Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Sticking to a grocery budget each month can be hard, especially if you have a large family or you’re trying to focus on healthier eating options. For the past couple of years, I’ve managing to keep my monthly grocery budget under $500 per month with a family of five and today I’m sharing some of my best tips with you.
Do Grocery Pickup
Grocery pickup is one of the best things invented especially for those who live busy lives or those who don’t like spending hours in the grocery store. I personally love it because it is hands down one of the main reasons that I can commit to spending $500 or less per month on groceries.
With grocery pickup, I’m able to order the groceries online and not be tempted with random purchases as I would be if I shopped in the store. Furthermore, since I’m able to see the cart pricing in real time I’m able to play around with my cart and pricing until I get everything that I need for the price that I am satisfied with.
Additionally, if you shop at Walmart for your groceries you may just be lucky enough to live in an area where they offer grocery delivery.
Start Meal Stretching
Meal stretching is something that I’ve dabbled with over the years, but this year I’ve really gotten into it as it not only allows me to stay within my grocery budget, but it makes life easier all around for everyone.
With meal stretching you simply purchase things that will last for multiple meals, which cuts back on the amount of time you must spend prepping and cooking food each week but also allows you to have the same main dish but in different ways.
For example, my perfect items to meal stretch with include fresh meats such as brisket and whole chicken. These meats can be used in various things from tacos to salads to even just having them with rice and veggies.
Alternatively, making large dishes such as healthy spinach bake and hearty homemade pasta work too.
Focus on the Monthly Grocery Budget and Not a Weekly Grocery Budget
When I first started trying to lower my grocery budget each month, I focused more on a weekly budget instead of a monthly budget. I just couldn’t understand why I was going over budget each month on groceries but knew that I had to switch things up.
Below is how I like to break up my weeks to make sure I’m staying within my planned grocery budget each month:
- Week 1: Focus on stocking up on everything possible (Approximately $150 spent)
- Week 2: Focus on stocking up the pantry, the freezer, and the fridge (Approximately $100 spent)
- Week 3: Shop for whatever is needed (usually this is just drinks, eggs, condiments, and other small and cheap items) (Approximately $50 spent)
- Week 4: Shop for meals for the week and start stocking up again if anything is left in the budget (Approximately $100 spent)
Purchase in Bulk When Possible
When possible purchase in bulk. For example, Walmart always seems to have rollbacks the first week of the month on things such as snacks for the kids and pantry staples. Therefore, when I see rollbacks or a good deal on something I go ahead and purchase a larger size of it. Depending on the size, the item may last for the entire month or longer, which allows me to allocate money to other areas of the grocery budget or splurge on a meal we don’t have a lot that costs more.
Stop Wasting Food
I know I just said purchase in bulk when possible. However, make sure you’re purchasing the right things so you’re not wasting food. Wasting food is wasting money and it can be a big deal when you’re trying to stay within a grocery budget.
For example, fresh fruits are something that I must purchase weekly and by demand. At one point I was over buying in the fruit department and we were having to throw it out. Therefore, now I get fruit weekly and at the beginning of the month focus on making sure the boys have other healthy snack options that won’t expire so quickly.
Another example would be salad. That stuff used to always go bad so quickly in my house. However, since I switched up how I store it I’m able to keep it fresher longer.
This step will take some being honest with yourself when grocery shopping as we all plan to eat things and it never happens. But it’s a step that you don’t want to skip.
See Also: Shopping Hacks to Save Money on Fruits and Veggies Each Month
Final Thoughts – Sticking to a Grocery Budget Each Month Isn’t Hard You Just Have to Get Creative
As with any type of budget you put in place for yourself sticking to a grocery budget is something that you must get used to. However, if you get creative and make a few tweaks to the way you do groceries, in general, you’ll find that it’s not hard at all. In fact, after the first month (and you see how much money you’re able to save) it will become second nature.
Do you have any tips for sticking to a grocery budget each month?