10 Expert Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget



Some love to do it and others absolutely hate doing it — we’re talking about grocery shopping

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When it comes to food budgeting for you or for your whole family, it can make anyone’s head spin.

But who says grocery shopping should be difficult when you’re on a budget? The good news is that no, you don’t have to sacrifice delicious food. With a little advanced planning and creativity, you can eat balanced, healthy meals that your whole family loves.

Preventive cardiology dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, shares 10 tips for smart shopping — and how to avoid draining your wallet.

Contents

1. Shop for nonperishable items online

Products like protein bars and dried fruits are ideal for buying from online retailers like Amazon or your local store’s online site. It saves you money because you won’t have to pay food tax and if shipping is free, that’s an added incentive. Just be sure to check expiration dates. 

2. Buy perishable foods in quantities you’ll use

Spoiled food that’s tossed into the garbage is no bargain. Try to buy fresh produce in small portions that you know you will eat within a week. For example, it’s OK to split up bananas or grapes according to how many you need. Instead of buying mostly fresh produce, look for frozen fruits and vegetables, which are less perishable. and allow for portion-controlled servings. It also makes for healthy snacks and meals easily accessible, so you won’t have an excuse not to load up on your fruits and veggies.

3. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season

You’ll not only save cash, but you’ll also enjoy the most wholesome food on the market. Print out a helpful list of produce and stick it on your fridge. This way, you’ll always be aware of what’s in season when you head to the grocery store.

Who doesn’t love supporting their local businesses? Buying locally grown produce helps stimulate your local economy and you can also freeze it into smaller portion sizes. 

4. Buy meat and cereals in bulk

“Each stroke of the knife in processing costs more at checkout,” says Patton. “Buy in bulk and do it yourself to cut the costs.”

Make it a goal to buy your meat and cereal in bulk. Patton recommends buying fresh pork loin and slicing it into low-fat loin chops at home, buying a roast and cubing it into chunks or buying a chicken and cutting it up at home. If you’re not a meat eater, consider beans as a low-cost protein source. Buy oatmeal in bulk instead of individual flavored packs that have added sugar and salt. Plus, they cost more.

5. Be an informed shopper

Keep your budget from inflating by sticking to your grocery list. Use those weekly mailers to plan out your grocery purchases for the week and take some time to compare prices for your favorite food from different stores. This helps prevent impulse buying, which can lead to the quick demise of your food budget

“Forgo ‘buy one, get one free’ offers, too,” says Patton. “Either you’ll wind up buying foods you won’t eat, or you’ll pay an inflated price for the ‘buy’ item to cover the cost of the free one.”

6. Limit your purchase of ready-prepared foods

Convenience is great until you have to pay more for it. Go to the deli or refrigerated sections for ready-made foods only on occasions when you’re willing to pay more for the convenience. You pay a higher price to have someone else prepare the meal, and when you start keeping that in mind while you’re shopping, you’ll start to back away from the prepared food aisle.

7. Clip coupons with caution

Clipping and using coupons can feel like an accomplishment, but on the flip side, coupons may persuade you to purchase items you generally wouldn’t buy. 

“If the coupon is for an item you can use, look for stores that give double coupon redemption for extra savings,” she says. 

8. Use your imagination with leftovers

The possibilities are endless when it comes to using your creativity to work with leftovers. Create soups, casseroles and new dishes with your leftovers to avoid tossing out unused food. If you run short of ideas, browse websites for recipes and just key in your leftover ingredients. 

9. Look for outlet stores such as day-old bakeries

Buying products from these outlet stores can help you stick to your grocery budget. 

“Prices are reduced by more than 50% from store prices,” says Patton. “Bread products freeze well and are versatile. You can use them in sandwiches, in recipes calling for breadcrumbs and for stuffing.”

10. Avoid portion-controlled snack packs

Not only are they more costly, they may not save you calories, either. 

“Remember that fat-free doesn’t mean sugar-free, and vice versa,” she warns. “Always keep an eye out for the labels to decide if these snack packs are worth the splurge.”

FAQs

What is the best way to grocery shop on a budget?

