DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN CUT YOUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF BY IMPLEMENTING THESE 20 PAINLESS STEPS?
There comes a certain point when we begin to accept the fact that life is expensive.
Bills like our mortgage or rent, car and home insurance, gas bills, and grocery bills seem to be constantly rising, but there are a couple things you can do to lower and even cut your grocery bill in half.
You CAN have control over your grocery bill.
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There are several different things you can do every month to lower your grocery bill. While none of them are LIFE ALTERING – if you implement a handful of these small changes you will start to see live altering changes in your grocery bill!
If, by using these strategies to lower your grocery bill, you could cut even just $200 off your monthly grocery bill, what would you do with that extra money?
Related: 20 Things We Took Off Our Grocery List to Save Money
One mistake a lot of people make is not knowing how much money they are spending on their groceries every month.
If you’re not tracking your spending (with a tracker like this), there’s a GOOD chance you’re spending more money than you realize. And it could end up driving you into debt.
To avoid this, you should be tracking your spending. You can either use something similar to this to track your spending, or you can grab the free bill tracker by signing up below.
The first thing you should do, before you start implementing these tips to lower your grocery bill, is learn how to budget your grocery bill, which you can do here.
Related: How to Save Money on Groceries Every Month Starting Today
20 EASY WAYS TO CUT YOUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF
1. COOK FROM SCRATCH
Start by cutting back on the number of times you and your family eat out during the month. Eating out is one of those “blind” expenses where the money we spend doesn’t seem to count.
When we spend money eating out at restaurants or fast food places we tend to justify our spending. We somehow convince ourselves that it’s OKAY to spend money eating out just this one time. (But it never is just one time, is it?)
It’s also time to cut those ready-made dinners off of your grocery list.
Need a master list that keeps everything together?:
For years I bought the pre-made meals from grocery stores, despite the fact that they are WAY too overpriced. It wasn’t until I decided to try freezer cooking that I was able to cut these meals off of our list and start making homemade pre-made meals, instead.
This is the freezer meal method I use to make 10 freezer meals in ONE hour so we always have a stocked freezer (plus you can make these meals for a fraction of the cost of buying pre-made meals from the grocery store).
See how you can make 10 healthy freezer meals in less than an hour here!
Instead of going out to eat and instead of buying the pre-made dinners, you can bring your grocery bill down DRASTICALLY by cooking your meals at home.
Start buying whole ingredients, and view this list of items you should always buy in bulk to help you save even more money on groceries. (I save $8 by buying our chocolate chips in bulk! Find out how here.)
2. BECOME A FLYER SHOPPER
Before you go grocery shopping you should make sure you ALWAYS check store flyers. You can plan your meals for the week around what is on sale according to the flyers.
If ground beef is on sale, plan a couple meals that include ground beef. (And YES – you should be planning your meals. Planning our meals is exactly how my husband and I lowered our grocery bill by $700 a month. Click here to see how we did it!)
If you don’t get flyers in the mail, you can use an app like Flipp to view the weekly flyers online (or on your phone).
3. MEAL PLAN
Meal planning is listed high up anytime I’m talking about saving money. Meal planning is a lost art, and very few people are willing to give it a try. I was skeptical about meal planning before I started, too.
And when I started it took me MANY months before I started seeing results, because I was doing it the wrong way. (Who knew there is a right and wrong way to meal plan?)
✅ This is the meal planning method that helped my husband and I lower our grocery bill by $700/month.
Meal planning enables you to plan in advance, and when you go grocery shopping you can then buy everything that you need for all your meals for the next week, two weeks, or month. It eliminates wasted food and saves you money in more ways than one.
I’m a HUGE advocate of meal planning. I just love it…
…if you couldn’t tell.
You can see how we used the meal planning method to lower our grocery bill here.
If you’re ready to jump into meal planning you can get a free meal planner sent to your inbox by signing up below.
Related: 6 Steps to Master the Art of Meal Planning
4. INVEST IN A BRITA WATER JUG
My husband and I are both used to living off of well water, so when we moved into a town that had terribly tasting tap water, it was a shock to both of us.
Of course, with me trying to live as frugally as possible, for the first year that we lived here I was boiling water on the stove, letting it cool enough to put it into a water jug, then sticking it in the fridge. And THAT was our drinking water.
Needless to say, we were not drinking a healthy amount of water. (When it takes a couple hours to get a small jug of drinking water… it just wasn’t a healthy situation.)
The reason why we went for an entire year with getting water like that was because I couldn’t bring myself to spend money on a Brita water jug and then have to spend money on filters for it, too.
I was skeptical that the Brita would even completely take the bad taste out of our water, and I definitely didn’t want to spend our money on something that wasn’t going to work.
Finally we decided to splurge and buy a Brita water jug. (I don’t know what it was that finally convinced me it was time to buy one. Maybe it was the hours of my life I wasted waiting for water to boil… the lack of water in my body…)
And, much to my surprise, it has not disappointed us (and we’ve been using it every day for over a year now). It takes the “town taste” out of our water, and it works fast.
