Want to lower your grocery bill? Stop doing these six things. They may seem like simple changes but they make a huge difference in your grocery budget.
We try to eat a pretty clean diet with a lot of organic food and that can get pricey. We don’t mind spending more for quialty but we still don’t want an out of control grocery budget.
Over the years, including the ones when my husband was a public school teacher and things were tight, I’ve learned a lot about some bad habits that can cause you to go over your grocery budget.
Getting rid of these bad habits can really help you be able to stick to your grocery budget and hopefully even lower it. I’ve been able to lower ours over the years and it’s so nice to not be spending as much on groceries these days.
Reduce Your Grocery Budget By Breaking These Habits
1. Too Much Meat
Meat is expensive, especially if you are buying organic, pasture-raised meat. I believe if you are going to eat meat it is a good idea to buy quality so reducing our consumption can help lower our grocery bill without sacrificing the quality.
- Embraces meatless Monday. Eating one vegetarian meal a week is a great way reduce your intake.
- Be mindful of serving sizes. The serving size for most meat is around 3-4 ounces, that’s about the size of a deck of playing cards. Most of us eat a lot more than that. I often cut chicken breasts in half and it’s still plenty.
- Fill up on veggies and protein packaged grains like farro and quinoa.
2. Too Many Packaged Snacks
You pay a lot of money for pre-packaged snacks, especially single serving packaged snacks. Making your own snacks saves money and often is healthier.
It doesn’t have to be terribly time-consuming either. You can make a bunch at once or pick simple things like fruit, veggies, nuts, and other things that take very little or no prep.
Popcorn is a great cheap snack you can easily make at home. Garlic parmesan popcorn is one of my favorite snacks that’s full of flavor, easy to make, and pretty healthy.
3. Shopping Deals Too Much
How can you shop deals too much? Well, you can end up buying things that seem like a great deal that you wouldn’t otherwise buy and that’s never a good deal. Sale items are a great way to try new things but make sure you take something else off your list or you are not going to stay on budget very well.
Also, stocking up is great when things are on sale but make sure you check dates and know you will use the items before they expire. Food waste is a huge problem and wastes so much of our money.
4. Shopping Too Often
The more time you spend in the stores the more likely you are to buy impulse items. I like to shop only once a month, with small fill-in trips for things like milk and sometimes produce. This may not work for you but see if you can at least cut back. If you have a big issue with impulse buying using a shopping service like Instacart may help.
5. Shopping While Hungry
Before grocery shopping, I like to have a good size lunch. If I’m hungry it’s going to be very hard to avoid impulse buys. I find this anytime I end up in a grocery store while hungry. This is how I often end up with junk food which not only is bad for my budget but temps me to eat things I shouldn’t.
6. Not Being Organized
This is one of the worst things you can do if you want to stick to a grocery budget, or better yet lower it. Taking time to see what you have on hand before shopping is a good first step. If you don’t know what you have you are likely to overbuy.
Meal planning is also key. Not only does it help your budget but it helps your sanity at dinner time. It’s always terrible to need to make something for dinner but having no clue what to make or not having the ingredients you need.
Meal planning won’t take long once you have a system in place. Just look at what you already have, come up with some meals that fit your schedule, and make your grocery list for the items you will need.
If you want more helpful information check out my full meal planning system. It will help you get organized, save money, and save time!
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