How I Lowered My Family’s Grocery Bill To $100 a Week!
So there I was, in the middle of the grocery store with a pile of coupons in my hand (for items I’ve never heard of) going down the same aisle for the hundredth time. My six year old is hopping all about, completely oblivious to the other customers trying to shop and causing a “traffic jam.” My other hand is busy trying to keep my two year old from tossing everything out of the cart and ripping all the snacks open and I just realized he’s missing a shoe! On the verge of tears, I shove those darn coupons to the bottom of my purse and quickly head to the cash register to check out.
That was just one of my MANY failed couponing trips.
I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent preparing for a great couponing trip (my confidence glowing) and I just end up in tears because I can’t find half of the items that go with my coupons! After months of following advice of other couponing bloggers and actually watching the show Extreme Couponing, I came to several conclusions:
(1) Who in the world needs a hundred boxes of cheez-its… 500 frozen burritos… and 1,000 packages of Ramen noodles!?!?
(2) Getting coupon inserts is not easy! I am not one to ask for help from others… so there is no way I am going around the neighborhood hustling my neighbors for their coupons (nor will I dumpster dive for them.)
(3) Who in the world has 40+ hours a week to dedicate to couponing???
(4) The majority of food items that extreme couponers are buying is junk food!
So after much evaluation, I decided couponing just wasn’t for me and I would have to take another approach!
For the first year ever, I made myself a New Year’s Resolution, in hopes to force myself to really get a plan in action!
My Challenge: Spend only $100 a week on groceries for a family of four.
So here is how I was able to save my family $$$
6 Simple Rules to Lowering Your Grocery Bill:
Rule #1: Shop for your groceries once a week/choose a grocery shopping day
Over the years I have always just shopped for groceries whenever we were running low, having no idea when I would be shopping again. I would buy in bulk hoping that this shopping trip would last us longer. We were spending way too much on groceries and it just seemed like we were going through them too fast! Clearly something had to change. So here’s what we did! I chose Wednesday as my grocery shopping day. Under no circumstances am I aloud to go any other day! Forgot the milk?.. too bad! How many times have I gone to the grocery store to just pick up some milk and ended up spending $80? Too many times!
Rule #2: Make a list & stick to it
I am that crazy lady in the grocery store with a clipboard and pencil, crossing off my list and keeping track of my expenses. But this saves me money! I also use my list to add up my cost. I do not like surprises at the register, so I know before hand what my groceries will cost. Making a list also ensures that you don’t forget anything and avoid that return trip. The list is also an excellent source of entertainment if your shopping with little ones, kids love to doodle.
Rule #3: Buy a week’s worth of food
Only purchase enough food to get your family through the week until your next shopping trip. I cant stress this enough! This has been a huge money saver for our family! We buy exactly what we need for the week, nothing more, nothing less.
Rule #4: Base your meals around the sales
Make sure you check the sales flyer before going to the grocery store and plan your meals around the food that i son sale that week. I am always keeping an eye out for the meat that goes on sale. If one week chicken is on sale, I will make sure all our meals involve chicken. If the beef prices are down, well that week would be great for beef stew and burgers.
Rule #5: Plan your dinners for the week
I absolutely despise searching through cook books for recipes. I really like to hear feedback and advice on recipes, so Pinterest has been my new best friend. I have found so many great family friendly recipes on there that have now become our family’s favorite meals. We have a dry erase board on the front of our refrigerator which lists off our meals for the week and all meals are planned using my fourth rule.
Rule 6: Make leftover friendly meals
My husband was frustrated with how much he was spending on lunch during the work week and we decided that packing his lunch would save us a lot of money. So I started making dinners that could easily be turned into leftovers for him to bring to work. This involved trying new meals, which is always fun! He hasn’t had to buy lunch at work all month, that has saved us a great deal of money!
So there are my six rules that has greatly helped our family significantly lower our grocery bill! Pretty easy, right!? This method doesn’t involve a single clipping of a coupon… or endless hours of research… or even store hopping for the best deals! Just simply know what sales are going on at your favorite grocery store that week and shop accordingly! Stop impulse buying!!! Huge No NO!
I am in no way discouraging couponing! This just isn’t for me! Please feel free to comment with any other suggestions you may have for myself and other readers! Thanks all! If you are looking for other ways to save money at home, make sure to check out coupons for ebay shipping and save on household items and more!