Using our water jug has taken away the time I used to spend boiling, cooling, and transfering water – AND it has stopped us from buying bottled water. (Win-win.)
✅ Check out my top three picks for the best water filtration jugs here!
5. USE A CASHBACK APP
Using a cash back app to get money back on your groceries is a fantastic way to bring your grocery bill down.
Cash back apps have become pretty popular lately, but surprisingly there are still a LOT of people who don’t use them.
A cash back grocery app is completely free to use, and all you have to do is scan your receipt and select the items that you bought that you are eligible to get cash back on. (It really is easy.)
I use Checkout 51 to earn cash back on my grocery and household purchases. While the cash back isn’t HUGE, it does add up over time (and hey – it’s FREE money).
Another great option that many people use for cash back is Ibotta.
Whichever cash back app or website you choose, you should sign up today so you can start earning cash back right from your next grocery trip. (Again, who doesn’t love free money?!)
6. STOCK UP ON ANY SALE ITEMS THAT YOU NEED
THAT YOU NEED
Don’t read that sentence and think you should go and stock up on anything just because it’s on sale. It’s important to know which sales are worth it, and if they are worth it, which ones are worth it for YOU.
If there’s an 85% off sale on tomato soup but no one in your family likes tomato soup, it’s NOT a good sale for you.
Just because something is on a BIG sale doesn’t mean it’s a GOOD sale.
But, if a good sale comes up on something that you use a LOT, then don’t be afraid to stock up on a few extras (granted they won’t go bad before you can get around to using them – if you’re wondering if you can store something in the freezer to keep it staying good for longer, check out my 60 surprising foods that can be frozen guide here.)
Anytime I see a good sale on cheese I grab several extra blocks and stick them in the freezer so that when we run out of cheese I don’t have to buy it at regular price, because the price of cheese where we live is THROUGH the roof and I don’t know if I could ever justify paying full price for it.
One of our local grocery stores has a clearance section, and they had salad dressing on sale for $.50! Salad dressing that is regularly around $3-$4 a piece was on sale for $.50, so you can bet I stocked up since that’s something we use and go through quite frequently.
7. USE YOUR FREEZER
Freezers are so handy. As I mentioned before, when I see a great sale on cheese I will stock up and stick them in the freezer until I need them. You can also do this with milk, cream, fresh herbs, meat, leftovers, and a LOT of other foods.
Click here to see 60 surprising foods that can be frozen.
8. BUY GENERIC BRANDS
Don’t be afraid to buy generic brands when shopping. Most people automatically reach for the trusted name brand products. But what they might not know is that the generic brand is (usually) just as good and is sometimes as low as half the price, or less, than the name brand.
I have been able to keep our grocery bill low by buying generic brands for most of our food products. (Though there ARE a couple of generic-brand items that really don’t taste as good… but you’ll learn as you experiment with it.)
9. FREEZE FRESH HERBS
When I buy fresh herbs I likely won’t use the whole bundle up in one go, so rather than letting the rest sit in the fridge and go bad, I freeze them.
Now that I’ve been doing this for a while, I keep my eyes open for when fresh herbs are on sale for a good price, then I grab a couple bundles (even if I don’t need them RIGHT now).
When I get home I wash the herbs, chop them up into fine pieces and stick them in a baggie and freeze them. This way whenever I need fresh herbs (even in the middle of winter), I don’t need to pay full price for them – and I always have them on hand.
For freezing the herbs, I like to use the log method.
For the log method, all you do is put the chopped herbs into a baggie and push all the little pieces down to the bottom of the baggie so it is in a “log” shape (not a ball or a blob… a log). Then I roll the bag up, starting at the log, to squish all the air out of it, and close the bag.
Then they’re ready to go into the freezer and anytime I need fresh herbs, I grab the bag and cut a chunk of the log off to use.
✅ These are the baggies I use for freezing my fresh herbs. They keep the herbs sealed and fresh for years.
If you fancy an even cheaper option:
10. GROW YOUR OWN HERBS
If you want the freshest of fresh herbs for cheap, all you have to do is grow your own.
Growing your own herbs is not as hard as you might think. You can even have your very own herb garden INSIDE your house and never have to worry about running to the store because you’re out of basil!
I’ve started growing herbs on our windowsill and I LOVE it. Not only are they convenient (because I always have fresh herbs on hand), and they are pretty, but they also bring an amazing and fresh smell into our house.
Need help getting started growing your herbs indoors? This is a great starter kit for growing indoor herbs.
11. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHOP AROUND
I used to go to one grocery store and one grocery store only. They had the best prices around, so I shopped for everything there. Until I realized that the pricier stores sometimes have better sale prices than the cheap store I shop at.
The grocery store I usually shop at has virtually everything for cheaper than other stores, BUT it doesn’t have as good of sales as the other stores do – so I’m always sure to check the flyer before I go shopping just in case the other grocery stores in our area have good sales happening on certain things I need.
That skookum deal that I got on the salad dressing that I mentioned earlier was from the most expensive grocery store in town.
12. USE CASH ENVELOPES
If you struggle to stay on budget every month using the cash envelope system is a really effective way to FORCE yourself to stay on your budget.
