Over the last few years, I have learned new and creative ways for cutting down on my grocery budget. There are several ways you can do this. With the TLC show “Extreme Couponers” coupon users have kind of gotten a bad wrap. I have been labeled “that coupon lady”, but I’m not extreme like those on that show. That is a sickness. Here a few ways that you can save money on your groceries this week without couponing or spending your life hoarding.
1. Make a dinner menu
I know what you are thinking, you don’t want to be bound by a menu. The point of a dinner menu is to just know what kind of meals you can make with the food you have. Decide what you can make from what you have. This is a great time to pull out your recipe book or recipe cards that you haven’t looked at in a while. Personally, I find that when I make a dinner menu, it keeps my spending down. I don’t buy a lot of excess food at the grocery store. Each item I buy has a purpose and I know exactly how I’m going to use it.
I also have noticed that I don’t end up feeding my dinner ingredients to the kids for a snack. It really helps me keep control of eating all the good food and getting to the end of the month with just beans and rice. Believe me, it has happened to me plenty of times where we have eaten all of the best ingredients in the house in the first two weeks of the month, and then have little to no grocery budget to buy anything great the last two weeks of the month.
2. Price Match
No one these days has time to run around to several grocery stores. So, just get the local ads to where you live and circle a few sale items you want to buy. You can price match any local ad to Walmart. When I price match, I usually group the items together that are found in the same ad. Then I lay the ad on the pile of groceries to remind myself which ad they were in. This helps me stay organized when I get to the cashier at checkout.
If I have time in advance, I will write the sales items, the price, and the ad they are found in on my grocery list. This helps me stay organized when I am shopping. With kids in tow, it can get a little insane at times when I’m shopping. Whenever I have the chance, I try to leave them at home when I do grocery shopping for this very reason. Hopefully, these few tips will keep you organized when you are price matching.
3. Eat From the Pantry
Try to get by with what you already have on hand. That random can of beans or jar of gravy that has been sitting in there for who knows how long, commit to finding a way to eat it this week. If you aren’t very good in the kitchen creating dishes from scratch, you can do a simple google search. Just type in two or three ingredients that you have on hand into the search bar and add recipe to the end. Likely, you will come up with some great recipes using those ingredients. I have discovered many great recipes this way.
This won’t save you the kind of money that extreme couponers save, but you will save more than what you generally spend. Making a few adjustments in your daily habits will certainly add up to the savings you see. Oftentimes, when you start seeing the rewards of your hard work, it can make you feel even more motivated to do more. These few tips could certainly be the start of your savings and over time it can grow. The one thing to remember when saving money on groceries or just about anything is that you can usually get by with less than you think.