With rising food prices, it’s getting harder to grocery shop without breaking the bank. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead to save money on food shopping.
Ben and I typically spend between $60-$80 a week on groceries, for the both of us. That’s as little as $30- $40 per person each week! When we first moved in together we were spending around $70 per person or more. We pretty much just threw everything we wanted in the shopping cart not realizing how quickly things can add up. With a little self restraint, a consistent diet, and shopping the store deals we have cut our spending almost in half! Here are a list of tips on how we do a healthy grocery shop on a budget:
Planning out your meals.
The first and most important step in your grocery shop plan. I promise this will help you in the long run. Making a list to preplan your weekly meals will help you avoid buying foods you don’t need.
Get a general idea of items you want. Pick two or three meats for dinner for the week, you will most likely eat the same thing two or three times. By writing it down it will help you visualize the portions you need to get you through the week.
I’ve included a picture below of my typical daily meals. Because I have a strict diet and exercise I try to eat the same meals as consistently as possible. You can easily substitute any of the meats or sides to add some variety to your diet.
* Produce changes weekly depending on the specials at the food store. I shop anything and everything that is BOGO*
Buying in Bulk
You’ve probably heard this before but buying in bulk will reduce costs when grocery shopping. It’s okay to eat the same thing 2,3,4 times a week as long as you have some variety in your recipes. Keep this in mind when you’re planning ahead.
For example: Harris Teeter ALWAYS has fresh chicken breasts at their meat counters for $1.99 per breast. For dinner, Ben & I cut the chicken breast in 1/2 and share it. We can have 3 dinners a week off of 3 chicken breasts – that’s only $6 !
If you look, the prepacked chicken can run you as much as $12 for three breasts! Instant 1/2 off savings!
Get a store card.
Sign up for your stores reward card. It’s surprising how many people don’t take the time to do this when it can gain you some serious savings. Next time your at your local Lowes, Harris Teeter, or Food Lion – stop by the customer care counter and take 5 minutes to get yourself a rewards card. I saved $40 yesterday at Harris Teeter by shopping their BOGO deals. Which brings me to my next point – shop everything on SALE.
Take advantage of in-store deals.
While at the grocery store, Ben and I make sure to take advantage of buy one get one free deals that occur weekly. During your meal planning, visit your local grocery store’s online website and look at the special section highlighting their weekly deals. Make sure to add those into your weekly plan and shop accordingly.
Pro-tip: Shop the BOGO deals and freeze what you do not use. You can freeze meats, veggies, fruits, and bread! It will make shopping for the next week that much cheaper.
Shop discounted produce.
Unfortunately fresh produce can often be quite expensive. Ben & I try to shop only the discounted veggies and fruits available. The cheapest options I’ve found to be are broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, squash, strawberries, and bananas. Make sure to have your store card so you can take full advantage of these deals.
Food shop on a weekly basis.
I like to go grocery shopping every week on Sunday afternoon. I know some people will shop every two weeks, but I find that if I go on a weekly basis I get the best deals and can incorporate more variety into my diet.
Final tip: Cook all your meals at home. Yes, that means fighting that temptation to grab drive through on your work break or cocktails out during the week. My weekly grocery list breakfast, lunch, and dinner for Monday – Friday, sometimes more, but we typically eat lunch & dinner out on the weekends. I obviously did not include toiletries and cleaning supplies because those will just depend on your weekly needs.
Next time you’re at the store try shopping my Grocery List under $90 that I posted below (it corresponds with my weekly meal planner earlier in this post). I shop this list weekly at my local Harris Teeter and use my VIC card for all their deals. Even if you shop at another food chain you should be able to buy these items under $100.
I hope you find some of these tips and tricks helpful! Have anything to add? Drop me a comment with your favorite money-saving hacks!