Even if you don’t struggle with staying within your budget, you could still benefit from the cash envelope system.
The cash envelope system is a budgeting method that many people use to stay on (or under) budget every month. What you do is take all the money you need for the month (according to your budget), get rid of any credit or debit cards, and JUST use cash to pay for everything for the month.
IF you’re interested in using the cash envelope system to stay in (or under) your grocery budget this month, you can learn more about how to save money with the cash envelope budgeting system here.
13. ALWAYS SHOP WITH A LIST
Shopping with a grocery list is one of the EASIEST ways to save money. It makes it so you’re not stuck buying things just in case you’re running out of it at home (because, of course, you can’t remember off the top of your head).
I would waste SO much money if I didn’t shop with a list.
When shopping with a grocery list you go into the store knowing exactly what it is that you need. Because of this, you can skip most aisles altogether and only go to the places in the store where you actually need to get stuff from (rather than wandering around, since when you do this you’re a lot more likely to wind up with things in your buggy that you don’t really need).
Shopping with a list also takes away the temptation for impulse purchases. (Okay – it doesn’t always take it away completely, but it sure does help!)
☑️ THIS is my favorite shopping list. (Isn’t it pretty?)
14. GROW A GARDEN
Growing your own garden will help you cut food costs substantially.
Even if you don’t have a huge backyard, you can still grow your own lettuce, peas, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, herbs, squashes, rhubarb, and MANY more things – with limited space.
(Yes – even potatoes. Click here to see how you can grow 100 POUNDS of potatoes in a BOX. In your backyard.)
15. DON’T LET FOOD GO TO WASTE
This one sounds obvious, but sometimes we just need to be reminded of the obvious stuff.
How often do you find yourself throwing food from your fridge or pantry into the garbage? Food that was perfectly good… but didn’t get used up in time?
The best way I’ve found that we have eliminated wasting food is to use these food storage containers to store our leftovers, with dates, that way I can easily see what is inside, when we made it, and when it needs to be used up by.
✅ These are the specific clear containers we use to eliminate food waste in our house.
I also try to organize our fridge so the food that needs to be eaten first is easily accessible at the front, with the fresher food behind.
16. BUY IN BULK WHEN IT’S WORTH IT
Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money, but you’ll want to know the prices of groceries before you go all-out and buy everything in bulk. (Just because it’s being sold in bulk, doesn’t mean it’s a better deal.)
If you’re buying in bulk to save money but you end up wasting more food then you’re not saving money at all.
Related: 10 Things You Should Always Buy in Bulk to Save Money
17. MAKE YOUR OWN FREEZER MEALS
Those “ready in 5 minutes!” meals that you love so much because of their convenience, but are out of question because of their cost, can be created at home for a FRACTION of the price.
I used to buy those way-too-overpriced meals from the grocery store because I always liked to have a couple premade meals on hand for the extra busy nights when I didn’t have time to make dinner. What I didn’t realize (or I did, and just ignored it), is that those meals were racking up our grocery bill a LOT.
This is what I started doing instead. Now we always have premade meals on hand in our freezer but we didn’t have to pay through the roof for them – AND they’re made with healthy ingredients.
18. USE LEFTOVERS TO MAKE SOUP
Another easy way to use up your leftovers before they go bad is to throw them all together into a big soup pot… and make SOUP. (“Dump soup” as some would say.)
If you have leftover chicken and some vegetables that are getting to the end of their life, throw it all together in a pot with some water, seasonings, and noodles and before you know if you have a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup – YUM.
Soup also freezes really well and is one of my favorite meals to pull out of the freezer on busy nights when I don’t have time to make supper.
19. BUY MEAT FROM FARMERS
Buying your meat in bulk, if you eat a lot of meat, is usually a MUCH cheaper option than buying it all from the grocery store.
You can buy your meat directly from farmers in the size of a full cow, half a cow, or a quarter of a cow. Just make sure you have enough freezer space to store all the meat.
This is the freezer my husband and I have. It’s small and compact enough that it easily fits into our tight quarters, but it’s big enough to fit a lot of meat into. (Plus it’s really affordable. Click here to check the price.)
20. PACK A LUNCH
Rather than buying a lunch every day at work, pack and bring one from home. This is a cheaper and healthier alternative to eating out every day, and since you’re already buying more groceries to make all your meals from scratch, you’ll have plenty of food to use for lunch.
You can use one of these to warm up your lunch at work. (My husband isn’t a fan of sandwiches, so he gets leftovers for lunch. This works perfectly for warming up leftovers even when there’s not a microwave or oven at work.)
Even if you don’t use ALL of these tips to save money on groceries, just using a couple of them every month will help you drastically lower your grocery bill.
I have complete confidence that you CAN cut your grocery bill in half with these tips.
What are your favorite ways to save money on groceries, stick to your grocery budget? How do YOU budget your grocery bill? I’d love to hear from you!
If you want to find even MORE ways to save money on groceries, here are a few reader favorites:
20 Things We Took Off Our Grocery List to Save Money
The One Thing We Did to Save $700 a Month on Groceries
16 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries