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31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget: Stop Making Excuses and Commit to Change

“You can’t change anything when your ‘want-to’ is broken.” -Kevin Catalyst

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received emails which say something like, “I really wish we could lower our grocery budget, but…”

You know what? If you start with that attitude, you’ll likely never succeed at having a better grocery budget. Sure, you might not be able to get your grocery budget down as low as someone else–maybe your family eats gluten-free, or maybe you eat all organic, or maybe you live in a rural area with only one over-priced store–but the truth is: you can lower your grocery budget.

But it will never happen until you stop making excuses and commit to change.

So I’m starting out this series by challenging you to set aside the negativity and commit to wholehearted willingness to change your mindset, your shopping habits, and quite possibly even your life.

Your grocery budget is likely never going to change until you are also willing to.

Has changing the way you think or shop changed your grocery bill? Tell us about it!

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113 Comments

  • Heidi D. says:

    I used to think it wasn’t worth it to go to more than one store in a week. I figured I’d end up spending more!!! Well with my lists of store deals matched to coupons – I have been able to save a TON of money. My kids and I have both learned that we stick to our list and buy things on sale with a coupon. They don’t beg me for other things at every stop – they know we are there for certain things. All the stores we go to are within 2 miles of our home so shopping around has been easier than I expected and I have now saved a ton of money while stocking our pantry as well!!!

  • Shelly says:

    I know that I can skip going to the store, because of my stockpile. I know that I can get more expensive products by using coupons and rebates. I donate A LOT of items to church and my family, yet I still spend less than $200 per month on grocery and drug store trips! You can do it too! Thanks for this series, Crystal.

  • After much budgeting and planning, we were able to reduce our grocery bill by $400 a month. I agree with you that it can be done! Although our grocery bill isn’t rock bottom as some others, it works well for us. You are totally right about not comparing your family to another..that can result in frustration!

  • Tonya says:

    I had to change my thinking on couponing and bargain shopping. Once I decided to take time to get the right coupons and read the circulars, it made a huge difference in my grocery bill.

  • marjorie says:

    I am really looking forward to this series. Budgeting for groceries and staying within that amount has always been difficult for me. I love saving money, but seem to fall short when it comes to groceries.

  • Kimberly says:

    Absolutely!!! I consider this website, coincided with my friend Lisa, to be a HUGE blessing..
    my story in a nutshell…
    my hubby and I were feeling convicted to give more… more to church, more to others in need.. GIVE more and bless others by being used by God.
    Well, the month we started was the month that my friend Lisa told me about couponing and this blog page. Dont get me wrong, I wasnt opposed to couponing, but I just didnt understand the ‘art’ of it. I just thought it was saving 50 cents here, 75 cents there, no big deal… until I read this page and talked to my friend.
    No joke, that month my hubby and I gave more than ever before, and it came back at us tenfold. We did not give in hopes of receiving, but God more than blessed us for our faith and obedience. The money we saved from couponing that month was nearly the exact amount that we gave away. God is amazing.
    Thank you Crystal, for allowing God to use this page to bless others. The time you commit and your advice is so amazing!

  • I wanted to share a tip that I have recently discovered.

    Even with the higher cost I have recently decided to eat as much grass feed, no hormones, free range and organic products as possible.

    To do this I carefully scour the ads for sales and stock up when I can.

    But one of my best deals is on milk. Every morning my local health food store marks down their organic milk that will expire in 2 days (normally over $6+ a gallon) to $1.99- then I print out the Organic Farms $1.00 coupons (on their site) and they will let me use it with the mark down milk.

    It is exciting to get organic milk for way less than even regular milk.

    -jen

  • Laura says:

    The organic comment made me think about a recent movie we saw called Food Inc. It was extremely enlightening and ending by saying we vote three times a day for what’s stocked on the grocery shelves by what we buy. I have been able to find great prices on organic foods, fruits, and other “healthy” products that are good for my family (and also for the animals like cows, chickens, and pigs – it’s awful to see how they’re treated – and the environment). There are occasional times when I do have to pay a higher price for an item such as organic peanut butter (though I still buy the Meijer store brand), but overall I’m saving a significant about on my groceries. THANK YOU for your helpful tips to save on so many products. We, too, are able to donate more now – it’s a great feeling to be able to help out others!

  • Ginger says:

    I have really started watching my food budget since the Eat From the Pantry Challenge in January. It was ridiculous how much I would spend for groceries. I would go in with one or two things in mind and come out with loads of impulse buys. It’s only my son and myself, so there is no excuse. Oh, and I don’t take him much. I use coupons but shop mostly at Publix, Walgreens, and CVS.

  • Cindy says:

    Even though I live in an area of the country that receives fewer Sunday inserts and I don’t have access to some of the same stores that others rave about, I remain upbeat about couponing by reminding myself that every penny saved by couponing can be used to save for a rainy day or help out a neighbor in distress.

  • Melinda says:

    I absolutely love this blog! I have learned so much and have in turn helped others. I am blessed way beyond what I deserve but making the commitment to lower our grocery bill has helped me pay off other things. We are not completely out of debt, but working on it! I really try to stock up on what’s on sale and use coupons to the fullest. You do a WONDERFUL job!!

  • diane says:

    Cant wait to see the rest of this series 🙂

  • What has helped us the most in lowering our bill is being willing to eat more of the less-expensive meals more often. This means that instead of feeding my family of 8 for $5 at every meal, I make sure to prepare the $2-$3 meals more often. Breakfasts are usually around $1.50 for all of us.

    By making this change, we’ve lowered our bill a lot.

    We also buy a lot more items in bulk than we did several years ago (for example, I buy 25 pounds of rolled oats for $7.60).

    Our stores don’t double coupons here, and I don’t get the paper (our paper doesn’t have many of the coupons that others get) but by using internet coupons, I’ve also been able to lower our bills on baby tolietries and even produce!

  • cheapolady says:

    Last week in church our pastor was preaching about the Isrealites getting tired of manna all the time, even though it was free, nutritous, and straight from heaven! That was so convicting! I turned to Brad, my husband and said, “That it sooo us!” God was definatly speaking to us! I get so tired of stuff around the house and my less than stellar cooking skills and just want to eat out all of the time! But I need to be thankful and a good steward of what the Lord has given us! I am so happy to report to you that after church for the first time in 8 years I went home and made Sunday lunch for my sweet family. Thank You, Lord for the change YOU have made in me!

  • Marla says:

    I have changed my thinking on food, although it has been in the opposite direction. We are actually raising our grocery budget (from $100/wk to $150/wk for 7). We try to purchase everything organic or free range. I just can’t find any “good” prices on the healthy stuff. The health food store in town doesn’t accept coupons. I get a lot at Target, but I just can’t seem to find very many coupons for organic groceries. Although, I do take full advantage when I can. The best thing for our budget has been the new addition of an Azure Standard Food Coop stop in our area. Their prices are pretty amazing and I found another coop in the area that orders form them in bulk and then we all split the foods.

    I do get all of our shampoos & conditioners for free at Wags or CVS.

    • Heather says:

      @Marla, Azure is the greatest–I can’t get them where I live & I miss them! If you have a salvage grocery store, they are often a good source of organic packaged food & health and beauty stuff. If you have a Trader Joe’s, they totally rock. Costco tends to have a lot in the way of organic food, if you have one of them available. Farmer’s markets, of course. One of the biggest money-savers is to get a big freezer (craigslist!) & buy your meat in bulk. If you can buy straight from the farmer, odds are good that your meat is going to be at least mostly grass-fed, no matter what. Most grain-feeding is done at the feedlots, after the cow leaves the farmer. I hardly ever use coupons because most of them are either for things I can get cheaper somewhere that doesn’t take coupons, or for processed junk food (even organic junk food is still junk!) that we shouldn’t be buying, anyway.

      • Melissa says:

        @Heather,

        I’m in this boat, too. We eat limited to no grains/starches/sugars in our diet, so that knocks out about 75% of the processed crap in the grocery store. It also represents about 60% of what the coupon offerings are. Our meats center on meat/fish/vegetables/dairy.

        Going straight to the farm or farmer’s market is the best bet on all [real] food. We’re limited by not having a full size freezer at the current time, but we go in on “cowpools” with family to get a small beef / chicken sampling. TJ’s is a good source for wild-caught fish and hormone-free meats.

        I usually only use coupons for household goods, organic dairy, toiletries, HBA, and select pantry items (typically condiments, seasonings, frozen veg.) We have stockpiled some things and have saved a good amouont over the past few months.

  • Hi there! LOVE this post and boy does this hit home for me!

    We are always looking for ways to save money each month and my hubby always asked “How about saving money in our grocery budget?” I was always quick to answer “It’s not possible! I can in no way reduce what I spend monthly on our groceries.” I use coupons, shop BOGOs, etc…WELL then I was motivated to change my thinking and give it a shot to see IF I could reduce our grocery spending and I DID!

    What motivated me? Your site & cleaning out the pantry mindset to start …THANK YOU!! I also really looked at what I was buying and found that I bought many convenience foods which are more expensive. I really changed my mindset to change the types of products I buy and to try to use what I have in my pantry.

    I totally agree with you that until you are ready to make the change it won’t happen! Thanks for a great post!

    ~Michele

  • Heather says:

    Thanks for posting all of your freezer cooking recipes and progress. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes out!

    I used to be a major coupon shopper, but I found that I was purchasing many items that we really didn’t use. I really focus on shopping the store ads (produce sales, meat sales, staples). I rarely clip/print coupons (except for items that are free or pennies after coupons and/or rebates. We still stock our pantry one section at a time, and I am really focusing on using up what we have. I am also working on eliminating or minimizing “extras” like soda, paper napkins, baking mixes, cookie mixes, etc. I love cooking from scratch and try to keep my shopping list as simple as possible each week.

    • Coby says:

      @Heather, This is me too. I found I was spending too much time aquiring all these random groceries that we didn’t eat or didn’t like just because they were a good deal. I realized that it was not worth it to me. The only grocery coupons that I use regularly are for yogurt. I do use coupons for toiletries and such though.

  • Laura says:

    Okay, Crystal, no more excuses!! I will commit to lowering our grocery budget even more; maybe $10/week is a good goal.

    I had to get over feeling embarrassed about using coupons to get items for free or very cheap. I used to feel bad for stores like Walgreens. I never shopped there because their prices were so high. When I started shopping the sales there with coupons I was sometimes embarrassed at how ridiculously little I paid. After a year, I realized my patronage brought the store many hundreds of dollars I had not spent there before. So, now I shop proudly with my coupons, knowing I support their store and my family’s budget.

    I agree with Heidi D on getting the kids used to going to a store more than once a week. We usually just add one store on to every outing and are able to hit all our favorite stores in the course of a week. With a very short list & coupons in hand, it is fine. My kids also help me collect papers and clip out the coupons for sweets. My DH will even stop by the store if it includes getting a free treat we won’t normally purchase.

    I also agree with Prudent Homemaker. I’ve decided to be okay with feeding the family healthy, albeit inexpensive, meals. My family loves hot cereal for dinner on cold, busy days. We figure it costs less than $1 for our family of 4. And, of course, everyone loves “brinner,” breakfast for dinner: pancakes, muffins, etc. I enjoy it too because I don’t usually want to make a mess in the kitchen first thing in the morning. I also serve soup with homemade bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. I’ve gotten over the idea that every meal that comes out of the kitchen has to be gourmet! This is an expectation I put on myself and we are all happier with our new, simpler menus.

  • elizabeth says:

    If you require or prefer special items in the grocery budget, you can still cut back a little 🙂 I would suggest meatless meals, buying in-season especially for organics, reducing mom-grocery costs such as paper towels, cleaners, etc. Also, you can decide what are the “priority” items for your family. For example, perhaps you must have gluten-free waffles. You can be willing to pay full price for those waffles, because you don’t care if your milk is organic, and always buy milk marked down. That’s just an example.

    Another idea, is to reduce the amount of high-cost items that you use. For example, I want to eat a certain sprouted bread which is expensive and rarely on sale. I buy it, but only eat one slice a day, making it’s cost over the course of a week not so horrible.

    Oatmeal, even organic specialty varieties is a pretty cheap and healthy breakfast (or lunch or dinner!).

  • sandy says:

    Ever since I have been couponing ( about 6 months now ) I have cut our grocery budget in half. I was spending $800.00 a month, now I am down to $400.00 a month give or take a few dollars. It takes time to change your thinking and habits, it didn’t happen over night. I spent time reading the blogs and learning all I could about couponing. Learning how to stockpile grocery’s is helping me provide for my family and donate more. My next goal is to reduce the grocery budget to &75.00 a week. But everyone household is differnt and a budget that works for one family may not work for another. One thing is for sure couponing will work for everyone no matter what you budget. Better to save a little than nothing at all.

  • Hey, you stepped on my toes! 😉 Looking forward to reading this series and seeing how I can change my habits to, hopefully, save us a little money.

  • Kelly says:

    The keys for cutting our grocery bill.

    1. Price Book – know the rock-bottom price for your 25 most purchased items.

    2. Strategic Shopping/Stockpiling – when the price is at its lowest stock up. If you have a coupon, even better.

    3. Monthly Menu Plan – it is cheaper to shop from what you have on hand than from a store and it allows you to incorporate cheap dinners.

    4. Cash ONLY at the grocery store – you can’t have the bill be $41.00 if you only have $40 in your pocket.

    5. Do what is best for your family – you can’t compare yourself to anyone else. Only you know what is best for your family.

    I think the most amazing thing is how couponing/strategic shopping has transcended into every other part of our financial life. When you can get a trunk full of groceries for $60, you start looking at $60 differently – and you begin to look at other line items of your budget and start to look for additional savings.

    Looking forward to this series.

    • Barbara says:

      @Kelly, Wow, that last part about how the savings mentality spreads to other areas of your financial life is so true and very well said. We also have our groceries down to $60 per week, and that $60 does seem to be worth a whole lot more now. To think we used to spend that on ONE dinner out every week embarrases me and I can’t even bear to do the math to see how much money we have wasted over the years. No looking back, though. Couponing was the jumping off point for us to completely rethink our relationship with money.

    • Alea says:

      Excellent ideas! I have prices written down for so many things and it’s so confusing – I need to focus on the top 25 first – Thanks!

  • Rena says:

    The timing on this series is great for me. I just finished reading Mary Ostyn book “Family Feasts for $75 a Week.” This should help me stay motivated.

  • Janel says:

    Hi Crystal! I’ve been admiring your skill with your grocery budget for quite some time — my sister Jessica (Life As Mom) introduced me to your blog during her days in KC. For the past year, I’ve tried watching my grocery budget but haven’t been as successful as I want to be. I have noticed that paying with cash makes a huge difference in the choices that I make at the store. I’m looking forward to following this series and hopefully picking up some tips that will make me more successful in this area. Thanks!

  • Honestly, it’s a simple thing. STAY OUT OF THE STORE and I SAVE MONEY! If I don’t enter the store, I won’t spend any money there. 🙂 I do couponing and I shop twice a month, shopping ads and taking coupons. But I find that I spend less by not making frequent trips to the store. It’s helped us cut our grocery bill almost in half, over time.

  • Shana says:

    The biggest hang-up for me getting started was the time I thought it took to coupon. And yes, at the beginning it did take a TON of time. Now that I am more organized with my time and my couponing, I am saving hundreds of dollars per months and it’s taking very little time in comparison. I’m definitely convinced, and trying to convince all my friends and family too!

  • Christine says:

    I started hearing about friends saving a ton about the time that there was a coupon seminar at my church. I signed up and decided that I wasn’t sure I could save like other people, but if I saved a few dollars a week I’d be happy. My husband told me today that he didn’t think I would be able to do it, but that I save a lot of money each week. After a few months (and still learning) my pantry is full and I give a lot of things away to family. I am saving about 25 -40% each week! Thanks to sites like this one.

  • I have $140 a month for food and household items – there are three of us, and lately, I’ve had money left over each month. I shop the sales, use coupons, and I live in an area where the stores are really competitive, so prices are good. I also garden, and I freeze, can and dehydrate a lot of fruits and vegetables. I belong to a co-op of sorts, and we get discounts through them on things like wheat, oats, gluten, milk powder, etc. I cook from scratch a lot, and I plan a menu, but with a bit of flexibility. When I put all those things together, it makes it possible for us to thrive on a lower food budget.

  • Betsy says:

    We live in the land of not-so-great grocery deals. I typically use very few food coupons but have been able to feed our family of five three square a day for $200 a month. I use a monthly menu plan, use what is in the pantry and buy what is needed to round it out. I do major shopping once a month with fill in trips for milk and produce. My brother is impressed that we are not eating ramen noodles three times a day for that price.

    I save money on health and beauty items by using our stockpile and shopping Walgreens and CVS when the deals are good.

  • I do many of the things already mentioned, but I am also more mindful of the amount of food I cook. We’re a small family (I’m pregnant, DH, and 3yo DD), and it would often happen where I’d make too much and some would go to waste. Or I’d buy too much produce. Being mindful of the amount we will actually consume has helped.

    Along the same lines, cutting back consumption and meal portions is also helpful. Ice cream and cake should be a treat, not a daily occurance! And a serving is a lot smaller than most people think. An 8oz steak is really *two* servings, not one!

  • Megan says:

    The biggest changes I have benefited from have been menu-planning and learning to simplify our meals. I used to go to the store and just throw some random ingredients into the cart. That worked fine for a few meals but a few days later I would “need” to go to the store for some weird ingredient to make a fancy meal. Of course, while there I would throw some more junk in the cart. Now I plan two weeks of dinners and buy only the ingredients I need for THOSE meals.

    Secondly, I love to cook and would often make expensive dinners that didn’t always turn out right. Now I experiment just a few times per month and stick to my more budget friendly meals most of the time. It doesn’t mean eating just rice and beans either! Irish stew w/ crusty bread, Indian Butter Chickpea Curry over jasmine rice, Creamy Potato soup w/ smokey bacon, Chicken Enchiladas w/ spicy rice! All of these are budget friendly but offer exciting flavor.

  • Mary says:

    I used to be a ‘hard core’ couponer. I filled my food storage with all the free after coupon junk out there. Then I stood back and took a look at what we were eating.

    I started buying more whole foods. Not necessarily organic, but not packaged stuff. I still get the loss leaders and I pay hardly anything for household goods.

    My biggest problem was trying not to feel like a failure when $40 a week didn’t work for us. Hey, we only have 3 kids so why not????? But my husband is a long hours, hard working construction worker who also lifts weights and is very active after work. That man EATS!!! and eats and eats and eats….. Each family is different and even spendng $75 a week on good healthy food for a family of 5 is great.
    THis year I am planning on learning to cook even more from scratch. Buying on sale while foods can totally be done on a budget!

  • Michele says:

    Locking onto your blog has helped me tremendously! When I became an unexpected SAHM we had to do something to keep more dollars in the bank, while I am no pro (yet)…I am amazed at how much I am saving by taking the time to coupon, read ads, and menu plan!!! Sort ticks me off at myself that I wasn’t doing this all sooner! I can’t believe all the money I wasted these last 6 years!!!!
    Recently I have set a $150/200 grocery budget for our family, and while I thought at the time it would be impossible (and had plenty of ppl tell me that!) for two whole months I have come in right at $150 ($200 including “walmart” type purchases—the paper goods and toiletries) AND I even hosted a dinner at my house for 10 ppl and my daughter’s FIRST birthday the first month I took it for a test run. Needless to say I am very proud of myself and hope to do even better! It definitely is a mindset.

  • Kathryn says:

    I have to chime in and agree with Kelly above when she writes,
    “I think the most amazing thing is how couponing/strategic shopping has transcended into every other part of our financial life. When you can get a trunk full of groceries for $60, you start looking at $60 differently – and you begin to look at other line items of your budget and start to look for additional savings.”
    So true, and I was never extravagant with the grocery money to begin with–just did a monthly shop at Sams, Aldi and ended at Walmart for the rest of the stuff. But I started with your website, and did the Walgreens rebates, challenged myself to 3 months doing the CVS gig, and after that decided to work to save on the groceries as well.
    I used the Grocery Game for a little while and then switched to using SouthernSavers.com for local grocery deals. Wow! I am able to donate boxes of groceries and toiletries to various ministries and individuals, and still have a large stockpile of groceries for us.
    Our food/household/toiletries budget is $200 cash for the month, and I save around 70% on groceries (I have the spreadsheet to prove it!) and have a happy husband, and well-filled tummies. Plus, we have tried many different brands and kinds of food that we would not have tried at full price.

  • robin says:

    Like the saying goes, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
    My biggest help has been making a list and sticking to it. The extra time it takes to make a shopping list by item, quantity/size, store, and coupon has paid me back in spades. It helps cut back on my impulse purchases and I spend less time in the stores since I’m not wandering the aisles, trying to remember if a price is good or not.

  • Tracy says:

    I am new to couponing and I have to say I’m totally ADDICTED!! I have not reduced my budget, but I’m now bringing home twice as much! And once I get stocked up then I’m going to reduce our grocery budget and it will be so nice to be able to use that money for other things!

  • Kim says:

    We recently had one of our readers submit a question about saving money. This will be a great blog to share with them. THanks

  • Brianna says:

    I just started with couponing and bargain hunting before Christmas. Now, a few months later, I have seen a big dip in my grocery and drug store bills. My husband and best friend laughed at me in the beginning because I was always organizing coupons and running out to one store or another for deals. Now my husband waits to see what deals I get and my best friend is begging me to help her get her lists and coupons together. I honestly don’t think I could ever go back to the hundreds more I used to spend in a month on groceries and toiletries.

  • Mariah says:

    Yes, it definitely has! I’ve been couponing for about a year now and I refuse to buy anything unless it is super cheap. I save up my coupons and when there’s a hot sale, I stock up and I save tons!

  • Kamber says:

    This is so… ture!! I know that I used to make excuses… about our grocery budget.. until I took a coupon class and prayed for God to help me w/ this process and be disaplined enough to stick w/ it… well God awnsered my prayers and now I LOVE couponing… it has truly changed how we shop and has become a passion for me :0)

  • theresa says:

    We’ve raised out budget actually too from $60 to $100 a week for four of us. We eat mostly organic now so it costs more. The $100 a week includes dog food (also organic) and paper/cleaning products though so I think it’s not too bad. I’m grateful I can still get alot of what I need from coupons and store sales. We have tons of stores all around each other so it’s easy to go to multiple stores.

  • Karen from CO says:

    I’m eager to read this series! At this point, I believe we’ve lowered our grocery bill as far as we possibly can. But I’m excited to make the most of that money so that ( 1 ) we don’t go over and (2) we’re still eating well.

  • Angel says:

    We decided to change the way we shop a little over a year ago. We started slowly by couponing, then I started cooking more at home, we stopped shopping at Walmart, we started shopping once a week, We started challenging ourselves to eat less expensive meals, and finealy I started to cook from scratch. We took it slow, but it has payed off. We have cut our bill from $150 a week with alot of waist to $60 a week with little to no waist. A major over hall right away would have been over powering, but little by little made it something we can do forever.

  • Diane says:

    I think that the most important secret weapon for maximizing my grocery budget has been being a part of a cyber-community of like-minded women like the one here at Money Saving Mom. I learn about good deals that I would never had found on my own and receive support when my spirit for savings runs low on gas. I feel it is also important to continue to remain “teachable” no matter our age. I am 55 and do not feel threatened by learning a few tricks from women young enough to be my daughters…It’s all good!

  • What a blessing this series will be for your readers who are new to couponing!

    I’m one of the people who stumbled across your blog in the very beginning and began couponing in earnest. For our family of 5 big eaters (hubs is 6’4″ and my kids will be towering over me in a few more years), I’ve been able to drastically reduce our budget for food/household/drugstore items. Last month, I averaged less than $75/week and they (not me) drink LOTS of milk!

    Key steps for newbies:

    – Give yourself time to learn – there’s a LOT to learn!

    – Adopt an organization system for your coupons that works for you. Clean it out monthly.

    – Subscribe to blogs that do the matchup work for you.

    – Build a stockpile of key items your family uses week in and week out; buy when the price is rock bottom for you.

    – Meal plan! Start with weekly then try two weeks at a time, then a month.

    Couponing is like Life Cereal – Try it! You’ll like it!

    😉

  • Ellen says:

    It is amazing how far a little willpower and smart shopping will take you. Our family has dairy allergies, so we buy our soymilk in bulk at Costco when I am unable to find great coupons for storebrands. I have also done quite a bit of shopping at Aldi (thanks, Crystal, you turned me on to that store and I LOVE IT!) and have been matching coupons at our local Kroger, Walgreens, Target, and CVS. I feel weird walking into a store without a fistful of coupons and a list that I follow VERY CLOSELY. Meal planning has also been a huge help, as is watching those loss leaders in the weekly ads. It really does ad up; I have learned SO MUCH from your site, Crystal, and looking forward to our family being DEBT-FREE much sooner than I ever imagined we could be!

  • Kelie says:

    I started shopping only the Albertsons & Smith’s weekly sales. all my friends kept saying how do you make a meal with that though and i just told them you would be surprised, not only do i make better meals for my family but with in a time span of three months my house had more food in it that it had in the last three years. It helps to care what you are spending not only that i love coming home ans telling my husband what i saved and what i could have spent if i would have just bought it and not paid attention

  • Sara says:

    I am pumped about this series! I’m new to serious couponing. Right now our grocery budget is $400/ month (way too much for a family of 3) and my goal is to take it to $200/ month by this summer. That extra $200/month will go a long way in paying off our house early and giving us complete financial freedom! Right now I’m focusing on learning the rules of couponing and stockpiling. I’m sure the bill will go down once I have sufficiently stockpiled all nonperishables and learned how to get the most use out of my coupons. Thanks Crystal!

    • Amanda says:

      My favorite part about couponing is not that we spend less (our budget is a consistent $275 a month), but that now we eat BETTER for that same amount, plus we added all the food and treat expenses for our dog into the grocery budget. I can even include extras in our grocery budget, like a Sunday morning trip to Dunkin Donuts before church or a pizza delivery once in awhile. I also agree with a lot of people that it is SO fun to be able to contribute to our local food bank, but barely spend any money doing so!

