15+ of the BEST Grocery Budgeting Tips EVER

As a busy mom, I try really hard to maximize our income the best we can. One of the most varying areas in our budget has always been groceries. So I’m often searching for smart ways to keep it as low as possible, without living on ramen noodles and pb&j sandwiches. Here’s 15+ of the BEST Grocery Budgeting Tips EVER that I’ve found, tried and loved!
15+ of the BEST Grocery Budgeting Tips EVER / by Busy Mom's Helper #Budget #Finance #Frugal #Grocery #Money
Now, maybe some of these won’t work for you. Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to do all of them at once. Pick a couple that would be best for your situation, then maybe down the road implement a few more!

Grocery Budgeting Tips

  1. Make a list, and STICK TO IT. Be strict with yourself on this, or at least plan ahead for which situations you are allowed to budge on (for example, if you see an item and you FOR SURE need that for a recipe this week, and you KNOW you don’t have any). I’ll admit, I struggle with this – thus bringing us to my saving tip number two….
  2. Only carry cash with you. Check sales/prices, check your list, and bring enough cash (don’t forget tax). I know that if I carry cash, I’m less likely to purchase things I don’t need because I would be horrified if I got to the register and didn’t have enough.
  3. Make sacrifices, or substitutions. For example, leave the cheese off your meat sandwich and use lettuce instead. Or splurge one day a week on a ‘gourmet’ sandwich with cheese, but in exchange take pb & j another day even if it isn’t your favorite.
  4. A name isn’t everything = be willing to try non-name brand items. Most of the time, I get generic-brand items for a lot less than popular brands, and really don’t notice a difference (other than the savings).
  5. Try to make fewer shopping trips. I know myself well enough to know that the more trips I make the the store, the more ‘extra’ stuff I buy. Now, I cannot bring myself to shop for the whole month in one day – although that is a goal of mine to work towards. However, Danielle @ Blissful and Domestic is amazing at this, so be sure to go check her out to see how she does a whole month at once. For now, I just do one trip per week (as best as I can) – so try what you can.
  6. Coupons – please know that I am Not. A. Coupon. Person. Seriously, I hate dealing with coupons, unless some kind person at the store says ‘oh, here’s a coupon for that item in your cart’ – imagine how often that happens, though. If you are then you’re my hero, and I tip my hat (not that I ever wear hats, but if I did) to you! I will note, though, that Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less says coupons aren’t where the savings are – it’s in the store sales. Go read her article for more on that – it’s GREAT!
  7. The biggest saving tip FOR ME – cooking from scratch as much as possible. Now, I LOVE pre-made dinners and such that make life all the less stressful and more convenient, but it does come with a higher price tag. If you can bring yourself to do a little more from scratch, it can really add up with savings.
  8. Learn which stores have the best prices for common foods. Checking the ads is a fantastic way to take care of this, especially since items can change each week. Sometimes, however, there are stores that just always (or mostly) have certain items cheaper. For me, I always buy milk at my local Aldi store because I’ve never gotten it more than $1.99 each. Compared to the other MAIN store I shop at, there’s is rarely down that low.
  9. Use what you have on-hand. Yes, I know stocking up is a great thing, but also be sure you’re utilizing things instead of letting them go bad. A good idea is seeing what you have then planning meals AROUND what is already on your shelf.
  10. Avoid the ‘snack packs’ and other sugary convenient kiddie snacks. I do get these sometimes, but am trying to do better. Getting on-sale produce, crackers, yogurt, etc. will not only help your budget, but also help your family be more healthy.
  11. Check your local bakeries later in the evening to see if they have any mark-downs for the day they’re trying to sell.
  12. Drink water. This is really REALLY hard for me! I love my Dr. Pepper, and juice. However, I AM trying to reduce my intake to only one Dr. Pepper per day, and doing mostly water the remainder. Still struggling, but progressing!
  13. Purchase produce when it’s in season (thus, on sale!) and FREEZE it for later. This way, you can stock up while it’s more cost-friendly, but enjoy those fruits and veggies year round.
  14. Eat at home more often. I love eating out, but my family has done really well as of late to eat at home a LOT more often, making eating out a special occasion or treat. Even then, we watch for Kids Eat Free specials, birthday deals, ‘happy hour’ dinner specials, etc.
  15. Eat less meat. Meat can be really expensive, so having it less often can really help the budget. Or just exchange your normally expensive cuts for a downgrade type cut – for example, instead of boneless chicken breasts do drumsticks and thighs. Or a cheaper cut of steak instead of a Ribeye.

Bonus Grocery Budgeting Tips!

