I’ve had several requests to talk about how Meeker and I keep our grocery bill on the low end. We spend about $50 a week for two of us (well, now that I’m pregnant, it’s closer to $65 a month…I blame Babycakes). Now, that seems like a lot to me, but I’m kind of a penny pincher.
I felt kind of stupid writing this post because I’m no money expert. In fact, I’m kind of a financial dunce. I don’t spend a whole lot of time analyzing our spending, and I’m sure there are smarter ways to save money, but you asked so here’s how WE keep tabs on our food budget:
Buy as little prepackaged food as possible.
With the exception of things like cereal, bread, some snack bars – we try not to buy too many pre-made things. Of course there are exceptions, but food from scratch is usually cheaper, so it helps keep that grocery bill low.
Fruits and veggies are cheap! Not all of our diet is plant based, but trying to focus meals around fresh produce is key in saving money. It’s bulky (fills you up), and doesn’t cost a lot. Win, win.
Check the weekly grocery store ads.
This one is a no brainer. Buy what is on sale.
Don’t buy in bulk
I’ll probably change my mind when diapers start becoming a necessity in our household. But for two people, buying food in bulk just doesn’t make sense. We try to buy only what we need for the week. Nothing more. Otherwise, it ends up going to waste.
But DO shop in the bulk bins section
Things like nuts and grains are cheaper in this section.
Okay, this one seems counterproductive, I know. But hear me out.
I cut coupons for the first year we were married. However, after a year, I looked back and realized that I bought a lot of things we didn’t need! Coupons are usually only available for things like crackers, fruit snacks, pudding…prepackaged junk. Yes, you can find coupons for healthy food (I envy people who have the patience for this). And I used to think coupons were great for things like toilet paper. However, the generic brand of paper goods (kroger), is usually cheaper than the discounted coupon price anyway. I feel like we get more value when we buy cheap brands on sale rather than putting stuff in the cart that we don’t necessarily need/want, but just have a coupon for.
I have a dinner calendar that I put our weekly dinners on, that way I don’t have to think when I get home (I usually can’t think straight after 8 -10 hours in the 3rd grade world). I make my grocery list based on the nightly menu items, and then add in things for lunches, snacks, etc.
That’s about it! If I think of any other things that we do to be tightwads save some grocery money, I’ll let you all know. Happy almost Friday!!