10 Expert Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

  1. Shop for nonperishable items online. …
  2. Buy perishable foods in quantities you’ll use. …
  3. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season. …
  4. Buy meat and cereals in bulk. …
  5. Be an informed shopper. …
  6. Limit your purchase of ready-prepared foods. …
  7. Clip coupons with caution.

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How can I drastically lower my grocery bill?

To help you learn how to grocery shop on a budget, here are six steps to avoid overspending:

  • Eat before you go shopping for groceries. …
  • Make a list before heading to the supermarket. …
  • Avoid taking your children or your spouse to the grocery store. …
  • Use a calculator.

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How can I keep my grocery bill under $30 a week?

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What are some tips to avoid overspending at the grocery store?

Conventional wisdom says you’ll save money by eating at home, rather than going out to restaurants. But according to the Labor Department, grocery prices rose by 13.1% in July from a year before, whereas restaurant prices were up 7.6%.

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Part of a video titled The ultimate shopping list to feed the family for only $100 a week | Sunrise

Statistics Canada numbers show that the average Canadian household spends about $217 per person on food each month. This does not include eating out. If you’re single or live in certain parts of the country, the average will be higher.

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Is it cheaper to eat out or buy groceries?

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How much does one person spend on groceries per month?

Here’s what you can do to spend just $25 a week on groceries: Make a list of your favorite budget-friendly meals and eat those. Pack lunches for work or school instead of eating out. Make your grocery list and menu plan focused on the food that is on sale and what you already have in your kitchen.

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Part of a video titled I ATE FOR A WEEK ON 5 DOLLARS | EXTREME BUDGET CHALLENGE

In the U.S., some of the top cheapest grocery stores are Aldi, Market Basket, WinCo Foods, Food 4 Less, Costco, Walmart and Trader Joe’s.

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What grocery store saves you the most money?

With the 30 day savings rule, you defer all non-essential purchases and impulse buys for 30 days. Instead of spending your money on something you might not need, you’re going to take 30 days to think about it. At the end of this 30 day period, if you still want to make that purchase, feel free to go for it.

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Is going out cheaper than eating at home?

The wash-sale rule prohibits selling an investment for a loss and replacing it with the same or a “substantially identical” investment 30 days before or after the sale. If you do have a wash sale, the IRS will not allow you to write off the investment loss which could make your taxes for the year higher than you hoped.

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What is the 30 day rule?

To avoid having a loss disallowed by the wash sale rule, you can, as the rule essentially points out, wait to purchase, or acquire the same or a substantially identical stock to the one you sold. However, don’t forget that the wash sale rule kicks in 30 days before the sale of the asset and runs 30 days after the sale.

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How do you avoid the wash sale rule?

Should you strive to save even more? Yes, saving $500 per month is good. Given an average 7% return per year, saving five hundred dollars per month for 37 years will end up being $1,000,000. However, with other strategies, you might reach 1 Million USD in 21 years by saving only $500 per month.

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What is the wash rule?

One suggestion is to have saved five or six times your annual salary by age 50 in order to retire in your mid-60s. For example, if you make $60,000 a year, that would mean having $300,000 to $360,000 in your retirement account. It’s important to understand that this is a broad, ballpark, recommended figure.

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How do you avoid the wash sale rule?

What is the 50/30/20 rule? The 50/30/20 rule is an easy budgeting method that can help you to manage your money effectively, simply and sustainably. The basic rule of thumb is to divide your monthly after-tax income into three spending categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings or paying off debt.

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10 Expert Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

