Grocery Shopping Managing Your Budget

4 Tips to Saving Money Grocery Shopping

Food is one of the essentials of life in order to live. However, you want to be saving money grocery shopping as it helps you to manage and live within the grocery allowance. In today’s society, you need to consider about $40-50 per week for each member of the household. You should not need, as a single household more than $160-200 for food in any given month.

1. Plan Your Meals Ahead

If you are working on paying off credit cards and loans, choose more soups and casseroles. These are items that will last all week and the can get 4-5 meals off just one pot or bowl. These two categories of foods for meals can easily be made to fulfill all the required food groups – making them a very healthy and wise choice.

This is an example of one week of meal planning from payday to payday. In this chart, you are paid weekly and have to get seven days of meals out of it. If you get paid bi-weekly, you just double the grocery allowance for fourteen days instead of seven. Since I am a part-time waitress on weekends, I plan to eat my supper at work I also like to eat out, so I included a breakfast out once a week as well as lunch. I allocated $12.50 as my limit each time I eat out.

2. Always Make a List to Shop With

Once you have the meal plan for the next pay period laid out, you are ready to make the shopping list out. Look over the plan, I may want to change up the sandwich for lunch – so I will include stuff for a BLT once or twice in the week.

Once you have everything listed you need for the week’s meal plan, check the newspapers of the local stores and look for the best price and where. Oh, I also forgot to add my pet’s supplies for which I allocate $10 a week – one week litter and another canned food/treats and dry food.

3. Don’t Forget Your Coupons

Now you know where you can get the best price for each item and where, now go search the coupons you have cut, find online or from another source and make a note how much in the last column.

Your goal is to stay within the budget ($40 for food /$10 for Pets). I challenge you to not just stay within the food budget but to actually stay below – then through the amount left into Savings from the frugal grocery shopping each pay period. Also, check to see if anything on the list has a rebate, where after so many you can send for additional money paid back to you thereby cutting the grocery budget. Any rebate money should go into the Emergency Savings.

4. Only Use Cash or a Debit Card to Pay

Now add the prices of all the items on the list up and make sure you don’t go over the set budget of $40 per person in the household. Put the money for groceries in an envelope marked “GROCERIES/PET” – cash or debit card ONLY.

The Result – A More Focused Shopping Expedition

Not only does this method create saving money grocery shopping; but it also saves you valuable time as you know what you are looking for and staying within the needs for the week and budget. I look forward to hearing how you make out following this method next time you go shopping. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a reply below and I will get back to you.

Happy Shopping Experiences going forward!

11 replies on “4 Tips to Saving Money Grocery Shopping”

This is such a great plan and very doable. I like that you have also considered nutritional values in the meal preparation.

I have started out doing advanced meal preps but got off track a few times after. I can attribute this to just laziness and lack of interest. But I have realized that every time I get off track I end up spending a lot more money, and probably on unhealthy meals.

Thank you for these great insights. This is a very valuable article!

Grocery shopping can be a thief sometimes. I dont plan to buy something and at the end of the day, my money flies away buying them, not like they aren’t important though but I dont get to save and that’s not a good thing at all. I’m happy reading this post here and I will try to use this steps you have given here to help my grocery shopping. Thanks

I know the feeling John, been there and done that more times I care to admit.  If I am going out for the day, I generally tuck $20 in my wallet and no credit cards. I may stop and get $10 worth of gas, and when I get home only have $4 left.  Then I end up retracing my steps to see where the extra $6 went. 

Another tip I would like to share here – ALWAYS ASK FOR A RECEIPT anytime you spend money when your out and about.  It helps to make you aware of your spending. Ah-ha!  There’s where it went – as you pull out a slip for Dunkin Donuts and see iced coffee and a muffin on it.

Thanks for this amazing ideas on how to manage ones money when shopping for grocery’s. The importance of making a list have been neglected by so many people and when they are at the shop they sometimes buy some stuffs they don’t really need which amount to extra spending which we obviously don’t want. I have learned some things I would love to go with from my next shopping. 