  • I was in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, at a woman’s retreat at the Billy Graham training center when I hopped into the back of a friend’s car and bumped into this huge notebook full of baseball card collector sheets. It was in that moment that I learned of couponing and budgeting, little did I know my life would change forever. “Just remember, Kassandra… Money Saving Mom Dot Com, trust me, she’ll teach you everything you need to know…” What many people don’t realize is that it’s not simply about coupons or deals and scenarios. It’s about a change in the way you think about life. Your entire perspective of money changes. Surrounding yourself with a support group of like-minded bloggers creates a very positive atmosphere; one which embraces hopes and dreams… One where the impossible becomes possible and people achieve unimaginable goals on a daily basis. It took some time and hard work to really grasp all of the concepts, but the payoff was worthwhile. I have since become a stay-at-home Mommy and an adult college student. My husband and I are very fulfilled and we are accomplishing more, one one income, than we ever accomplished with two full-time incomes. We are spending more time together as a family as a result of me not having to work… We are saving, we are paying off debt and we are able to treat ourselves to things we normally wouldn’t be able to, because we now have the ability to think outside of the box. Budgeting and Couponing is a journey with many twists and turns… but if you can hang on during the bumpy start, you will be in for the ride of your life! XOXO

  • I have the hardest timem sticking to a budget when it comes to grocery shopping. We eat well. We like fresh fruits & veggies and nice cuts of meat which cause my bill to grow. And when I looked at all the processed food in my pantry today, I wanted to scream at myself. If I would cook from scratch, I wouldn’t need half the boxes in there. Granted, most of the stuff in boxes cost me mere cents thanks to coupons, but even still, it would be cheaper in the long run & healthier to cook from scratch. Thanks for this reminder that I can do it if I set my mind to it!

  • Justina says:

    Yes, changing my mind about a grocery budget has TOTALLY changed our finances. Small steps take you great distances.

    “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it, you’ll never go anywhere.” Buzz Moxon

    We saved OVER one THOUSAND dollars last year on groceries!!! It’s amazing that when you have a plan and stick with it, you see results. Not every shopping trip is a victory dance of saving tons of money, but it all adds up. Your sight has really challenged me to make the most of the money I have set aside to buy groceries/toiletries. Realistic goals for each family is a must!

  • Susannah says:

    I have been couponing for a while now (several months?) since discovering how to do CVS here at MoneySavingMom. I do pretty well at CVS as long as I keep rolling those ECB’s into more ECB deals. When I use my ECB’s for “needs” I am not yet stocked up on, then I have to start from scratch again, and that costs more.

    I was just commenting to my husband that I cannot seem to break the 10%-15% barrier with grocery store couponing, even though I shop at a store that doubles coupons. I do as well as I can with what I know right now–only buying marked-down bananas/bread, etc., buying multiples of the sale/coupon deals insofar as I have the coupons, and racking up gas points to take cents off per gallon on my fill-ups, one of the nicer features of my store. 🙂

    I am very much looking forward to this series. I’d love to change my mindset even further and hone my deal-seeking skills! This site is such a blessing. I just copy, paste, and print my list and coupons for CVS, and go! I also use Mrs. Moneysaver for my grocery deals, and what a blessing that has been!

    My immediate goal is to change menu planning to center around that week’s deals; i.e., menu planning *after* I shop. My next goal will be eliminating those mid-week runs to the store! We go through gallons of milk per week here, and I can only fit so many into the fridge, but we’re looking at getting dairy goats, we already have egg-laying hens, and we’ve got venison (and will soon have our own hand-raised chicken) in the freezer. If I can just learn how to garden, that will bring our bill down even further. I’ve been given a dehydrator, and I plan to invest in canning equipment, finally, this year.

    My long-term goal: I would LOVE to learn how ladies manage to pay a just few dollars for a cart full of groceries! As I said, my couponing typically only takes 10-15% off my bill, but at least that’s 10% less than I would’ve paid!

  • stacy says:

    Staying out of the stores is a must! Shopping once or twice a month and I spend less.

  • janet says:

    I shaved our grocery bill down from about $80 a week to $60 a week but it is creeping back up. I decided this month to go cash only. This is huge for me- hope I can ddo it!

  • Angela says:

    I have decided to become an expert at coupons. I used to believe that coupons were not worth the effort. But I have since learned a few things, and gained a new perspective. I am committed to bringing down my grocery bill and my hubby even laughs with me as I tell him how much I saved when I shop!

  • Tammy says:

    Sooo looking forward to this series! Getting ready to start freezer cooking as well. Thanks for your dedication and encouragement to do better!

  • Betsy Cockrell says:

    It’s all about your mindset! I though that I did good, until the pantry challenge. This year we decided to be more diligent in our budget to find out where the little leaks were. We went to the cash/envelope system. Thanks to your website, I’ve stuck with the system, for the times I’ve wanted to give up. Between this site and Heavenly Homemakers- you guys have encouraged me to return to how I use to cook/meal plan/ freezer foods/shop for discounts. I still don’t shop that much, because I live in the country. It’s not time, gas or money effective for me to go all the time. I still bulk shop once a month, winco/costco. But I do read the weekly shoppers, and will have my wonderful hubby pick up a few things that we use that is a better deal. I have saved $300 over the last two months. I have decided and stuck to it. It is all mindset with some hard work until you get into the swing of it. Any time I want to fudge or want to give up I read your blog. Today I put food in the freezer for those nights that I don’t want to cook or we’ve been in town all day. We’ve also eaten out a lot less, but I plan on it in the food budget now. Thanks, Thanks, and Thanks.

  • sandra says:

    I used to think that it was just too time consuming to try to shop with coupons. It does take time, but it’s so worth it! I am thrilled to be able to bless others from my abundance. As a matter of fact, I just wrote a post about that today…..I call it being a “Pantry Tither”. You can check it out on blog if you’re interested! frugalfanatic.wordpress.com

  • Kerry D. says:

    I’m excited about this series too. I lost most of my work so our income has dropped. Already, with (amateur) couponing, stockpiling, and cooking from scratch, I’ve cut our family (three teenagers, a hungry husband, and 2 huge German Shepherds) food costs down by about 40% even while building up the stockpile! I plan out meals for the week and post the list, making sure to include one of everyone’s favorite somewhere in the week–to balance out for the nights they’ll be eating something they don’t care for as much. I’m sure to tell them how much each meal costs, because they know much it helps.

  • Krista Motsinger says:

    i use to say the same thing. Thanks to Blogs like u…I am finally at the point that we are so packed with groceries, I could Go MONTHS without buying anything but eggs, milk, and bread! U guys rock! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  • Oh my goodness, yes, to both of the questions. How I think and shop has changed. My husband and I are church planters. Before we began this journey, with a lot of help from your blog, Crystal, and a few others, I was able to not just cut our budget, but cut it in half! I have begun making most all of our foods from scratch, with only a few processed foods remaining our our pantry. I have formulated a price book, as well as a household notebook that contains recipes, pantry and freezer inventories, etc. All have helped.