10 Expert Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget Some love to do it and others absolutely hate doing it — we’re talking about grocery shopping.  Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy When it comes to food budgeting for you or for your whole family, it can make anyone’s head spin. But who says grocery shopping should be difficult when you’re on a budget? The good news is that no, you don’t have to sacrifice delicious food. With a little advanced planning and creativity, you can eat balanced, healthy meals that your whole family loves. Preventive cardiology dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, shares 10 tips for smart shopping — and how to avoid draining your wallet. 1. Shop for nonperishable items online Products like protein bars and dried fruits are ideal for buying from online retailers like Amazon or your local store’s online site. It saves you money because you won’t have to pay food tax and if shipping is free, that’s an added incentive. Just be sure to check expiration dates.  2. Buy perishable foods in quantities you’ll use Spoiled food that’s tossed into the garbage is no bargain. Try to buy fresh produce in small portions that you know you will eat within a week. For example, it’s OK to split up bananas or grapes according to how many you need. Instead of buying mostly fresh produce, look for frozen fruits and vegetables, which are less perishable. and allow for portion-controlled servings. It also makes for healthy snacks and meals easily accessible, so you won’t have an excuse not to load up on your fruits and veggies. 3. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season You’ll not only save cash, but you’ll also enjoy the most wholesome food on the market. Print out a helpful list of produce and stick it on your fridge. This way, you’ll always be aware of what’s in season when you head to the grocery store. Who doesn’t love supporting their local businesses? Buying locally grown produce helps stimulate your local economy and you can also freeze it into smaller portion sizes.  4. Buy meat and cereals in bulk “Each stroke of the knife in processing costs more at checkout,” says Patton. “Buy in bulk and do it yourself to cut the costs.” Make it a goal to buy your meat and cereal in bulk. Patton recommends buying fresh pork loin and slicing it into low-fat loin chops at home, buying a roast and cubing it into chunks or buying a chicken and cutting it up at home. If you’re not a meat eater, consider beans as a low-cost protein source. Buy oatmeal in bulk instead of individual flavored packs that have added sugar and salt. Plus, they cost more. 5. Be an informed shopper Keep your budget from inflating by sticking to your grocery list. Use those weekly mailers to plan out your grocery purchases for the week and take some time to compare prices for your favorite food from different stores. This helps prevent impulse buying, which can lead to the quick demise of your food budget.  “Forgo ‘buy one, get one free’ offers, too,” says Patton. “Either you’ll wind up buying foods you won’t eat, or you’ll pay an inflated price for the ‘buy’ item to cover the cost of the free one.” 6. Limit your purchase of ready-prepared foods Convenience is great until you have to pay more for it. Go to the deli or refrigerated sections for ready-made foods only on occasions when you’re willing to pay more for the convenience. You pay a higher price to have someone else prepare the meal, and when you start keeping that in mind while you’re shopping, you’ll start to back away from the prepared food aisle. 7. Clip coupons with caution Clipping and using coupons can feel like an accomplishment, but on the flip side, coupons may persuade you to purchase items you generally wouldn’t buy.  “If the coupon is for an item you…

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Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget – CNBC

Here are 5 tips for grocery shopping on a budget now that prices are going upThere are some offers mentioned below that are no longer available.You’ve probably gone to the grocery store recently and noticed you’re paying more for many of the items you purchase regularly, like bacon or cereal. Across the country, food prices have been on the rise, with the Bureau of Labor statistics reporting a 0.3% increase in grocery store and supermarket foods prices from July to August 2021. The rising price of groceries is the result of a number of different factors, from extreme weather events to increases in global shipping costs to shortages in materials used for packing food. In fact, food companies like Tillamook and General Mills have already announced they’re passing price increases on to consumers. For many Americans, increased prices across the board — on groceries, gas, cars, homes and electronics — means they need to become savvier when shopping. Select spoke with two budget food bloggers and compiled some of their best tips for saving money when grocery shopping.1. Be aware of ‘shrinkflation’Food companies have a few ways of dealing with rising costs, and one tried-and-true tactic is “shrinkflation,” where the company makes the packaging smaller while keeping the price the same. On the Reddit thread r/shrinkflation, complaints abound about shrinking maple syrup jugs and cereal boxes. In fact, Tillamook announced that it would be reducing the size of its ice cream carton without changing the price.Since most consumers pay attention to the price of an item and not the price per weight, you might be spending more on food but getting less without even noticing.Erin Chase, a blogger at $5 Dollar Dinners, recommends that people pay close attention to the price per ounce or per pound that’s listed on the store label so you don’t just assume the biggest item or store brands are always cheaper.People should also be aware of other marketing traps that companies use to sell their products, says Chase. Items placed at eye level are often more expensive because companies pay a premium for that space. Don’t go into the grocery store with a plan to purchase the first items you see. Take the time to compare prices before dropping items in your cart.2. Buy less meatThere has been a dramatic increase in the price of meat, poultry and eggs, which has risen nearly 16% from August 2019 to August 2021. Rising meat prices have been caused by many different factors including severe heat and droughts that have killed the hay that cattle eat and wage increases for employees at meat processing plants.If you’re spending more on meat than on other food categories when you go grocery shopping, there’s a simple way to trim your bill: Buy less meat. Meat is often the most expensive component of the meal, says Chase. Cutting down on your meat consumption can be as simple as implementing a few meatless days a week or using less meat in your recipes.You can use half the amount of meat that’s called for in recipe or substitute in cheaper ingredients, suggests Beth Moncel, a blogger at Budget Bytes. For ground beef, sub in beans, lentils and/or mushrooms. For chicken, sub in white beans and extra vegetablesIf you’re not interested in cutting down on your meat consumption but still want to save money, you can also find meat sales at your local grocery stores and build your meal plan around what’s on sale that week, says Chase. 3. Plan aheadGrocery stores are laid out to encourage people to spend more and to spend impulsively — from the seasonal goods you pass by when you enter to the cheap chocolate bars and chips lining the checkout aisles. In order to avoid those impulse purchases, you should make a…

