How to Save Money on Groceries: 5 Tips for Reducing Your Budget

Allens Ever After
by Allens Ever After

With the rising food costs, people are struggling to feed their families; prices are increasing while salaries remain the same. My name is Tish, and I'm going to talk about five ways you can cut your grocery bill in half. I will also show you how I prepare for my $50 grocery budget challenge.

Today, I'm going to show you how you can do all those things and save money simultaneously. Let's get started with these tips.

1. Shop your pantry

Tip number one is to first shop your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. We want to see what we already have on hand before we go to the store.

One thing that allows me to do the $50 grocery budget challenges is always stock up on meat when it goes on sale. Because I know that my family loves chicken legs and chicken thighs, I always wait for them to go on sale.

Creating a weekly meal plan

2. Create a weekly meal plan

So now that we've shopped our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, the next thing we want to do is to create a weekly meal plan. You know your family; you know what they like and don't like. Knowing this information makes meal planning so easy. I know my family doesn't eat Brussels sprouts, so I'm not going to add that.

We're creating your weekly meal plan. You want to get the most bang for your buck, making the least expensive meal possible, but a meal that would also fill your family's bellies. 

Some cheap example meals would be red beans and rice, stuffed bell peppers, salads, those types of things. Often I do themed meals like no Meat Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Family Meal Wednesdays, and so forth. 

Ways to save money on groceries

3. Create a grocery list

Now that we have our weekly meal plan written out, the next thing we want to do is create our grocery list. When writing my grocery list, I have everything categorized, including meat, produce, bread, dairy, and so forth. Usually, what I do is write everything that I need in categories. I write it out on a piece of paper.

Once I write my grocery list out, over in the notebook, I have everything separated by store. So under Aldi, I know the layout. I have everything categorized according to how Aldi is laid out and how I go up and down the aisles.

Writing your grocery list according to how the store is laid out prevents you from going down unnecessary aisles. When you go down unnecessary aisles, you are picking up things that you do not intend to get, things that are not on the grocery list, and something that will send you over budget. 

One thing I do when shopping at the grocery store is write down the price of everything. As I pick it up, I write the price down, and when I write it down, I round it up to the nearest 10th. For example, if I pick up a box of cereal for $3.97, I will round that up to $4, giving me a three-cent buffer. I do that for every item I pick up; I round it to the nearest ten. That way, I know how much everything costs before I get to the register. 

Tips to save money on groceries

4. Never go shopping on an empty stomach

Tip number four is never to go shopping on an empty stomach. This is an important tip. When you go shopping on an empty stomach, everything looks like it tastes good.

You start grabbing things, picking up junk stuff you don't need, and you have busted your budget before you know it. So do not go out shopping on an empty stomach, because you will pick up something you do not need. 

Before I leave the house, I make sure I eat something. If I don't have time to eat something, I will make a smoothie, put flaxseed and chia seeds in whatever smoothie I make, take it with me, and drink it on the way to the store. By the time I get there, I'm full. 

5. Carry cash

Carry cash. Tip number five is the surest way to keep you from going over budget. Tip number five is to carry that money with you, whatever you set your budget.

Leave those debit cards, those credit cards in a safe place, but not in your purse when you are inside the store because when you take that inside the store with you, you will go over budget.

When you have cash and know that's the only way you have to pay for those groceries, you will pay more attention to that grocery list. You will not pick up all these things that should not be on that grocery list. It will make you think twice about getting that $7 tub of ice cream or those $10 bags of chips.

When I started carrying cash to pay for groceries, I was nervous because I knew I would pick up all kinds of stuff and stick it in the buggy. In the back of my mind, when I knew that I had cash, I did not attempt to pick up anything extra. 

How to save money on groceries

Let's recap. Step number one: We will first shop our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Step number two, we are going to create our weekly meal plan. Step number three, once we make our meal plan, we will write our budget. Step four: We will eat before we get in that vehicle and drive to the store. We're going to be full when we go grocery shopping. Step number five, carry cash. If you don't take cash, only spend the set amount of money that you've budgeted. 

Follow those five steps to save money on groceries. Make sure to do every tip to get into the habit of consistently saving money every time you go grocery shopping. I do this to stick to my $50-a-week grocery budget; you can too. 

Join the conversation
2 of 30 comments
  • Debbie Debbie on Sep 18, 2022

    Another hint:: Plan your meals around the grocery ads. Did this for years plus all the above when our kids were at home. So, meat sales to stock up on also became the meat for the weekly meals plus extra for the freezer. Debbie

  • Janet Janet on Sep 20, 2022

    We only have a small grocery meat market and 3 Dollar stores. We have to go over a mountain nearly an hour away to find a bigger store. Dollar General and Family Dollar have a $5 off $25 coupon most Saturdays, so we use it to get milk, eggs and cheese or a few canned goods. We have to wait and get the bulk of our groceries when we go to the doctor or have another reason to travel as it is always going to take a tank of gas to go grocery shopping.