Stop Overpaying For Groceries!
When I calculated the average amount of money I was spending every month just on groceries, I was left in disbelief! My scale would probably have said, that makes sense (ha!), but I was absolutely shocked by how much I was spending. I realized that I needed to create a grocery budget ASAP.
Track How Much You Spend
The first step to any solid grocery budget is to figure out the average amount of money you spend on groceries. Here is an example:
- Look back at debit and credit expenses over the past 3 months
- (Example: $800 in November, $1,000 December, $700 January)
- Add the total amount that spent on groceries during that time
- (Example: $1,400 + $1,200 + $1,000 = $3,600)
- Divide the total amount spent by 3
- (Example: $3,600 / 3 = $1,200)
- In this example, $1,200 is the average amount of money spent on groceries per month.
I did this for all categories of my spending and highly recommend figuring out how much you spend each month. With regard to food, I calculated separate averages for: groceries, eating out and coffee.
Once you figure out your averages, you can stop spending more than you need to on groceries by making these changes:
Choose Your Store Wisely
I had been overpaying for groceries simply because I was going to my local grocery store instead of checking out options 10 minutes away. I started paying attention to prices of particular items at various stores and realized I could save almost $100 a week just by changing where I bought my groceries!
My local grocery store was adding almost $1 onto every item. start comparing the prices of what you typically buy at different merchants in your area. Consider that the up-charge of convenience might not worth it once you total up the cost every month. I was able to reduce my weekly grocery bill by almost $100 a week simply by going to a different store.
I now exclusively buy groceries at Aldi, Walmart, Target, and Sam’s Club.
Aldi was the first store I was able to spend $100 for the week for a family of 4 at the grocery! I then repeated my success spending only $100 for the week for a family of 4 at Walmart. So now I knew that I could spend less, get great products and get enough for our needs. Aldi’s organic options are slightly limited but they appear to be expanding and their cheese is very affordable.
I was surprised at how many products were organic at Walmart and their organic canned goods are very well priced (cheaper than grocery store), I also like Walmart’s ground beef options. Target periodically runs sales on my favorite items that I cannot find anywhere else local to me, these include: applegate pepperoni, Horizon organic milk to go packs, Jenni’s Ice Cream and the best hot pickles I’ve ever had!
I was very hesitant to join Sam’s Club but I found a Groupon deal for the membership, and realized I could get points back and the membership would basically pay for itself. I have now fallen in LOVE with Sam club!
The price of their bottled water, seltzer, flavored water, juice and soda’s cannot beat it. They also have a great price for Rao’s tomato sauce, which is my favorite brand. I plan to go there so that we can eat lunch at their café (try the all beef hotdog, $1 gold). Also, their rotisserie chickens (I buy one every time I go) are only $5. You can make a quick sautéed veggie and some rice that’s your affordable and easy to make dinner.
Sam’s also has great deals on children’s clothing and some essentials for adults. I got a quality winter jacket for my toddler for $15 and snow boots for the same that light up, he loves them and even tries to wear them in the house.
Stop Eating Out During the Week
Only eating out on the weekends saves you money and improves your health. It also gives you an easy goal to accomplish and something to look forward to when it is time to splurge on a meal out. Take on this challenge!
If you are currently eating lunch out every day, cut back to 3 days a week and then to 1 and then none. Another option is, make your weekend 2 days during the week if Saturday and Sunday are easier for you to cook and eat at home.
Check out Fetch Rewards. It’s a free app that turns all your receipts into Rewards. Just snap your receipts from any store or restaurant and earn points every time. Then, redeem those points for Rewards, including hundreds of gift cards. Be sure to use my referral code, MBBXN, during signup and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points and I will get points for you joining too, thanks!). Download Fetch Rewards for free here:
When you do it try to get a family member or friend to also join using your code (you’ll get yours after you join) and you typically get like 4,000 for everyone who joins within 24 hours of you joining!
Every 10,000 points gives you a $10 gift card. I have used this to pay for Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle and CVS. I recommend cashing out your points every 10,000 points to avoid any glitches.
I just scan my receipt as soon as I leave the store and get into my car before I even drive home! You’re shopping at stores anyway, so why not get some money back?
Another nice feature of Fetch is that you can link it to your Amazon account and your email so if you predominantly shop online those transactions can count to give you points as well.
This was an easy way for me to cover my coffee on the go purchases and start cutting expenses without changing anything in my lifestyle!
Ultimately, you are likely overspending on your groceries and by changing your store, joining fetch and reducing eating out you can easily save money and put that money to better use for your financial plan.