm going to compose my shopping list and stick to it.

If you have checked your fridge, maybe even check your deep freeze for anything that needs to be defrosted. I've got plenty defrosted in my fridge at the moment. I'm pretty happy with what I've got. I have got a good selection from my cupboard. I've checked, and I've got rice, and I've got pasta. I have got a loaf of bread in my freezer, so I will take that out.

I will have a look and see what I can make with what I know I've got. My meals will be planned around what I already have so I don't waste food.

How to reduce your grocery bill

6. My shopping list

So now when I go shopping, the only things really that I need to get are a few things for my meal plan. I don't need to deviate, and I don't need to go off course. I can stick with this, and I will be very happy. I can guarantee this is how to reduce your grocery bill.

How to reduce your grocery bill

I hope you're going to give it a go. Try it for one week, look at what you've got, write down anything else you need, and go from there and see how much you can save. Let me know in the comments section if you're going to try it.

Join the conversation
  • Maria Maria on Jul 01, 2023

    Every so often i skip the weekly Shop Rite trip, i shop in my own pantry and freezers. When the pandemic started I purchased a chest freezer so we did not have to go to the stores often; eventually i had to organize the big mess in this chest freezer, looking around my basement i found four brand new plastic grocery totes that fit nicely in the freezer. One tote for beef, one for chicken, one for pork and seafood, the fourth one was for breads. the 3 meat the totes fit perfectly on the bottom of the freezer and the bread one was on top. To keep the bags for folding/closing i put cardboard on the sides of the bags. I worked very well...

  • Maria Maria on Jul 01, 2023

    PS, you have great hints, hopefully people will use them.