So maybe you have decided to save some money, or you had a recent life event make you scale back on your spending. Whatever your reason for wanting to grocery shop on a budget you have come to the right place. I love getting deals and saving money. The extra cash I have at the end of a grocery trip makes me feel like I have accomplished something.
Last week my grocery bill was $24.61 for a whole week of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two people. That comes out to a $1.76 per day per person! Could you imagine living on that much per day? Now let me tell you, I am not a big eater. I usually have three meals a day, and about 1-2 snacks, but my husband eats about four meals a day and has 3-4 snacks.
Establish a budget — Okay so first thing’s first. You need to establish a budget. Look at what you are spending on groceries, restaurants, etc. and decide how much you want to save. Do you want to just cut back on your grocery bill, restaurants, or both? Once you decide what you want to cut back, then decide how much you want to cut it back. If you usually spend about $100 a week on food, maybe your target goal would be to spend $60 a week. Once you realize how easy it is to do that you can continue to scale back your spending.
Look through sales ads to plan meals — This is pretty easy since they get sent to your house once a week. All you have to do is look to see what is on sale for the week and then plan meals around that. It usually helps to add variety in the dinner schedule too. For example in my freezer I have 1lb of turkey bacon, 4 chicken breasts, 1 lb of turkey sausage. In my refrigerator I have lettuce, mild cheddar cheese, and eggs. My meal planning would be:
Monday: Tacos ( tortillas $3.14)
Tuesday: Bacon & Cheese omelette
Wednesday: Grilled chicken (broccoli $1.44 and rice $2.29)
Thursday: Leftover Tacos
Friday: BLT (bread $2.89)
Saturday: Leftover grilled chicken wraps
Sunday: Sandwich (turkey breast $ 4.99 lb & provolone $3.89 lb)
Your dinner this week is costing you a grand total of $18.64.
Make a list — Once you see what is on sale. Take inventory of your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Try to use what you already have and then maybe buy a side to go with it. Of course I will need to purchase the staples of milk, cereal, and fruit every week, but I try to really buy what is on sale for the week so the brand name doesn’t matter.
Stick to the list — When you go to the store try to stay in the produce section only. When you start going through the center aisles is when your list starts to add up. You also are purchasing the not-so-healthy food too.
Well, there you have it. Eating on a budget is not so bad, and for me it actually helps my meal planning. I end up eating healthier options because they are planned out ahead of time instead of last minute binging on whatever I can get my hands on.