When it comes to groceries and eating out, I feel like that’s the one line on my monthly budget spreadsheet that I can control the most. I remember a time when my husband and I were spending around $900 a month on food just for the two of us! It was insane. Those days are over though. We have some financial goals we want to meet, and one way of doing that is controlling our spending when it comes to food. I know with COVID things are a little crazy, but I want to share my top 5 tips that I believe will help get your grocery bills under control.
Shop the Weekly Ad
So every Wednesday grocery stores post their weekly sales ad. One of the best ways to save money is to make your meals based around those sales. So if ground turkey is on sale, I’m grabbing that for some spaghetti or for taco night. The same goes for steaks as my husband is a huge ribeye fan. He knows if steaks are on sale, then he’s eating good that week! When it comes to produce, my go-to spot is definitely Aldi’s. I check their ad each week, and whatever fruit they have on sale is what we’re snacking on for the week.
Use Digital Coupons
Most grocery stores offer discount savings in the form of a loyalty card and digital coupons. It’s easy to do and a great way to save some money. I use my Kroger app to add coupons to my loyalty card. They also send me paper coupons in the mail for items based on my shopping history. Sometimes I luck up and I’ll have a paper coupon and a digital coupon to use on the same item. A win-win. It does require some effort, but I’m fine with it if it helps me get that much closer to my financial goals.
Cash Back Apps
If you haven’t downloaded a grocery cashback app like Checkout 51, Ibotta, etc, you’re definitely missing out on free money. I’m a big fan of Ibotta. It has all the stores I shop at, and I’ve been able to get back over $200. You can’t withdraw until you have at least $20, but you’ll get that in no time. You just add the coupons you want, upload your receipt, and you earn cash. I mean, it’s free money!
I know thanks to COVID things have changed a lot, but I would challenge you to write out how much you spent on takeout in one month. The number might surprise you. We did this pre-COVID, and I couldn’t believe how much money we were spending eating out and on drinks. Granted, it’s nice to have a break from cooking and order takeout from time to time, but you gotta keep it in check!
Carbs Carbs & Carbs
If you have a husband like mine (or kids) that eats up everything, it can be hard not to spend a lot of money on food. When I meal plan I’m thinking about how I can get everyone full without breaking the bank. That’s where my true love, carbs come into play. My go-to favorites are whole wheat pasta, wild rice, and sweet potatoes. Making sure each meal has a good balance of carbs helps keep my greedy little family full!