  1. Go to the store WITHOUT YOUR KIDS. I have a hard time with this, since I have four little ones, but I do still try to get the shopping done when daddy is home to watch them (plus it’s a nice break for me from the mini van!). With kids, you’ll get more ‘can I get these’, whining, and be a lot more distracted.
  2. Go shopping AFTER you’ve eaten. When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to buy more items and buy things you normally wouldn’t care about. Going on a full stomach can even help you realize that certain things just aren’t necessary.
  3. Find a produce co-op, such as Bountiful Baskets. I started using this when we moved to our new house (had just learned of it from my Uncle), and it’s been a HUGE help with our grocery budget. You can get produce for a lot cheaper, stock up on in-season-so-low-priced items, PLUS it helps (at least it has us) your family eat more produce, which is great for your health.

What are YOUR Best Grocery Budgeting Tips?

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Kelly Dedeaux

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16 Responses to “15+ of the BEST Grocery Budgeting Tips EVER”

  • These are all great tips, Danielle! And we do just about ALL of those. 😉 Can I say that I am jealous that milk is only $1.99 at your local ALDI? We pay about $2.79 a gallon here.

    • Thanks, Carrie! You’re a lot better than me, then – I TRY to do them, but only really do about half of them all of the time. I’m improving, though! Your milk is really that much?! At our other local grocery stores it’s about that price, except for Aldi

  • I second everything you posted! lol I do all our family shopping myself and always try to stretch our money as far as possible. We cut out soda about five months ago and it was difficult but totally worth it. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Charlene! I’m clapping for you right now – that’s AMAZING that you were able to cut out soda. I keep saying we should, but I just can’t bring myself to give up my daily can of Dr. Pepper LOL At least I found a generic I can get pretty cheap…..but maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to follow in your footsteps 😀

    • Thanks for reading, Michelle 😀 I’m sure you can find some that work for you – it’s all about finding what fits your situation the best!

  • Best list that I have seen around!! I stop at a few different stores to get the best prices and try to know the lowest price that I can get on different things we need and stay under budget! I try to stay under $160 for the month so it takes a lot of creativity to stay under that in an high priced urban area like DC. Thanks for the tips!

    • Oh my gosh, thanks so much Alison! Totally made my day saying that 😀 WOW – under $160 per month? That’s majorly impressive – you deserve a high five (sending a virtual high five to you through the computer right now) 😀 How big is your family?

  • We are trying to learn to shop for all the groceries 1 month at a time. This weekend will be 3 and everything is still going good, except the veggies we bought. We like to take a small veggie tray to work with us for lunch, but after 1 ½ weeks the carrots got slimy. So we may have to buy our veggies each week. We picked out the slimy ones to finish off the second week and cut up a watermelon for this week, so maybe we just need to get creative for the next week. After all we only have 3 days’ worth of lunches next week before we take a vacation.

    • Congrats on doing so well with sopping once a month!!! I’m working towards that, but still such a struggle. I’m impressed that you’re so great at eating veggies and such – Kudos! Have you looked into a produce co-op near you? We do Bountiful Baskets (bountifulbaskets.org) – they’re a bunch of states/places, and you just order for the week. Comes with lots, plus GREAT prices often cheaper than the grocery store. So that could be an option for you with the produce part.

  • Thanks for the great tips! I’m not a big couponer, but I do use coupons for items on sale, and I price match at Walmart. Price matching takes a little bit of work each week, but I do save enough to make it worth doing.

    Linda @ Mixed Kreations

    • That’s great that you’re able to save enough to make it worth it! Taking the time can really pay off for those that are patient 😀 Thanks so much for stopping by, Linda, and hope you have a marvelous week!!!

  • Always looking for advice in this area! Pinning and saving for later – thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much, Kristin! I am too – groceries are such a variable area in the budget, it’s always great learning new tricks to save money 😀

  • Great tips! I watched a show a long time ago that said to not buy things that your grandmother (or great grandmother) wouldn’t recognize which I thought was funny but I think about that. It is much healthier to buy potatoes then french fries because you can use them to make french fries but you won’t eat them as often if you have to make them from scratch. I don’t buy cookies, bread or other prepared foods that I can make at home because it is cheaper to make it at home. I am a couponer so I swear by shopping sales and coupons because you can get amazing deals and save tons for your family (my monthly budget is under $160 per month and I make it almost every month). I hope that some people take your tips to heart because it will help them save lots of money and not shopping with the kids is my favorite 🙂

  • […] quickly find out that most of your money is being spent on food. (by the way, here are 15+ tips in grocery budgeting) The sum is even bigger if you make a habit of eating out with your family. Fortunately, you can […]

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