Q&A Grocery Spending

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Image courtesy of The Daily Green

My sweet friend and blog reader (I told you – sweet friend) sent in this question:

Hey! I am in need of your thrifty help. I am reviewing our expenses and realize we are spending WAY too much on groceries. I barely have time to think about making an actual grocery list, much less use coupons. Plus, most of the foods I buy never have coupons anyway. How do you spend so little a month on food and even account for your large milk bill? Any tips would help. Thanks!

I think this is a great question, and I know Holly is not the only one needing help in this area. I get at least one email, phone call, etc. each week asking this question. So here are my thoughts…

Menu Planning

Menu planning has been hugely helpful in helping us save money. Until recently, I always had a loose meal plan that I worked with each week, but then I encountered this cute menu board and decided to make my own. (I really need to take a better photo…)  And my friend Jean told me how much meal planning helps them to save. These two things were just the motivation I needed!

By planning out our meals, I can review what we have in our pantry and use these items! Then I figure out what we need in order to accomplish our menu for the week. Then I make my list and ONLY buy items on that list.

Vegetarian Meals

Also cutting out meat one night (or more) per week can help cut costs too, since meat (especially, organic and free-range meat) can be expensive. I would suggest making a list of these vegetarian meals that you can rotate through. Some of my favorites include tomato basil soup, black bean soup, and a meatless breakfast dinner. There are some really very tasty meals that you can enjoy without meat! Just brainstorm. If you need suggestions, look through old menu plans I have posted.

See the second post of this series: Q&A Grocery Budget Part 2

In the meantime, how do you save on your grocery budget?


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  1. I agree! Meal planning is the best way to make your grocery budget stretch!

    Tiffany {Living Savvy}

  2. Sassy Engineer says:

    We meal plan, and we also try to buy manager special meat whenever we find it. Then we usually grill it all at once and freeze it to use over the next few weeks. It makes cooking easier and we save on meat because we will probably never be vegetarians. We love fruits and veggies, but we like meat too, especially chicken. Also, we do try to buy fruits and veggies in season just because they are cheaper and usually taste better. I really took advantage of that during cherry season when I found them for $1.88 pound. Another thing we try to do is buy generic whenever possible. There are a few things I like name brand on (mostly mac and cheese, but I think that is a mental thing for me because I like my homemade too). However, eating store brand cereal, crackers, sauces, beans, etc really cut down on our costs.

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