Are you struggling with finding ways to save on groceries each month? If we aren’t careful, groceries are something that can seriously eat up all of our spending money!
After I sat down one day and realized I was spending OVER 30% of my money on food (both groceries and eating out). I knew I had to make a change.
In this post you will find all the tips and tricks I used that helped me save HUNDREDS of dollars a month on groceries and exactly how you can too!!
How much should you be spending on groceries every month?
The amount of money you spend on groceries every month will overall vary from person based on things like lifestyle, income, and eating habits.
It’s pretty obvious that a single gal in her 20’s (like me) is going to spend way less on groceries than a mom with two kiddos and a husband to feed. More mouths to feed = more money spent.
A safe rule of thumb would be to keep your grocery budget to around 10%-15% of your monthly income.
It is also important to keep your typical eating habits in mind. We all know that in general healthier food is going to be a little more expensive than unhealthier foods so be sure to keep that in mind when creating your grocery budget.
Here are some examples of average grocery budgets you can go off of:
- Single person: $200-$300 per month ($50-$75 per week)
- Family of two: $400-$550 per month ($100-$140per week)
- Family of three: $500-600 per month ($125-$150 per week)
- Four or more: $650-$800 per month ($160-$200 per week)
Tips to save money on groceries
If you are looking to save money on groceries every month, meal planning is THE WAY to go. The idea of meal planning honestly scared me at first. The entire thought of planning a weeks-months worth of meals was pretty daunting.
But let me tell you, after starting my meal planning journey I never looked back! – and you probably won’t either.
Let me ask you something. How many times a week do you find yourself not having any idea what to eat, and then just end up eating out?
When you do this, you are spending more money ON TOP of the money you already spent at the grocery store.
When you plan you meals ahead of time either weekly, biweekly, or monthly you will SAVE HUNDREDS of dollars a month.
Meal prepping sort of goes hand in hand with meal planning. The only difference is that you are preparing your food beforehand for the week.
If you are super busy throughout the week and find yourself struggling to make time to cook, you may want to give meal prepping a try!
Related: 12 Healthy Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas
Cut your trips to the store
Minimizing your trips to the grocery to either once every week or every week can save you so much money on your monthly grocery bill.
I can’t even count the amount of times I have ran into the store for one thing then ended up walking out with $30 worth of things if definitely didn’t need!
Check your pantry
Ever bought something multiple times because you forgot you already had it? I sure have.
I always make sure to give my pantry and fridge a quick scan before I head to the grocery store. This helps me get a good mental picture of what I already have.
Use online grocery apps to budget and compare prices
Walmart Grocery and InstaCart are two great ways to help you get a good idea of how much you will be spending on your grocery trip. If you like online grocery shopping go ahead and finish the process there. But if you prefer to shop in store, using these apps will help better prepare you for what you are buying!
Keep track of spending while you shop
Keeping a rough estimate of how much you are spending as you are shopping is a good habit to get into into. There’s been so many times when I got into the grocery store expecting to spend $50. And when the cashier rings everything up, I end up seeing $80 on the screen.
Side note: It’s kind of like going to Target to get some toothpaste and walking out with new clothes, shoes, and some new things for your room – and STILL stoping by the Starbucks on the way out! Can any one else relate?!?
Browse weekly ads
I know most of the larger chain grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Walmart, and Target have weekly ads online. Be sure to check your local grocery store website to see what types of sales and deals they are having for the week!
Buy fresh food that are in season
You’ll notice pretty quick how much stores will mark up out of season produce. Try to buy produce that is in season as much as possible. For your favorite produce that is out of season, head to the frozen section to see what you can find.
Opt for generic brands
Did you know that most of time generic brands taste just the same as your favorite brand name items?
Now I know that for some items there’s just no beating the original brand names, but you can really save much on your groceries with the few items that you do swap!
Stock up during sales (sometimes)
Notice some of your staple items are on sale? Go ahead a buy a few of them to last you for a while.
However, be sure you are only doing this on non perishable foods or foods you can put in the freezer such as meats to avoid unnecessary waste.
Apps that help you save money grocery shopping
I am most of you have heard of Ibotta at some point throughout the years. Ibotta is a grocery shopping app that allows you to get cash back when you buy certain items listed on their app from your local grocery store!
Rakuten is another cash back shopping app that works pretty much the same way. This app is more catered general retail shopping but you may be able to find a few grocery stores in your same area.
Using the Fetch Rewards app is so simple and easy! All you have to do is scan your receipt after you are done shopping and earn points to use on rewards! They have so many different reward options such as gift cards from Sephora, Ulta, Homegoods and literally so much more!
Checkout 51 is an app that will allow to earn cash back on groceries AND GAS. How cool?! The only thing is that you have to purchase the specific items that they have listed on the app.