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20 Money-Saving Grocery Shopping Tips

20 Money-Saving Grocery Shopping Tips bowdenimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images A trip to the grocery store may cost you a bit more these days. With rising prices and falling budgets, it’s more challenging than ever to bring home the fixings for balanced meals. But, saving money at the supermarket doesn’t mean giving up nutritious foods. Here are some tips to save you money while nourishing your family. Get into a Frugal Frame of Mind Be healthier to be wealthier. Consider the money you’ll save down the road by eating well today and teaching your family to make wise food choices. Good nutrition could mean fewer days missed from work and school and fewer medical bills now and in the future. Expect to spend a little extra time buying groceries — at least at first. Making lists, checking store flyers and comparing unit prices on packages take time. Give it a few weeks, and you’ll get faster. Make your mantra: Raw, whole and bulk. Raw and whole foods are not prepared or processed so these items usually cost less than buying their precooked and ready-to-eat counterparts. Buying staples in bulk also can mean some huge savings on those family favorites. Look for items such as breakfast cereals, which can really put a dent in your budget. Fall in love with your freezer. When you prepare a recipe, double it and put the extra portions in the freezer. You’ll be glad it’s there on that night when nothing goes as planned. Instead of calling for home delivery, you can zap a delicious meal that you know your family loves. When freezing, add a date to the outside package and eat the items with the earlier dates first. At Home Keep a running grocery list. Each trip to the supermarket will cost you extra time and gas money. By keeping a list, you won’t have to run out for single items. Plus, fewer trips to the grocery store means fewer impulse buys. Plan your menus around the sales. Planning is key. Review several supermarket flyers or look for their specials online. You’ll save the most money on sales for meats. When creating your menus, have a plan for leftovers such as making sandwiches with extra servings of chicken or pot roast. Keep up with your favorite brands on social media. You’ll find some great bargains and coupons this way. Grow your own. Plant tomatoes, peppers, carrots, lettuce and more. Save money, have fun and get better flavor at the same time. Cook more meals at home. You get to control the ingredients, and you won’t have the labor costs involved with restaurant meals.  Identify the foods you can prepare more cheaply at home. There’s no need to buy prepared gelatin, pudding and tea when they’re simple and inexpensive to make yourself. Do a 5-minute inventory of your refrigerator at least twice a week. Find a use for everything before it goes bad. Toss wilting vegetables into a pot of soup or spaghetti sauce. Freeze leftovers for another day and ripe bananas for banana bread or smoothies. At the Grocery Store Use coupons only for foods you normally buy. Find stores that host double- and triple-coupon days and shop during that time. Invite the kids. Shop with your kids and show them how to choose healthy fruits and vegetables. Don’t shop when you’re hungry — or when the kids are hungry. Have snacks before heading out to help you resist those impulse buys. Don’t reward with candy. Don’t use candy as a reward for your kids’ good behavior while shopping. Stock up. Buy extra canned and frozen goods, cereals and even meats and fish when they’re on sale. Wrap meats in a freezer bag before freezing. Limit the use of pre-packaged foods, chips, cookies, candy, and soft drinks or sugary beverages. Buy generic. Store brands often are as good or better than the pricier name brand. Compare ingredients lists and Nutrition Facts panels. Check unit prices or prices per serving. Search high and low because often the least expensive items…

