Groceries are one of the largest household expenses for many families. It’s not uncommon for people to spend $200 a week or more. The fact is though, many families are spending way more than they need to. You can feed your family, and feed them well, without breaking the bank (or even using coupons!). Let’s take a closer look at why you’re spending too much money on groceries.
You’re Not Using What You Have on Hand
One of the biggest reasons people spend too much money on groceries is that they waste food. The easiest way to prevent this is to go through what you have on hand before you go grocery shopping. You can then plan meals and snacks that utilize these ingredients. That way, everything gets used. This alone will save you so much money.
If you're not creative in coming up with recipes using leftover food you already have on hand, you can use this website to search by ingredient and find matching recipes using that ingredient. This site works great if you're having to get really creative during an eat from the pantry challenge.
You can also declare a leftovers night once a week to make sure any leftovers from the week get used up. Or, you can take leftovers to work or school for lunch the next day (which is what my husband and oldest son love to do!).
You’re Not Meal Planning
Do you go to the grocery store and buy whatever looks good? Or do you sit down and go through the sales and make a list? What do you do with the things you buy? If you’re bringing items home and then feel like you don’t have anything to cook, there’s a problem. Instead of relying on what’s on sale or what looks good, plan your menu for the week. This way you have a plan of action and buy items you actually need.
I find not only do I waste money without a meal plan, but I also waste a lot of time each day trying to figure out what's for dinner that night. And, if I don't have all the ingredients I have to find time to make a quick trip to the store. So, for our family, planning our meals for the week is also a sanity saver!
You’re Not Comparison Shopping
Brand loyal? That may be costing you a lot of money. It never hurts to try other brands to see if they are as good. Some stores brands may be even better than the name brand. You’ll never know until you try. You also want to compare prices not only on brands, but at different stores. A price log that shows the regular price of the items you purchase most often at different stores will give you the best idea of where to shop.
You’re Not Stockpiling
Many people think that stockpiling is only for those into prepping. That isn’t true. Stockpiling can be beneficial to many people, especially those that want to save money. When items you use regularly go on sale, you want to stock up. Many stores run items on a sale cycle. This means they will go on sale on a schedule. For example, chicken breast may go on sale every three weeks. Once you know how often items go on sale, you will know exactly how much to buy. Until then, buy what you think your family will use over the next month. This will save you so much money.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on groceries. There are so many ways to save money.