We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
You may be dismayed by how much you spend on groceries. Maybe you have other financial goals: saving, going on vacation, buying something nice, or some other goal. I’ve been there. This article was written to show you 7 tips for how to save on groceries.
Are you ready to get started?
Many households spend upwards of 15% of their incomes on groceries (mine has) before I took time to study how to save on groceries! According to bls.gov, the average household is spending 11-15% of their incomes on food.
Can you imagine what we could do if we had even 7.5% of our incomes or if we slashed our grocery budgets in half?!!!
Many financial advisors recommend putting 15% of your income into retirement or for your children’s school fund, so cutting your grocery budget could enable a way to begin saving or investing. It could even go towards financial independence IF you knew how to save on groceries.
After I started tracking my expenses closely using budgeting tools like Everydollar and wealth accumulation trackers like Personal Capital, I started to get more creative about how I could re-appropriate my funds, save on different things, and tell my money where I want it to go. The Everydollar app tells you what percentage of your spending goes towards the various line items on your budget. When I found out my grocery spending sometimes exceeds how much I pay on car insurance, life insurance, and gas combined! I thought to myself, “I have to learn how to save on groceries”.
I still haven’t warmed up to coupons. I don’t feel that I have time for coupons, but I still like to save on groceries, so I came across these ideas for how to save on groceries, and I’m hoping they can be helpful for you…
1) Buy only produce that is in season
When you buy produce that is not locally in season, typically the grocer has to rally the produce from far away. The shipping costs, the increase in spoilage, and the overall hassle that it takes to provide this service has to be absorbed in your grocery budget. If you MUST buy produce out-of-season, do so, but be aware that you are absorbing a higher price by doing so.
2) Do not buy pre-mixed seasonings
I am soooo guilty of this! There are pre-mixed seasonings for everything: pre-mixed steak seasoning, pre-mixed taco seasoning, pre-mixed chicken seasoning, and the list goes on.
Get a book that shows you how to mix seasonings if you don’t know how (as I had to), and batch mix seasonings, so you can slash your grocery budget in half. If cutting your grocery budget is worth it, you will do it. Beside, how much of the seasonings do you use? You can get some containers like this here, load it with your mixes, and stack your pantry for a while.
3) Find sales on Meat
Newsflash: Stores have sales on meat! Once your budget is organized (stay tuned for more of my posts on Personal Finance here), then you can have money set aside for when you see sales. You can also buy the “for sale” meat in bulk. Take advantage of the sales!
4) Cut Your Grocery Budget by Getting a Deep Freezer!
‘It would be a huge mistake of mine if I shared tips for how to save on groceries, but I didn’t mention having a deep freezer.
It’ll be no way to take advantage of sales if you have nowhere to store the food. I mean, you can do food canning and you can dehydrate, but freezing is one of the quickest and easiest methods for storing food. If you’re a single person, you only need a small deep freezer like this:
But, if you have a family like I do, you may want to go for a larger deep freezer more like this one:
Growing up, we always had at least one deep freezer. It helped us because we always had an “open door” policy with our community. On any given day, we could have 5 guests that popped up. The deep freezer was where we stored frozen meals, so we could always be good hosts.
Even if you’re not planning to host lots of people, a deep freezer is a good investment to be prepared in case of store closures, in case of busy days, or simply, to take advantage of great sales.
5) Use Batch Cooking and Preservation Methods to Cut your Grocery Budget
I’ve done dehydrations, canning, and freezer cooking. Each preservation method can save you money, and if you know what you’re doing, they can save you time as well.
I like to take things like fish or fruit and throw it into the dehydrator (especially if I know we won’t eat it before it starts to go bad). This is the one I have:
It’s a reasonable price ($65-70), and doesn’t take up a lot of space. I add meat ingredients in there at night and let them dry overnight. For things like herbs, I add them in the morning, and let them dry for a couple hours. Talk about a great salmon or beef jerky! There are so many great recipes like fruit roll-ups, dried cranberries, raisins, dried mangos, dried herbs, and the list goes on. A dehydrator can be a way to cut back on waste, which will in turn, save you money on groceries.
When I was Active Duty in the Air Force and a single mom, food canning was my go-to! I used to take time on the weekends, cook in bulk, then can all of the meals, so during the weekdays, I would just reheat. This pressure canner (below) and I were best friends!
I can admit it would take me longer to bulk cook and can than to do many of the freezer cooking recipes, so if you don’t have a lot of time for bulk cooking, you definitely want to look into freezer cooking, and a Myfreezeasy membership could really help with that!
In an article I wrote called, Freezer Cooking 101: How Busy Women Cook 10 Healthy Meals in 1 Hour!, I explained what freezer cooking is. I’m not new to buying frozen vegetables or bulk cooking, but I am new to many recipes I have found by trying the MyFreezeasy membership.
I’ve had some amazing meal ideas since trying the 5dollarmealplan and myfreezeasy memberships. If you feel like your going in circles recycling the same old recipes, or if you want to increase your cooking efficiency, definitely check out myfreezeasy or 5dollarmealplans! You won’t regret it!
6) Buy in Bulk
I don’t want to beat a dead horse by repeating this, but buying in bulk should be your best friend if you really want to know how to save on groceries! If you want to slash your grocery budget, buying in bulk will get you a long way.
The Farmer’s Markets, places where you can pick your own produce, or the good ole grocery store all have sales. You should be taking advantage of good sales.
Just imagine for a second how the money you exchange with the cashier at the grocery store. Now, imagine how it would look if you put even half of that money in an account.
Imagine even further if you could leverage the power of 10%+ compound interest once you learn how to save on groceries! It’s completely possible!
Don’t make the mistake of overspending or overlooking the tips on how to save on groceries. Don’t end your working life on social security or without enough invested to live comfortably.
7) Plan Your Meals
We are all guilty of going in the store “quickly”, and coming out with more than we expected. In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about how successful people spend time on “quadrant two” activities: planning, recreation, and maintaining order.
Meal planning ensures you go into the store focused, you don’t waste time wondering, and your meal prep times are more concise and focused. It’s key for those who want to know how to save on groceries!
Rather than guessing, saying, “I think I’ll use this” (and throwing it in the cart), meal planning enables you to buy the ingredients in the exact quantity you will use. It cuts spending, time, and makes all those relying on you for meal prep very happy. For help on meal planning, check out my article, How Busy Women Do Healthy Meal Planning Without Paying Hundreds More on Groceries.
Help Getting Started Slashing Your Grocery Budget
If you need more help slashing your grocery budget, try the Grocery budget Makeover. You can get lots of tips, tricks, and ideas to help save on groceries.
When you invest in the knowledge and adapt your lifestyle, it can save you hundreds or thousands in the long run! You can even teach your kids habits that will enable them to build wealth.
Have them tell their money where it should go: whether to philanthropy, business, or otherwise.
I count learning things like what’s taught in the Grocery Budget Makeover as an investment. It’s an investment into my family unity, family happiness, and long term wealth building strategy.
Well, those are my 7 tips for how to save on groceries without coupons. I hope you found them useful!
Now, it’s your turn…
Have you used any of these strategies to save on groceries? What results have you gotten? Did I miss any tips that you or someone you know may use? Please share so we can all become better Money Growing Moms!
Leave your comments below.