Hello, my fabulous friends! Happy Saturday! Look at me… posting my blog at 11:00 AM on Saturday morning just like I said I would… Sticking to those New Year’s resolutions/goals yall. *insert sunglass emoji here* #soproud.
Today’s blog post is about something that I have gotten asked quite a bit… Grocery Shopping on a Budget. Whether that be because you are a broke college student, competing and looking to save money where you can, or some other reason… budgeting is something almost anyone can relate to. I am not in college, and I’m not competing, but budgeting (or at least trying to budget) is something that I do on a regular basis… especially when it comes to shopping for groceries. I can find myself spending a lot of money on food so sometimes I have to control the crazy haha… I know I cannot be the only one. (Like this post if you agree).
Eating healthy and consuming nutrient dense foods isn’t always cheap, or easy, but it also doesn’t have to break the bank. I have scrambled my brain for some tips and trips on how to save money on your weekly groceries, and how you can ball on a budget at the grocery store.
- Set a budget. Know how much you want and can afford to spend. Think about how much you typically spend on groceries. Come up with a weekly grocery budget and stick to it.
- Make a list. Stick to said list. Go down the aisles that have the foods you need and resist the urge to go down the random cookie and snack aisle. (Not that there is anything wrong with cookies. But only go down that aisle if they are on your list… you get what I am trying to say lol).
- Create a weekly meal plan. Now, this is not to say that you need to follow a “diet” or a rigid “meal plan.” This simply means come up with creative meals you are going to eat throughout the week that share the same or similar ingredients. For examples, tacos on Monday could turn into sloppy joes on Tuesday. Knowing what you are going to eat throughout the week, and how much, will better prepare you to make your grocery list accurate.
- Know prices. It is a really good idea to know what foods cost what where. Walmart is typically an inexpensive grocery store. Aldi’s has great produce at cheap prices. You will typically pay more for items at places like Whole Foods or other specialty grocery stores. Shop Rite is usually more expensive than Shop N Save… you get my point.
- Shop discount grocery stores. You can find really great produce and items at stores like Aldi’s. (Don’t knock it until you try it.) Unfortunately, where I am located in NY doesn’t have an Aldi’s like our place near Pittsburgh. But if you have an Aldi’s, or a similar concept grocery store, I definitely recommend checking it out.
- Buy in bulk. I don’t know about you, but there are some foods that the boyfriend and I go through super quick, on a weekly basis. Such as egg whites, chicken, oatmeal, ground turkey, frozen veggies… For these items, we shop at SAMs Club. It’s just easier to be a larger amount because it typically costs less and it lasts longer.
- Buy store brand. Opt to buy store brand, or generic products, as opposed to their name brand counter parts. 9/10 times you can’t even tell the difference taste wise.
- Buy whole foods. Don’t buy the prechopped, precut, or prewashed vegetables. You will pay more money because of the convenience factor. So save yourself some money and opt to chop and cut yourself.
- Don’t overbuy. Only buy the produce that you need for that week. If you buy too much, it is more than likely to spoil, or go bad, before you have a chance to eat it… which is a waste of money.
- Buy what’s on sale… ONLY if it is something you use and like. Don’t buy 10 cans of tuna just because it’s on sale… especially if you don’t even like tuna. If you usually buy broccoli or asparagus for your meals, and the broccoli is on sale and the asparagus is not, choose broccoli that week. This could also mean utilizing coupons. Check for coupons online or in the newspaper for any coupons/sales on foods you eat regularly.
- Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. That’s an obvious. We all know what happens when you go to the store starving… you buy a lot of snacks lol (that you don’t typically buy in the first place). The cost of those snacks can really add up quick.
- Limit your trips. Only allow yourself to go to the grocery store once (or twice) a week. I used to be so bad at this. I would literally go to the grocery store every single day (lol oops). Instead of that daily trip, see what foods you already have in your cabinets and make a substitution meal/snack wise. Small stops at the grocery store, on the daily basis, can really add up.
There you have it. 12 of my top tips for grocery shopping on a budget. I hope this blog was helpful to you, and as a result, now you can save more money on groceries and spend those valuable dollars elsewhere… On some new lulus perhaps? Haha.
What are some of your favorite ways to save money at the grocery store? Where do you find the best bargains? Any tips or tricks that I missed? Leave a comment.
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