We all love to waltz down the grocery store with our baskets full of items we don’t really need. Maybe it’s the soft music or the beautifully packaged items placed on the eye-level or that smooth cart that you like to wheel down the aisle – it all ends up messing your budget.
However, that doesn’t give you a free pass to keep spending money like crazy. It’s about time you learnt how to save on groceries every month.
10 Tips to Save on Groceries Every Month
#1. Redefine meals
What comes to your mind when you think of lunch or dinner?
If you’re thinking of a cut of meat with two sides of veggies and French bread along with a pie for dessert, you need to chill and cut yourself some slack.
You need to be realistic and understand that this isn’t the 1950s and therefore, meals need to be simple.
The best way to redefine meals is to take into account the kind of schedule and lifestyle you have and the budget you want to set aside for groceries and eating out.
For instance, if you’re a student who lives alone but has enough time to cook twice a day, you can easily make easy meals that can also be consumed for breakfast.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who has an instance schedule, it’s probably best to stick to make-ahead meals that can be reheated and consumed.
Include easy but healthy options such as salads and omelettes. Learn how to stretch your groceries by creating simple meals.
Eggs are inexpensive and can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try making quiches, frittatas, egg salads and sandwiches.
#2. Cut down on drinks
We’re all guilty of buying (and consuming) aerated drinks.
Switch to healthier (and cheaper) alternatives such as juice, coffee and tea. Increase your water intake to keep yourself hydrated.
#3. Cut down on meat
It’s no surprise that meat is one of the most expensive food items you buy especially if you’re buying organic.
The best way to save money on groceries is to cut down on meat or go meat-free altogether.
If you’re a hardcore meat lover, this can be hard. Switch to being a flexitarian before becoming a vegetarian.
This way you’ll improve your vegetarian repertoire and save money on groceries.
#4. Check out your pantry
Before you hit the grocery store, raid your refrigerator and pantry. See what kind of meals you regularly eat and the ingredients required for the same.
Take into account their expiration dates and shelf life. This way, you’ll not only finish what you already have but also buy less. Win-win!
#5. Freeze and store meals
Another of the most popular ways to save on groceries every month is to start freezing and storing meals.
There are a lot of excellent freezer meal recipes that you can prepare in batches and eat throughout the week.
Select a day of the week to cook create these recipes and reap the benefits in the coming days. This will help you save time and money. Can’t get better than that, can it?
#6. Pay using cash
Every month, withdraw a fixed amount that you have allocated to grocery shopping from your bank account.
Doing so ensures that you know how much you can spend on groceries.
The logic behind this is simple-you can’t overspend when you don’t have any money left!
You’ll be forced to buy the essentials rather than splurging on impulse buys.
#7. Shop seasonal items
The rule of thumb is to buy seasonal items.
Not only is it cheaper but it’s also fresh. Your body will get all the nutrition if you eat seasonal items throughout the year.
Therefore, make it a point to opt for fruits and vegetables that are in season.
No, that’s not what we meant.
Start bringing your own bags to the store.
Grocery stores nowadays offer discounts if you bring your own reusable bags.
It’s one of the easiest ways to save big on groceries as you get a discount between 5 to 10 per cent every time you buy something.
#9. Create and stick to your meal plan
The best way to do this is to plan your meals 1-month in advance.
Sure, it sounds like a boring chore but it’s really not. Not only do you get to decide what you’ll be eating in advance (goodbye impulse binge-eating) but you also get to try new recipes.
When you plan your meals before you actually cook them, you get a sufficient amount of time to search for ingredients and their cheaper alternatives.
Another benefit of creating a meal plan is that you get to know how much of each ingredient you actually need.
You end up buying how much you really require and the best way to do so is to mark your calendar for sales.
Since you already have a clear list of all the things you need, simply add them to your cart and checkout on the special sales days/week.
For instance, I buy all my groceries from Amazon from the 01st to the 07th of every month during their ‘Super Value’ sales.
#10. Grow your vegetables and spices
Spices are expensive and therefore, it’s only wise to start growing them in your house.
You can easily grow chives, mint, rosemary, coriander and fenugreek. If you don’t have a lot of space to maintain a full-fledged garden, just grow a few herbs indoors that are otherwise pricey.
The Wrap Up
Grocery shopping on a budget isn’t hard.
All you need to do is plan ahead and be mindful about what you’re buying, for what price you’re buying it for and how much you’re buying.
Try these tips on your next trip to the grocery store and let us know how much you saved on groceries in the comments section below! Happy shopping!