2 Basic Steps To Reduce Your Grocery Bill
You know that your grocery bill is too high. But where do you start to try and bring it back under control? There are 2 basic steps that I always start with when Barry and I are faced with this same problem.
I’m going to share with you these tips today. My goal is not only to get my own grocery spending under control. The goal is to also give you some tools and strategies to help you too. So you can be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
First Things First
The first thing that I do when I suspect our grocery spending is too high, is to start making a list. Lists that will help me keep track of every receipt and dime spent. So, keep EVERY RECEIPT.
I make a list of even how much I’m spending in which grocery stores. This is so I can identify if there is a particular store that I may be having a spending problem in. However, it might also reveal which store has been the one with the best deals too.
These lists are even detailed and divided into categories of things such as meat, fruits/vegetables, eggs, milk/cheese, etc.
With the list of categories, I will go through each receipt and write what was spent. For instance, just recently I shopped at the Giant Tiger. We purchased the following:
- 4 packages of bacon @ $2.50 each
- 6 cans of Maple Leaf Flaked Ham @ $0.99 each
- 2 packages of Chicken Wieners @ $0.88 each
- 227 grams of White Mushrooms for $1.47
- English Cucumber @ 50% off for $0.48
The total was $19.65. Now I will take my Grocery Category Cost Breakdown list and put the amounts in the correct area.
This will mean that under the Meats category I will put $17.70. Under the Fruits/Vegetables category I will list $1.95.
One way to reduce your spending is to find out where it is going in the first place.
Secondly, Is The Spending Balanced?
Second, I take those lists and break it down based on the How To Spend Your Food Dollar. In this way I can see if I’m keeping my purchases balanced. Your meats and fruits/vegetable spending should be about the same amounts. Perhaps not week to week, but over an entire month it should be balanced. Some items will be on sale one week and not the next.
One week I may stock up on meats, and the next, fruits and vegetables. But by the end of the month, my Grocery Category Cost Breakdown list will look like this:
- Meat – $54.91
- Fruit/Vegetables – $51.88
- Milk/Cheese – $30.56
- Eggs – $23.90
- Breads – $2.99
- Toiletries – $12.40
- Baking – $2.06
- Sauces – $2.47
- Cat Food/Snacks – $11.70
- Miscellaneous – $1.12
Breaking down the spending in this much detail helps you to identify if one or more areas are out of control. Then you know specifically what you need to change.
From this above list it is easy to see that Barry and I are able to keep our Meats and Fruit/Vegetables category spending pretty equal. And that is what I want. Although at a lower amount, the Eggs and Milk/Cheese categories are the other 2 that I like to keep pretty closely balanced.
So although I still over spent a bit more than I had wanted—my actual category spending is balanced. My budget goal for that month was $160-$180. However, the amounts listed above totaled $200.76.
Keeping this type of balance helps to make sure that our diet stays nutritionally balanced as well. After all, financial stress hurts your health.
So it is important to keep your food purchases balanced. You can still keep healthy food in your home. Allowing you to improve your health even under tight financial circumstances.
What Can You Change?
By doing these first 2 steps you will be able to quickly identify ways to reduce your grocery bill.
Perhaps your meat purchases are double the fruits and vegetables. Ask yourself if you are buying meats when they are on sale or regular price? Consistently only buy meats when they are on sale. This alone will save you hundreds of dollars every year. To learn more about whether a meat is on sale read: How To Read A Meat Label.
Buy produce that is in season or reduced. For instance, currently due to a lettuce crop failure, prices have increased drastically. Taking that into consideration, we won’t be buying much lettuce until the prices come down again. Instead, we will look for other nutritional equal substitutes. Such as spinach, salad greens, or coleslaw.
Good thing we will be planting lettuce in our garden this summer. But these high prices won’t stay that way forever. Just last year a head of Cauliflower was a ridiculous $8 each. This year with a better crop, the prices have returned to normal.
Learn to be flexible in your grocery shopping choices.
You can get started today and do these 2 first steps to reduce your grocery bill.
Let me know what you’ve discovered. Are you spending balanced? Perhaps you are balanced in your spending but still need to find ways to cut the costs more. Comment below and let me know what area of grocery shopping you struggle with the most.
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