Guest post from Rebecca of D & R Tabb
For the past year or two, I have regularly spent $80 per week on groceries (not counting household items) for our family of two (that recently became of family of three!)
I decided to spend four weeks trying to reduce my grocery budget — just to see if I could save money without a huge investment of time.
Here’s what happened:
My totals before and after looked like this:
$80 week x 4 = $320/month on groceries
4 weeks of shopping sales = $240/month on groceries
Here’s how I did it:
I switched stores.
I was a loyal Walmart shopper, not because I liked shopping there, but because I was convinced it was the cheapest option. A friend of mine told me she saved money shopping at Kroger. After shopping there for four weeks I believe this made a big impact in my savings, but only if I shopped the sales.
I used the ads.
Every week I got out the circular and looked at it before planning my dinner menu. This forced me to plan recipes based on ingredients that were marked down that week.
I stopped being brand loyal.
I started buying a different brand of chicken that is regularly on sale for $0.99/lb for split, bone-in breasts, or $1.99 for boneless, skinless breasts. When it was on sale, I bought several packages to last me until it was on sale again.
I used the sales.
I only bought produce that was on sale, usually for $0.99/lb. I have occasionally even found organic produce on sale for less than regular produce. For example, this week organic oranges are on sale for $0.99/lb. I had to laugh when I saw regular oranges listed at $1.29/lb. just a few feet away!
I bought the side items for our dinners (i.e. corn and other vegetables) that were on sale.
I have been very pleased with the impact I have been able to make on our grocery budget with minimal changes. I am planning to put the money we save on groceries toward paying down our mortgage debt. Having this goal gives me an even greater incentive to spend a few hours each week mapping out our grocery trip and meal plans.
I know many people have been able to reduce their grocery budget by much more than this, but I am very pleased to see that little changes can produce big results!
Rebecca is a former educator turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys exercising, reading, and blogging about her life as a wife and new mom at D&R Tabb.