My Top 4 Rules for Saving on Groceries (before cutting coupons)
I may earn some coinage for my piggy bank or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Please see my disclaimer for more information. Thanks for your support!
Want some easy solutions to save on groceries?
Happily, you are in the right place!
Create a budget
I know, I know. “Budget” sounds like a dirty word. Yuk!
Honestly having a budget has blessed my family, not burdened it. (I talk more about that in another article.)
For the purpose of going to the grocery store it’s important to have a budget so you know how much you can spend, especially if you are finding great deals.
It won’t help feed my family if Tide has a really great deal and I can’t help but buy 17 bottles of it. Trust me, there will be another great deal on Tide another day. It’s easy to go overboard when you’re tempted by a great deal, but you don’t want to end up strapped for cash so keep it in check.
Buy what your budget permits and gradually add to your stock pile.
It’s a proven fact (that I’ve personally tested) that you will overspend your budget by up to 20% when you pay with a card, even a debit card.
Think about it. If you have $40 in your wallet you bet your booty you’re not going 1 solitary penny over $40 when you get to the cashier. How embarrassing would that be if you went over?
“Shoot! I don’t have enough; I’ll have to put something back.”
Compare that to the card scenario. You’ve hit your $40 budget so you head to checkout. Maybe you see something on the way that you forgot. Maybe little Johnny decides he really really really needs a treat.
If nothing else the tax will put you over because you didn’t quite calculate it right in your head. It’s SO easy to go over using a card and little amounts can really add up fast.
I ALWAYS use cash!
Related Article: How to Pay Cash for Big Expenses
Related Article: 5 Scary Credit Card Facts That Are Costing You Money
Make a Meal Plan
Check the ad for your favorite store and find out what is on sale that week
(for a good deal … just because it’s “on sale” doesn’t always mean it’s a good deal … just sayin’).
Build your meal plan based on the sales. The phrase “what sounds good for dinner tonight” should be reserved for special occasions … like when hubby is cooking for you or taking you out on the town!
If there's a great deal on chicken, think of meals you like with chicken. If there’s a great deal on cheese you could use it as an excuse to make the cheesiest meal you can think of.
If you have a plan you’re less likely to need to run to the store to “pick something up for dinner” at the last minute. Once you’ve stocked your pantry with your regular necessities, weekly shopping will be quick and painless.
One week I only bought $11 in groceries and got everything I needed to feed the family for a week!
Only Buy What's on Sale
Generally speaking, if it’s not on sale, I don’t buy it. Easy as that.
Almost everything has a sale cycle and will eventually be on sale. And almost everything can wait until it’s on sale.
My kids like yogurt but we only have it in the house when it’s been on sale. I buy enough to last through the expiration. If we run out, no yogurt until it’s on sale again.
I know, I’m such a strict mommy! (A secret benefit is it turns yogurt into a special treat since they don't always get it.)
I have a few exceptions to my rule, like maybe produce. (I don’t care how much it’s marked down, I can’t bring myself to eat old withered tomatoes!)
If I’m planning my meals based on what’s on sale then I don’t run into many issues. And because I stock pile I rarely need to buy pantry items unless they are on sale.
Shopping with Coupons
Notice how shopping with coupons is at the end of this list (and strategy number 5 of 4, ha!)
I highly recommend using coupons in conjunction with my other strategies.
If you’re like me and you don’t think you have time then you need a quick and easy system that makes sense to you!
Shopping with coupons is a whole series on it's own. There's way to much to cover here.
I have an ENTIRE COURSE that teaches you everything you'd need to know to become a coupon and grocery saving pro.
The good news is, couponing doesn't have to be crazy and take all of your time. I can show you exactly how easy it can be. The work has already been done! All you have to do is tap into the right resources!
Make Saving on Groceries Easy
A complete grocery saving system for your busy family.
Learn everything you need to know to save on groceries. Includes a complete online resource library so you don't have to go digging for any information. All the work has been done for you.