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.