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25 Budget Grocery Shopping Tips to Save Money

25 Budget Grocery Shopping Tips to Save MoneyBy Julie Jaggernath Have you noticed how much of your overall budget you spend on groceries? Grocery shopping is a significant expense for most families and households, but there are ways to make it more affordable.   Here are 25 tips to save money on groceries when you’re shopping with a budget: How to Make Wise Grocery Shopping Choices Shop on a full stomach. You’ll buy less snacks and/or things you don’t usually buy – and only buy groceries, not gifts and all the extra stuff, at the grocery store! Go armed with a list and stick to it, especially if your kids are “helping”. Plan your meals for the week before you shop and then buy what’s on the menu. Start with planning for 3 or 4 days if all week seems too much. Shop only once a week. You’ll tend to spend more if you stop at the store every day or several times a week. Shop when you have energy and aren’t worn out from a busy day. It’s easier to focus and make wise choices when you’ve got energy and aren’t preoccupied. Return your bottles and cans for the deposit that you paid. If you’ve got kids, get them to help with this job and let them keep the cash they earn. Shop in familiar stores when you’re tired, stressed or in a hurry. You’ll find what you need and be able to get out with what you need quickly. Plan Ahead to Save Money on Food and Grocery Shopping Plan meals so that you have leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze leftovers for a quick meal another day. Package your own treats, juices and snacks. Buy the large package or snacks and a box of baggies and make your own individually wrapped packages to grab on the run. Buy less canned and packaged convenience foods and shred your own lettuce and cheese (cheeses often freeze well too!). Clean out your fridge and cupboards once a month. Use up what you bought before buying more. Organize your food storage cupboards and drawers. If you don’t know what you have or can’t find what you bought, you’ll end up buying more of the same unnecessarily. If you stock up, watch expiry dates and package the food to preserve it as long as needed. If you buy large packages or meat, pre–cook or marinate it and then freeze it to speed up meal times. If you know that you’ve got food ready at home, it’s less tempting to eat out. Spend some time once a week washing and/or cutting up fruit and vegetables. This will speed up dinner and lunch preparations and provide healthy snacks that are ready to go. Shop with a Budget and Save Money at the Grocery Store Don’t buy snacks on the run. They are often less healthy and more expensive. Get creative and try new foods. You may find less expensive food that you enjoy just as much! Shop with a calculator and add things up as you put them in your cart. If you’re shopping with kids, give them the job to tally what’s in the cart. It will help you stick to your spending plan. Learn how to cook or bake. Hit up a family member for help or take a class. Buy non–food grocery items like detergent or garbage bags at a discount store. Only buy what you need and can afford; 3-for-1 is only a good deal if you can use three. Price check and shop around for discounts on items you buy regularly. Use store and manufacturer coupons when you can. Consider using one of these grocery apps on either a smartphone or tablet.  Remember that smaller sizes can sometimes be a good deal. Do the math, either on your phone or with your calculator. Don’t automatically overlook no-name or store brands. Many are made by the brand name companies, just with a different label. Even if it’s “on sale,” it’s only a good buy if you will use it! If You Only Try One Tip to Save Money on Grocery Shopping If you only want…

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How to Save Money on Groceries 18 Min Read | Aug 10, 2022 If you feel like the price of groceries has gotten out of control, you’re not going crazy. Our State of Personal Finance study found that 84% of people have noticed higher prices at the grocery store in the last three months. And they’re right. Since July 2021, the price of groceries has jumped almost 11%!1 While some of those price hikes were because of food shortages from panic buying and factory shutdowns, the price surges are still happening (gee, thanks inflation). In July 2022, food prices increased 1% from June.2 That’s nuts! And it can make figuring out how to save money on groceries feel almost impossible. But it’s not just the higher prices. Sometimes just walking into the grocery store can tempt you to blow your grocery budget. Maybe it’s the fluorescent lighting, those flashy product labels or that squeaky wheel on the cart that messes with your sanity—and your budget. Sorry, we can’t do anything about that wheel, but we can give you some tips on how to save money on groceries. How Much Do People Spend on Groceries Each Month?  The average cost of monthly groceries for one adult on the thrifty plan ranges from $215 to $288.3 And when it comes to a family of four, the average cost for their monthly grocery bill shoots up to $932.4 Yikes! Try our free Meal Planner to save money on groceries! Those averages might come from a lack of budgeting or from the insane price of groceries. Still, there’s no denying grocery prices are going up (and might keep going up), so is there a way to figure out how to save money on groceries in 2022? Yep—pull up a chair . . . How to Save Money on Groceries  Sure, grocery prices are hitting ridiculous prices that make you want to cry. But you don’t have to give up and toss your budget out the window. And you definitely don’t have to spend an arm and a leg (or starve!). Here are 30 easy ways to go grocery shopping on a budget! 1. Redefine dinner.  If the word dinner makes you picture a big homemade meal with a nice cut of meat, two steaming sides of fresh veggies from the farmers market, a warm loaf of French bread, and a chocolate dessert—chill out and give yourself a break. This isn’t 1952, and supper doesn’t have to be a big feast. Your family will survive on BLTs, beans, omelets or a big salad a few times a week. Don’t be afraid of serving simple meals or doing breakfast for dinner to make your groceries stretch. Kids think it’s fun to eat pancakes for dinner—so take advantage of that. Eggs are cheap, and you can whip them up into different dishes like frittatas and quiches if you’re feeling fancy. Or keep it simple with some egg salad sandwiches. Just a little rethinking of the last meal of the day can shrink your guilt and your grocery budget. Plus, you’ll get a lot of time back by not preparing a three-course meal every night. Freedom! 2. Crunch some numbers while you shop.  If you keep a running tally of how much money is in your cart, you’ll save yourself from any surprises when you get up to the checkout counter. Pull up the calculator on your phone and keep track of all those veggies, fruits and other staple items…

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Grocery Shopping On A Budget: Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half

Grocery Shopping On A Budget: Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half You can cut lattes and your cable bill, but the one thing you can’t cut from your budget? Food. Food is expensive. The average American spends around $7,500 on food each year. Your grocery spending can eat up anywhere from 14% to 34% of your household income. Whether you’re a student on a low budget or a parent trying to keep the food bills at bay, we could all use some tips on managing our grocery budget properly so we can save more money. Grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health. It’s about shopping smarter to make the most out of your monthly grocery budget. It’s also very easy to do if you carve out the time. You’d be surprised at how simple it can be to cut your grocery bill in half! So what can you do today in order to save money on your next grocery run? Here are 15 ways to get more out of your monthly grocery budget. (Be sure to check out our frugal meal plan ideas as well!) 1. Learn how to cook  It’s not a secret that home-cooked meals are cheaper than eating out at restaurants.  However, the process of cooking may seem daunting for those who aren’t used to it.  Anyone can cook. You just have to start off with simple recipes with simple ingredients. Cooking at home ensures that you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Also, if you have bought your ingredients on sale, the cost of your meals will definitely equate to less than what you pay for at restaurants, about $20.37 per meal. Learn a new skill and save money while you’re at it. 2. Use leftovers to make grocery shopping on a budget easier One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to utilize your leftovers. Repurposing dinner from the night before into lunch or another dinner idea can stretch out your food longer. For example, if you have beans from the night before, you can use them in another main dish, such as tacos. Rather than letting food go to waste, get inventive and make more cheap meals. Make a goal to use everything you cook. Check out Pinterest for ideas on how to use your leftovers. 3. Plan your meals A big part of grocery shopping on a budget is planning your meals. Meal planning is the key to saving money, as well as saving time. Start off small and plan your meals for the entire day. Once you’ve mastered that, proceed to plan your meals for the entire week, then work up to creating a monthly meal planner. Meal prep is easy, and everybody can do it! Cook your meals in bulk and store them for later in the week. This process not only ensures that you save money by making sure that you’re able to distribute your ingredients over several meals evenly, but it also ensures that you’re able to conveniently heat up your food and eat it immediately. By the way, there are tons of creative and cheap meals you can try out! 4. Use a budget grocery list We often spend more than we need to when we’re shopping for our groceries. We buy more than we can eat, and we often lose track of what we intended to purchase in the first place. Much like how a to-do list keeps us on track with our tasks, a budget grocery list is imperative to keep us on track with what we must buy. While it may sound basic, this factor must not be overlooked. How many times have you made a quick trip to the shops to buy one thing, but you end up buying a lot of other items you didn’t really need? Writing up a quick budget grocery list — or on your phone, if pen and paper are a little too ‘old school’ for you — before leaving for the store will effectively prevent you from buying any unnecessary items as it…

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18 strategies for $4-a-day budget meal planning and grocery …

18 strategies for $4-a-day budget meal planning and grocery shoppingThe trend for extreme budget meal planning was popularized by Leanne Brown in her free online book Good and Cheap, developed primarily for those using SNAP (food stamp) benefits. At the time the book was written, the budget was $4 a day. When I heard about the project, I decided to try that budget as a way to save money on groceries.(Editor’s note: Because of inflation, that $4-a-day budget would have to be adjusted to $5 a day in summer of 2022.) Spending only $4 a day was a big change from my previous budget, averaging nearly $12 per day. After the first couple grocery shopping trips, I found there seemed to be several rules to adopt to achieve this goal. Here are 18 strategies you can use to bring your grocery budget down by 75%.  You can purchase the paperback version of Good & Cheap: Eat well on $4 a day at Amazon or download and print the pdf version from the author’s website (linked above). 1. Eliminate bottled water Bottled water is simply an impossible expense in low-budget meal planning. Drink tap water if you have confidence in your municipal source. If you prefer not to use tap water, then buy bulk filtered water; the cheapest source is usually at a station where you fill and haul a container yourself. Invest in a Brita filtered pitcher for drinking water, or take the savings plunge and look into Berkey filters, which remove fluoride and other ingredients in tap water. Purchase a filter straw for travel. 2. Eliminate or greatly reduce your consumption of fruit juice If you think of fruit juice as a sugary, high-calorie beverage, you’ll have an easier time eliminating it from your grocery shopping list. If starting your day without a glass of O.J. is too traumatic, then try reducing the size of your glass, or drinking juice only on weekends. You could also dilute it with some of that water you just filtered, so the juice lasts longer. 3. Eliminate or greatly reduce your consumption of coffee or tea. Coffee and tea are luxuries, but going without a morning “cuppa joe” is a tough habit to break for some. (It was for me!) The cheapest source for your favorite brew is to buy bulk coffee beans or tea leaves, and then limit yourself to one great brewed cup per day. I sometimes use coffee grounds twice, like they do in Ethiopia, the inventors of coffee, so why not try it? If you notice you aren’t finishing every drop of that cup of coffee, start saving the remainder in a glass jar in the fridge and use it to make a cool frappe. 4. Eliminate or greatly reduce your consumption of beer, wine and alcohol. We used to have a cocktail before dinner, followed by a glass of wine or two with the meal. First, we eliminated one, then both except for weekends or special occasions. Eventually, I liked the cost savings so much,…

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10 Tips for Grocery Shopping and Cooking on a Budget

