Saving money on groceries is something that we are all trying to accomplish. If you’re looking to slash your grocery bill, while eating real, healthy food, keep reading!
Real food on a budget. These are two things that I never thought could go hand in hand until I sat down, took the time to plan. I compared prices, and looked at how much it would cost to make something homemade versus store bought, and I learned that with just a little planning, making real food without breaking the bank is totally possible.
It’s not just what you shop for, it’s how you plan for it and shop for it. Did you know that over the past five years, grocery carts have doubled in size? It’s a trick that the grocery stores play to make you feel like you need to add more to your cart, and ultimately spend more money. But, have no fear, that trick won’t work with you!
To help you plan your meals and help you save even more money on groceries in 2021 use these FREE planning printables that will help you plan your menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack, based on what you have going on during the week and a grocery list! Click on the images below, or scroll down to the bottom and click the button to download your free PDF.
1. Shop At Home First
Before you hit the grocery store, you need to go shopping at home. Look through your fridge, freezer and pantry and cross ingredients off of your shopping list that you already have at home. While you are at it, make sure to check the pantry for your staple ingredients, and add those to the list if you need to replenish. Keep a piece of paper and a pen in your pantry with a running list of the ingredients that you run out of so that when it comes time to make your grocery list, you can just look at your list. This ensures that you don’t forget things since you add them as soon as you run out.
2. Check To See What’s On Sale & Make A Grocery List
A good grocery list is the key to saving money! If you have a grocery list to follow, you’re much less likely to shop frivolously and add random items to your grocery cart. Look at the weekly sales flyers and see what is on sale at your local grocery store. Compare these sales to your grocery list and write the price beside the item and highlight it with a different color for each store. I buy most of my produce at Sprouts, any canned goods at Walmart (on average you’ll save $0.10-$1.00 per item), certain meats, eggs and pantry items at Costco, and then I split the remaining ingredients up based on which grocery stores have the best sales. It might not seem worth it to shop at multiple stores, but if you’re really looking to slash your grocery budget, these are the little things that can help.
3. Learn How To Substitute
Substituting ingredients can save a ton of money. Check to see if there is an ingredient you already have on hand that can be substituted or take a second look at the weekly sale flyers and compare them to your grocery list to see if anything can be substituted with an ingredient on sale. In my Monthly Meal Plans on Etsy, I include a printable Substitution List to help you in the kitchen!
4. Stick To Your List
You just spent all that time making a list and figuring out where to shop, so stick to it! Making and sticking to a grocery list is your best way to save money. Having a list will make you less likely to make frivolous purchases.
5. Buy In Bulk
If your local grocery store offers a bulk section, take advantage of it. Shopping in bulk is one of my favorite ways to add variety to my meals, and reduce my grocery bill. By shopping in bulk, I am able to purchase small quantities of ingredients. This is great for trying new recipes, buying something that you’ll only use once or twice, and for just saving money in general. I buy all of my nuts, seeds, dried fruits, oats, spices, and some snacks in bulk.
6. Shop Online
With everything that is going on right now, shopping for groceries online is a great option. Online grocery shopping is an amazing way to save time and to save some money on groceries. As you shop, you can see a running total, which allows you to substitute ingredients to best fit your budget. There are more and more options for online grocery shopping, from Amazon, to Walmart, and even your local grocery stores probably offer grocery delivery/pick up and if not, there is always Instacart. If you’ve never tried online grocery shopping before, look on your local grocery stores website, and they usually have first time delivery coupons that give you free delivery and a set amount off of your groceries. Instacart, if available in your area will allow you to order from almost any grocery store – even places like Costco or Sam’s Club, and is usually delivered within an hour or two. If you’re interested in trying it, use my code LZAGIBA13C and get $10 off of your first order and free delivery.
7. Shop With Cash
If you’re having a hard time sticking to your grocery budget or limiting spending, switch to a cash budget. Put the money in an envelope, and write the amount on the envelope. As you shop, write down how much you spent at each store, and place the receipt in the envelope too. If there is any extra cash at the end of the week, add it to your extra grocery budget fund, or put it away in savings. We use a cash budget, and I place all of my change in a large mason jar, and set the bills into my “extra” envelope.
8. Figure Out Your Favorite Recipes
Use the Favorite Recipes printable that I have included, and have everyone in your family fill out their favorite recipes. Use their recipes to create a master list of your families favorite recipes. This will help you when trying to create a meal plan, and what to make for dinner. Your master Favorite Recipes list will be the perfect starting point.Download Meal Planning Printables
If you’re looking for Meal Plans that are already planned for you, check out January’s Meal Plan’s in my Etsy Store. I am now offering pre-planned Weekly and Monthly Meal Plans designed to save families time in the kitchen and money at the grocery store. If eating healthier, and cooking more at home is something that you’re looking to accomplish in 2021, January’s Meal Plan gives you all the tools you need for a successful year!