One of the most stressful and tedious things in life is a little thing called grocery shopping. It can be stressful because you don't always know what you can and can't afford. Let's face it. Groceries these days can get really expensive really fast if you're someone like me who is on a tight budget and live paycheck to paycheck. But luckily through some sacrifices and hard earned lessons, I have managed to cut our grocery bill down quite a bit and still buy more than enough to get us through two weeks.
So these 5 tips have really helped me out and I hope they help you out too!
Store brand is your best friend!
One of the things that I've learned is that store brand is cheap, and guess what? It tastes exactly the same as a name brand. When you pay for a name brand, you're just paying for the brand. Store brand can come in handy for things like bread, canned veggies, pasta, or anything that comes in a box, can or jars. You can use the money you save from these to use towards things like fruits and veggies along with dairy and eggs. Because let's face it, produce isn't exactly cheap nowadays. Where store brand can really save you is canned veggies. You can buy a ton of canned veggies and keep those in bulk and keep them for however long you need to, depending on how much you buy.
Portion Control and Serving Size
Another thing that has saved us money and stretched our groceries further is following serving sizes and exercise portion control. The problem we found most was that we were eating too much food in one sitting. So we started following portion sizes as best as we can and our groceries have stretched. It may not seem like enough but trust me you will be surprised at how filling one cup of rice can be or a 1/4 of meat can be. Not only will your wallet feel better because of how far you were able to stretch your groceries but your body will be thankful because you didn't over stuff it with too much food.
Coupons are also a great way to reduce your grocery bill. Now I'm no "master couponer" but I do use them when the occasion calls for it. Before you use coupons, look up your store's coupon policy. The last thing you want to hear is the register making that "grehh" sound and your heart sinks.
Buy in bulk!
Buying in bulk can be quite a blessing. Especially on staples like pasta, rice, canned veggies, etc. If you have pets, buying dog food in bulk is a fantastic idea, especially if you have a dog that eats its weight in dog food everyday. I started to buy five pound bags of rice which has lasted more than two weeks, and when pasta is on sale I buy about five or six boxes. That will last me at least two months since I really don't cook pasta that often at all. Now for rice. I have to at least buy that once a month since I cook rice almost everyday of my life (hello, I'm Asian!). That--and some other things are cheaper to buy in bulk, just depends on where you live and the store you go to.
This tip is very useful for those in college or for those who are always on the go but want to eat a tad bit healthier. Meal prepping is awesome because not only does it portion your food, but it also limits the amount of food you are going to want to buy. Therefore, your bill is going to be a bit lower because meal prep is usually done weekly since we don't want to keep food in the fridge for too long or else it will spoil. And now with that being said, when you meal prep, you can cook things in bulk and if you're careful about it, you can stretch your budget in ways you couldn't imagine.
So those are my tips on how to make our grocery budget cheaper and I hope they help you out as much as they've helped me out!