10 Tips for Grocery Shopping and Cooking on a BudgetThis post is sponsored by my friends at the TODAY Food Club through a partnership with the Blogger Babes. I was compensated for my time and participation. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are 100% my own! Let’s talk about one of the most unpleasant parts of adulthood today, folks: BUDGETING. (Ewwwwwwww, money. Why can’t we just all be zillionaires, right?) I’ve been getting a LOT of questions about meal planning and shopping on a budget lately (wallet-friendly tips were even one of your most-requested topics on my recent reader survey!) So when the TODAY Food Club asked me to put together some of my best budget-savvy kitchen tips to help celebrate the launch of their online cooking community (click here to check it out!), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dig a little deeper into the whole “eating awesome, wonderful, sustainable food without going broke” thing. I’ve been privileged to work on some amazing projects with a whole bunch of incredible food justice advocates. And what I’ve noticed – both here on Life As A Strawberry and through my food security work – is that our questions about food and finance often trace back to one simple misconception: “I’m on a budget, so I can’t eat delicious, healthy, wholesome food.” But you guys! THIS IS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNTRUE. We can all eat well – no matter what our financial constraints are. It’s just a matter of getting creative with menu planning and using a few handy techniques to save money at the store. Here are my favorite tricks to eat great food on a budget! 1. PLAN YOUR MEALS Sitting down on a Sunday or Monday to plan your meals for the week saves a ton of time and money. Having a set plan means you don’t have to do the whole “I’m hungry! What should we make? What do I have in the fridge? What do we feel like eating?” routine every time you’re ready for dinner. It also means you don’t have to worry about finding uses for a bunch of random ingredients hanging out in your fridge – buy only what you need to make the meals on your list, and you’ll have exactly what you need on hand exactly when you need it. Meal planning saves time and helps you cut down on food waste (which is basically just like throwing money into the trash! Which, umm, we don’t want to be doing). Need some inspiration as you plan your meals for the week? Check out the TODAY Food Club’s newsletter for weekly meal plans and shopping lists to get you started! 2. MAKE A LIST Me at the grocery store without a list = dangerous. Not only do I end up bringing home food I don’t actually need, I end up forgetting the food I actually went to the store for. (Fail). Use your meal plan as a starting point for your grocery list and add any other necessities as needed. I like to keep a post-it on my fridge and write things down as I run out of them – like milk, eggs, etc. – so I don’t forget anything important! 3….

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Grocery shopping on a budget: 11 food saving tips – Mary

Grocery shopping on a budget: 11 food saving tips – Be Right Back by Mary Food saving tips, we all need them, don’t we? Food can be EXPENSIVE and make grocery shopping on a budget really difficult. Actually, food is, with your rent or your mortgage, probably the biggest weigh on your budget. And although you can learn how to negotiate a lower rent, saving money on food is an efficient way to save more money and save it faster. But it doesn’t have to be difficult and there are lots of money saving tips you can implement to save money on groceries. Saving money on food can help you save faster for other bigger projects you have like traveling. Doing your own grocery shopping will change the way you budget AND will help increase your savings. I know it is tempting to order food in and I do it too. In fact, depending on where you live, ordering food in several times a week might even be the norm. When I was living in the USA, we would order food or eat out several times a week whereas in France, we are pretty big on cooking our own meals. If it is the case that ordering in is normal for you, then cutting off and cooking your own meals will save you a TON of money. And you will discover that with a bit of organisation, it is actually not that bad, can be quick and even fun!  Now that I have convinced you that grocery shopping and cooking your own meals is the way to go, I hope you will find these grocery shopping tips and tricks helpful to save money everyday and to save money fast. They sure help me: living in Dublin, my average grocery bill for 2 is €300 (about $350) per month, and includes groceries delivery, all food, snacks, drinks, and household items such as toilet paper or laundry detergent. You don’t have time to read? Watch the video here: 1. Shop at the cheaper grocery stores Convenience is usually the reason why we decide to shop at more expensive grocery stores. They have everything, they are closer, have bigger parking lots. All together, it is a do-it-all-in-one-stop kinda deal. Which is great and probably saves you time. But time is money and when you are trying to save money, you might have to be willing to invest a bit more time. Usually, cheaper grocery stores don’t carry everything on your list and you will most likely have to check out a couple stores, which takes more time. But it might save you A LOT of money! Definitely worth it in my opinion! Some of the cheaper stores in Europe and especially in France and Ireland would be Aldi, Lidl, Norma. Tesco is not too bad either ! 2. Go grocery shopping on an empty stomach Do not EVER go grocery shopping hungry or else it will be the end of you! If you are anything like me, going grocery shopping hungry will make you want to buy EVERYTHING, which is the opposite of grocery shopping on a budget. Have a snack and then go food shopping. It will save you lots of money. 3. Bring your own bags Do not EVER go grocery shopping hungry or else it will be the end of you! If you are anything like me, going grocery shopping hungry will make you want to buy EVERYTHING, which is the opposite of grocery shopping on a budget. Have a snack and then go food shopping. It will save you lots of money. 4. Shop online Grocery shopping online is AMAZING when it comes to saving money for all the following reasons: You can easily compare products, their quality and price in a decently sized font! The most expensive brands are not always the best quality. You might end up with better products in your cart for less money, how amazing!You can easily track your budget as every time…

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