    I am really looking forward to this series, too, and learning more.

    Jada @ foodfunfamily

  • Heather says:

    I am a seriously frugal person when it comes to grocery shopping. People are always asking me how it is I can feed a family of 4 on about $70 a week (I figured it up once and it is usually costs an average of $9 a day to feed the 4 of us!)

    I used to be the one who ran ALL over town, to like 5 different stores. Now, I just don’t do that. I have 2 grocery stores I shop at, plus Walgreen’s (mainly because I live right across the street from one.)
    I have to say, the thing that helped me was knowing what times of day they mark the nearly expired items down at Kroger. That’s when I buy all my organic refrigerated and frozen items, plus my meat!
    Also, MEAL PLAN, MEAL PLAN, MEAL PLAN! I cannot stress that enough. I meal plan a month at a time (because I shop a month at a time.) So at the beginning of every month climb in bed with my laptop, the circulars from my local stores, and my printer! I don’t get up till I have found the absolute lowest prices!

    Grocery shopping frugally takes practice… but it can be so rewarding!

  • Maizie says:

    I’ve tossed the negativity out and I’m ready for this upcoming series! I spend more than I should at the grocery store and I need to nip that in the bud since both hubby and I are losing our jobs. {our job is being abolished} I’m very disciplined with the drugstores but grocery store is a weakness for some reason. I guess actually cooking food vs buying microwaveable stuff will help tremendously. 🙂

  • Heddie says:

    I’m ready for Maizie to read this series, also! I’m a Frugal Moogle when it comes to grocery shopping. Have pressure cooker, will make dinner, but Maizie calls me ‘domesticated’ on her way to the frozen dinner aisle. Thanks, Money Saving Mom, I’ll be reading and maybe I’ll FINALLY get an invite to dinner at Maizie’s.

  • Sandi says:

    My church counsels its members to have a year’s supply of food saved up in case of a job loss, natural disaster, or other emergency. Before couponing, that goal always seemed unreachable. Now, after couponing for over a year, my house is filled with food. I recently went back to school, and with the stress of night classes I have been able to take a break from the week-to-week bustle of couponing and live off what we have. In the beginning I had to change my thinking about stores like Albertsons and Smiths. I used to pop in there for an occasional convenience item, look at the prices, and think “Who would ever shop here? It’s robbery!” But when I shop the sales, it’s me that makes out like a bandit. I am able to feed my family and give generously to the local food bank and others in need.

  • Tracy says:

    Thank you Crystal for being brave enough to take a “hard line” and challenge others to just get over themselves and stop making excuses! As Robin said, failing to plan is planning to fail!

    I am tired of the excuses I hear every day, from “I could never homeschool my kids because I don’t have the patience” to “I could never buy our car/home for cash because we don’t earn enough” to “I could never have a good marriage or respect my husband because fill-in-the-blank” , and so it goes on.

    I am the first to admit that there are sometimes good, legitimate reasons for failure to achieve in certain areas but most of the time, people seem far too happy to make excuses and stay on their fruitless, directionless hamster wheels.

    Thanks again Crystal, and all the others who have commented here.

  • Matias says:

    This is a great call to action, after looking through my budget I see that this is the number three expense on the list. Number 1 and 2 are unfortunately mandatory but my shopping budget can definitely be cut down, every year it has steadily increased. It would probably help to go on a diet also!

  • Molly says:

    I think that grocery budgets come down to a few simple truths – 1) knowing the sale cycle for items you buy, 2) setting a dollar amount and working to stick to it 95 percent of the time, 3) stocking up, 4) not being brand loyal (flexibility is important), 5) couponing.

    I buy certain items in bulk at Sam’s because I’ve found it really is a better deal (toilet paper – which my husband is INSANELY brand loyal about – sigh. diapers. baby formula.). Otherwise, most items only get purchased WHEN on sale, and then we stock up.

    Also, discovering that some items stretch out – literally! – is a great key to saving money. One night, making chicken parmesan, I realized that one pounded out chicken breast fed both DH and I quite comfortably. We’ve been pounding chicken ever since. 🙂

  • Vanessa says:

    My husband went from working around 60 hours to 32 hours a week last year.I was like what are we going to do.We are a family of six and we homeschool also I am a stay at home mom.We were barely scraping by then I saw a article in Homelife about Moneysavingmom.I looked in to your website and what ablessing it was.God knew what our family needed.My husband gets to work 40 hours aweek now.We reduced our grocery budget by $200 hundred dollars a month.We make less,spend less& save more.I have told everyone that it was good for us to go through this because it has made us better stewards of our finances.Thank you for all you do.You have really helped our family.I am looking forward to this series.

  • Jo says:

    I started in earnest 15 months ago, couponing and shopping at CVS and Rite Aid. The difference it has made is amazing! I make more money for my family doing this than going out to a ‘job’. I have several months worth of stockpile of groceries, cleaning and hygiene products, I have plenty to donate to charity for little or no cost to me, easily can tithe and continue to watch the savings grow in our bank account…all due to couponing, cooking wisely (I rarely throw anything out) and taking time to strategically plan my shopping trips. My only regret is all the years I wasted throwing money away! I love sharing all I have learned to the many people who asks how I do it, and I often refer them to this and other great sites that have taught me so well.

  • Ginger says:

    I have clipped coupons since I got married. Back then it wasn’t as big of a necessity as it is now being a Stay-At-Home-Mom to two little ones. Even the .35 coupons add up! I really thought that I had our grocery shopping down to the lowest it possibly could go and still eat healthy. I was buying the store brand on tons of stuff and saving money using one of those store cards like crazy! Well, we were in a different store one day where I was picking up some of the diapers ands things that are typically cheaper anywhere but my grocery store. I need to grab a few food items before I headed for home when I started looking at prices, without sales this other store was cheaper buy a good chunk of change on certain things. I now shop two different stores regularly now, but I have started saving an average of $20 a week doing so.

  • Ruth says:

    I started couponing in September and not only have I built a stockpile that will last us nearly 2 months, I’ve cut $400 a month from my grocery budget, put nearly $2500 in my savings account and paid off a credit card. But the thing I am most proud of is we were able to respond to the needs of 2 different families that were burned out of their homes. It may not be much but it is a hundred times more than we could have done a mere 6 months ago.

  • Stephanie says:

    My mother was this way, until I got ahold of our household grocery budget. She was spending $150 a week on just her and my brother when I was away for my Bachelor’s, and she even admits she has no idea what she spent it on, and would still search the kitchen and feel like “there’s nothing here to eat/nothing that I want”. When I came back home for my Masters, I saw that and was astounded. Once I started reading blogs like yours and others I saw that we can always have tons of food in our house and not spend a lot each week. Now for a house of three adults, our grocery bill is about $60/weekly.

