How To Make A Grocery Budget

Reigning in your grocery spending is one of the easiest ways you can control your cash flow on a weekly basis. In this post I’ll teach you how to use a little bit of planning to identify where you are wasting money on groceries so you can make more budget-friendly choices.

Find Out How Much You Spend On Food

Look at your bank statement from last month. Write down all the transactions you made on food items and add it up. Include any fast food, restaurant, or ordered-in food and don’t forget to check for small purchases made like snacks, lunches, and drinks you bought while out and about.  

Use Receipt Scanning Apps

When I first got married I would spend a lot of time searching the Sunday newspaper inserts for good coupons. I’d say I ended up using about 5% of the coupons I cut out, so it really didn’t seem like a good use of time. Then I discovered this app called ibotta. I love it and here’s why: with ibotta, I just scan my grocery receipts, and the app finds coupons to apply based on my transactions. It even has an “any item” coupon for 25 cents, so even if I don’t have any specific items that apply for a coupon, I can still get 25 cents just for scanning the receipt. I made $50 in my first week trying out ibotta and it’s the best receipt scanning app I tried. And it’s free! Try ibotta here, but be sure to leave in my code (qflegur) to get an extra $10!  

How Can You Save Money On Food?

Once you know how much you spend in a month for food, look at what you would have spent if you hadn’t had any unnecessary food expenses. How much could you have saved if you didn’t order pizza or go out to eat? You can save hundreds of dollars every month by daring yourself to cut back on these extra food expenses. I love this video from Tawra over at Living On A Dime. She and her mother share practical tips from their experience of living on $500 a month. She also has a fantastic e-course with hundreds of frugal recipes that are tasty and easy to make. Check out the course here!  

Check Your Food Inventory

Before making your grocery shopping list, spend a minute looking through your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Write down items that can or should be used up in a “Use Up” list on your grocery list. Also make note of any items you’re almost out of and should stock up on.  

Plan Your Meals

Take some time to create a meal plan every week. You can make things easy by having the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day, but have different dinners throughout the week. Try to use some of the “Use Up” foods on your list in your meals. Anything else you need should be added to your grocery list.  

Learn The Prices Of The Foods You Eat

Pay attention to the prices of things you regularly buy. If they can be frozen or have a long shelf life, you can stock up on them when the price gets low enough. By spending a little extra to stock up when you see a great price for something you always buy, you’ll spend less in later weeks.

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