I hear you loud and clear, Chloe!  Like anyone I have dropped by the market “just to pick up milk” and not had a list with me – then I see something and think I am out of something I see only to get home to find a stockpile under my cabinet of the item I thought I needed. Then I kick myself for spending money I didn’t have to. 

I cannot agree less with you that saving money on food can easily help to save up more than one could ever imgaine. Food consumptions should be minimal when it comes to paying back debts or saving and the best way to go about it is including a proper planning of the shopping and also shopping with the use of a list. That would enable one to make judicious decisions with the foods being bought and not buy unnecessary things.

I like the idea of saving money through food consumption and the best way to go about it is by following the tips you have shared in here. The tips are spot on and the one I make use of the most is not eating out and ensuring that I kept a grocery list with me whenever I am heading out to shop. I don’t even take any of my cards with me, I only pay with cash to avoid issues of overbuying or buying on credit. Great tips.

A great article. Some simple yet practical ideas and solutions to what is something we have to do each and every week. We have used the ‘meal planner’ method in the past but always seem to forget about it after a couple of weeks, even though we know it works so well.

Modern day supermarkets are designed to be a ‘one stop shop’ but the problem is, although some items will be good value, others will not but we will buy them anyway because it is convenient. Sometimes saving money means we have to work at it a bit harder, by shopping round and finding those items that we need at a lower price.

Certain things we need on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to find the best place them to buy and make a list for each shop. You may find that one shop always has good value vegetables and fresh fruit, whereas another will be best for cleaning products and so forth. Once you’ve made you’re various lists try and stick to them but periodically check that the prices are still keen. All very easy as long as you stay on the plan.

Thank you, Romero!   Budgeting anything takes time to get into a new habit or way of doing things. Often we fall back on old ways, as we have become more comfortable doing it a certain way.  Stores know this and prey on the convenience factor. They are hoping by having everything handy we will stay with them and are willing to pay more to get it for us – upping the cost they charge us for those certain items. They don’t want anyone else getting your business.

However I have learned I work hard for my money, as I know you do, and sometimes we have to change our ways a bit to find the better value.   I know at one store they offer ten packages of pasta products for $10.  You definitely won’t use it all in one pay period, but you could keep a box or two out for the week and if you have the room, tuck the remainder in a pantry area.  There are many other items you can find such deals.

Should you have unexpected guest arrive over the weekend, and you have a pantry stocked with little deals like this, you won’t have to tap into your savings to feed them – you will have enough on hand in your pantry to whip something delicious together. 

Also, keep your meal planner out – perhaps on a wall or refrigerator where you can easily be reminded and also have an envelope nearby where you can put coupons and refund offers inside and your grocery list for that pay period on the outside.  It takes work, but you must be intentional in saving and getting the best values.  After all, we work hard for our money – why waste it just because of convenience.  I can get eggs at my regular shopping center for $4.99 or I can go to the Dollar Tree and get a dozen for $1 and have an extra $3.99 to spend on groceries that week or to add to my savings. 

Sorry for rambling on here.  I hope you found it of value to your grocery shopping experiences. Does this make sense to you?

Hi Donna,

Wow, this is precisely what I was looking for. I spend so much money on food. My husband is going crazy about this:) 

This article will help plan and most importantly, will help me save money. I do have a question, though. What should I do if I have guests coming over for the weekend? How should I calculate this? I am not good at mathematics. I hope you can help me:)

Thank you for this excellent post!

Thank you, Daniella!  Great question you posed, I am writing another post to address that very subject as I too have faced that very thing.  I do try to make situations where I have guests coming over part of my plan for the pay period involved if possible.  I find having an emergency fund in process, should guess drop by unexpectedly without warning – you should be able to take out $50-100 and pay it back next pay period to the account.  This would allow you to get enough to satisfy your guest visiting and have a good time.

I hope this makes sense and helps answer your question somewhat!

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