  • Heather says:

    Here’s a way to improve your family’s health & take a chunk out of your grocery bill: Cold cereal is about the most expensive thing you can eat for breakfast–and the least healthy. Even the “unsweetened” brands (Corn Flakes, Cheerios, etc.) are full of sugar, when you read the label, and that sugar is often the even-less-health high fructose corn syrup. Everyone eats more than one serving of cereal when they eat it, so the box doesn’t go nearly as far as it says it does. It has roughly NO nutrition in it–there was a study conducted awhile back in which rats were fed rat chow, cornflakes, or the cornflakes BOX. The cornflake rats died first. Oatmeal (even yummy steel-cut oatmeal, if bought in bulk), eggs, rice pudding, leftovers–almost anything is cheaper and healthier than cold cereal!

  • Karen says:

    Thanks for the blog. I always find such useful tips in yours and others. It is also encouraging. I want to second what others have said about giving. God convicted me several years ago when I felt like we had so much less than others that we always had good food to eat. To honor Him I committed to purchasing at least one item a week for the food pantry. Most times I purchase more because He has been so good to bless us.

    Something I have disciplined myself to do in the last few weeks is to stick to my shopping list. It has definitely made a difference. Although I had always kept a list, I would buy more than what was on the list when I arrived at the store. Now if its not on my list I don’t buy. it The only exception is if it is an unadvertised special or clearance item. Publix is great because they provide preprinted shopping lists. I now keep a small supply of those since sometimes they are out at the store. Also for the first time this past week, I used the list which you can print from Kroger’s website. It makes me give more thought to what we need and how I will use those groceries in my meals.

  • Shayna H says:

    I am now using a combination of various strategies. Yes I use coupons but the stores in our area are not super great with coupons and sales, but I grab them when I can. I think the easiest way is to simply
    1. Eat from pantry & make do with what we have
    2. Make a weekly menu based on items that are on sale or have in pantry and stick to it
    3. Allowing for a few extras so I don’t go crazy and give up – we eat out or order delivery once a week! (and use our restaurant.com gift certificates when possible)
    4. Save money in other areas to make room for grocery extras such as buying personal items on sale with coupons – this is biggest money saver. I basically don’t pay for these items any more due to Wags and CVS deals + coupons + rebates + rr + ecbs!!

  • Changing the way we eat has impacted our budget. We now focus on eating locally, organic/organically-grown fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs. Cooking from scratch, meal planning, eating more meatless meals and shopping with a cash envelope has helped keep our grocery budget in line despite making more expensive food choices.

  • Kelly says:

    Over the past six months, I have brought our grocery bill down to an average of $65 a week. I budget for a month since some weeks I will spend a little more and others a little less. My husband was amazed when he went grocery shopping with me on Sunday and I only spent $10 which included 3 gallons of milk, 2 roasts, 2 packages of pork chops, 2 60 ct Vitamin C tablets and 12 cups of yogurt. I saved 81%! None of this was junk, all necessities!

  • Mary Ann says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this entire series.

    I’m very frugal and using coupons or buying mark-downs has never embarrassed me. But one rather silly mindset I’ve had to get over was what other people think of what we eat. I know that’s so juvenile, but true. I usually post my menu plan on my blog and my family and some close friends read it regularly. I used to be concerned that our meal plan would make us look “poor”, when we really are not since we have plenty to eat. (I did get some comments from family members, too, which probably triggered it!) Then I realized that we are eating foods we like and that we can afford, it doesn’t matter what they think; they are not eating at my table every night! My husband really helped me in this too, since he totally supports and likes eating our simple meals. This saves me money since I now shop for us and our wants and needs rather than what someone else thinks I should be buying!

  • Courtney says:

    We started out by tracking how much we were spending for food over a few months. This included stores and eating out. We then started pulling out $200 each pay period (so $400 per month) and that became our food budget. It’s been a lot of fun to watch and know that when that food money is gone, it’s gone! And it’s been really freeing to get creative with how we buy. Last month my DH and I went out for Valentine’s Day and spent way more than we should have. 🙂 But we still stayed within our budget for the month without a problem. It’s also helped us prioritize how and when we buy food. We’re a family of 6 but I’m hoping to be able to cut our food budget to $300 or less in the near future.

  • Kathy/IL says:

    My husband and I retired early, so while we’re in a good financial position right now, we need to be careful with our spending so we can *stay* in a good financial position. 😉

    I, too, used to think that couponing was for saving 25 cents or so on a few things here and there. I still have to admit that reading all the couponing blogs has made me dizzy, but I’m committed to learning how to REALLY save with coupons. I do know that our grocery budget has increased in the last year, because now that I’m retired, I’m committed to cooking at home (no more take-out for lunch at work or for dinner because I’m too tired from a full day at work). But we’re definitely making up the difference in our overall budget because our eating-out budget has almost disappeared. 😉 But I’m sure that there’s room for improvement, and I can wait to learn how to save more on our grocery budget.

  • rachaelp says:

    My husband lost his job due to the economy last Sept. We have struggled to make it since then but God has provided every step of the way. One way I have been really conscious of spending is in our grocery budget. I have been couponing for a year and doing it with a definite goal for a month. My budget is $50/wk; this is for groceries and toiletries. I have had so much fun stretching my dollars and giving myself this challenge. We have seen a huge difference in our eating habits and our grocery budget!

  • Nicole says:

    In December I began doing a big shop per month. I plan all my meals for the month in advance and purchase everything at once visiting multiple stores to buy everything at its lowest price. I freeze a lot of the perishable stuff. We have saved hundreds of dollars!!

  • Kara says:

    First off, thank you for all the work you do. It has helped me so much save on our food bill. I found your website around the middle of last year and have followed it ever since.
    My budget for groceries is $150 a month, for 3. Our son is still in diapers! We do get WIC, but I still put that in our grocery bill, so I do have some wiggle room. I do a grocery shop on the 15th of the month and challenege myself to make to the 15th of the next month before going to get groceries again. If an item that we regularly use is on a good sale I will go and get it.
    February my main shop total was $136, Aldi (which I never do, to far of a drive) was $51, Target was $100 (I think the cashier did not take some of my coupons, plus I stocked up on the Fusion razors for DH).
    I haven’t done any shopping for March so far, but I have my list and coupons! My mom coupons as well, if there is a coupon I need that was in the inserts I ask if she can send it up (she shops for a family of 4, it was a family of 6). The holiday shop that we did with her saved $50 in coupons!!!

  • Kris says:

    I am mad at myself for all of the years wasted stopping at the store each night or just loading up my cart without being intentional. We are now preparing a budget and excited about the potential savings!! I started couponing a year ago and it has been an ongoing process of evaluating my purchases. At first I thought I had to get out there and get every deal. Now I am buying just the things that my family will use or that I can share with others.

  • My excuse used to be “we live in such an expensive area, the prices are so high, it’s a lost cause.” Then I decided *trying* couldn’t hurt, and I was surprised at how much I saved. That motivated me to plan meals, use the circular, cut coupons, match them up, etc. and occasionally even go to more than one store. Though it is true that prices at our stores are higher than other regions, we can still do the best we can with what we’ve got! Every little bit helps!

  • Laura says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I hear the same things. We live with special dietary needs and still manage to have a fairly low cost grocery/food budget each month.

  • Liz says:

    What has helped me is switching to shopping on a monthly basis. I write up my menu plan for the plan and split my shopping into two huge trips (one for the inside aisles/the other for dairy, meats, and frozen). It is a grueling weekend but then I am done! I usually go to the store each week for fresh produce, milk and free / almost free sale items. But it is a 10 minute trip. Also, I found that shopping on a once a month basis allows me to take advantage of buying more in bulk (meats, etc.) This has saved me both time and money.

  • I hear this excuse ALL the time and you are SO right! Just changing the way you think about shopping and maybe even coupons can save you TONS of money. So many people feel trapped (and therefore cash-strapped), but it all begins with attitude. Good for you for putting the challenge out there! You CAN lower your bills!

  • Ann says:

    Thanks for this series. I am looking forward to the rest of it.
    I found your site about a year ago and I will never go back to my old ways. Most of saving of groceries is the mindset and the planning. I am far from perfect, but I have learned to depend on meal planning, how to stockpile and to live with what we have. We hardly ever waste food anymore and I don’t think I will ever run out of toothpaste!

  • Deanna says:

    The biggest thing for me was “I won’t ever eat store brand products”. It’s amazing to me just how much you can save by getting the bulk of your items in store brand names instead of “the real deal” You pay so much for for name brand foods, it’s insane. Sure I have *some* foods I prefer name brand but the majority of my shopping is with coupons and also store brand items for which I don’t have coupons for.

    I also have started shopping at several different stores all of which are within 2 miles from my house. It’s WORTH IT!

  • Amy says:

    Somethings don’t work for us, but we focus on what we can do. We live between 2 smallish cities, one is bigger and a 30 minute drive, the other is a bit smaller and a 40 minute drive. Most of the time we shop in our local town at wally world and food lion, with a trip to the closer city every 4-6 weeks for a sam’s run. But we’ve started going to the city that is farther away instead as it not only has a sam’s but also an Aldi’s. And the shopping there is all in one area, whereas the closer city’s stores are spread out so the mileage is about the same. We go as a family, and I enjoy the conversation with my hubby and the help.

    I also limit my cooking to fairly basic menus and common ingredients. There’s still plenty of variety, but saves money, time, and space.

  • Pam says:

    I just wanted to say that I just discovered this site yesterday, and I am learning a lot even from the comments!!!
    Like some others that I read about on here, I feel like I am already relatively frugal, but I am very hopeful that some of these principles will help us to make the most of what the Lord has blessed us with…I appreciate, too, how many of you are attributing your blessings to the Lord and trying to be a blessing to others! What a good example!
    Thanks!
    Pam…www.custerfamilyfarm.com

  • Annie says:

    I’m really looking forward to this! We’ve implemented a number of your ideas already, which have cut our grocery budget from $350 a month for 2 adults to $175 a month for 3 adults and 2 small kids. My husband has just been accepted into the St. Louis Fire Academy (a miracle!) and won’t be able to work for almost 3 months. We’re cutting out everything possible (and praying like crazy) to make it work financially, so if we could cut our grocery budget even further with some of your ideas, it would be amazing!

  • Joann says:

    I’ve come to depend on God to help me even with the little things in life. I’ve only been doing this for about 4 months but I’m starting to notice a trend. Every time I panic that we’re going to run out of something necessary like toilet paper I’ll run out to the store with a coupon and make a discounted (but not discounted enough) impulse buy. Then a couple of days later I’ll run across an amazing sale on that same item. So hopefully I’ll learn from this and depend on God and be patient. I have a feeling my grocery bill will go down quite a bit.

  • Danielle says:

    our grocery spending has drastically changed in the past few months. We have always had a budget of about $350 for our family of 5, that included buying diapers and toiletries. Then one day my husband came to me and told me he thought we needed to lower it. It then went down to $250. I didn’t know how I could do it. I was actually nervous. But I searched for sales, priced matched at Wal-Mart and some how we did it. Our children no longer needed pullups and somehow it worked. I think that when we plan and include the Lord in our goals he helps us. It is such a freeing thing knowing we are living within a budget that we have set and then we are still able to save money for those rainy days.

  • Stacie says:

    I am new to the lower my grocery bill and am admittedly still not great at it but I am trying and I have seen changes! The funny thing is that my changes are primarily with my planning. I was always a meal planner – my mom was a two week meal planner and a sometimes once-a-month-cooker. But after chatting with a friend who loves your blog (and has used lots of your tips to keep their family afloat in financial turmoil) I realized that I could do better. The planning has been what has saved me. God usually gives me a word each year and this year has been responsibility. I didn’t realize what that meant until I realized that better planning would equal better stewardship. Stewardship of my time, my finances and my family. I have been given amazing gifts and now I am striving to honor God with them. Seeing the results of it is overwhelming at times! The most amazing thing is being able to use my lowered grocery bill to bless others. When we spend less on ourselves there is more to spend on others in need!

  • Kris says:

    Thanks so much for the kick in the seat. I am convicted to change what has been broken for a long time!!

  • Erin says:

    I have to say I’ve been following your blog for awhile and I have been truly amazed at your deals, a year ago I couldn’t figure out how people could get their budgeting for groceries and household goods down so low. I’d been dinking around with coupons and such for awhile, but I was only saving a few dollars here and there. Then I started really tracking sales and also had the added incentive of having a new baby coming into the picture while also being faced with a drastic reduction in income due to the economy and my husband’s company having less work overall. I decided that I was going to make it my mission to figure out how to do this myself to save our money and stockpile.

    I have to say the biggest thing is changing your mindset and making a commitment to saving money. I have so many friends who are struggling and yet don’t even think that they can change, but the truth is they are unwilling to even try.

  • Brittany says:

    “…maybe your family eats gluten-free, or maybe you eat all organic, or maybe you live in a rural area with only one over-priced store…”

    Or maybe it’s all of the above, like my family! But I do believe we can lower our budget… I’m excited to read all your insights and put them into practice!

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