We’re kicking off the year with an 8-week Cut Your Grocery Bill Challenge. I’ll be sharing a weekly post here every Thursday with a task or challenge for you to complete/focus on to help you tweak, improve, or overhaul your grocery budget.
My hope is that we can all work together to crowd-source new ideas and fresh inspiration to be more thoughtful and intentional in our grocery budgets + hopefully save some money and instill some practices and principles and habits that will continue to save us money throughout the rest of the year.
In week #1, we talked about setting up a grocery budget. That’s the most important first step in cutting your grocery bill.
Last week, we discussed why you need to recognize potential roadblocks. Be sure to read through the comments here to hear about others’ roadblocks. I think it will encourage you to know you’re not alone.
Week #3: Choose One Thing to Change (For 3 Weeks)
This week, we’re going to take those roadblocks that we acknowledged or the potential obstacles we see that we could face, and we’re going to use them as motivation to get creative. I want you to choose one area you’re going to commit to change.
Think about what is realistic, what is doable, and what would make an impact on your budget. It could be that you are going to add up your groceries as you’re putting them in the cart so that you make sure to stick with the budget. Or, that you are going to plan your menu around what’s on sale at the store. Or, that you are going to try shopping at a different store. Or, that you will make your bread from scratch. Or, that you’re going to buy primarily only the fruit and veggies that are on sale and simplify and save money by doing that. Or, that you’re going to only bring cash to the store to shop with.
Need some more ideas? Sign up for my FREE cheatsheet with 10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill by $50 This Week.
Really consider what you’d like to focus on for the next three weeks. And I’ll challenge you to make it something that’s going to lower your grocery budget by 1-3%. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but baby steps done consistently can add up to big change. Plus, smaller changes are much easier to actually stick with.
I went through the comments on last week’s post and picked a few to give an idea on one simple change they could commit to for the next three weeks:
Kelli said: “i hate grocery shopping! great at planning, like baking, LOVE cooking, often make food for others, etc etc do not enjoy grocery shopping.”
Idea: Try grocery pickup for the next three weeks. This way, you get the best of both world — you get to plan but you don’t have to mess with going in-store to shop. This can also help if you struggle with impulse shopping, too.
Crystal said: “One of my roadblocks has been that I don’t have a menu plan so supper time comes and everyone’s in a whirlwind. Working on it though.”
Idea: Challenge yourself to create a simple menu plan for the next three weeks. If you need help, I love a service like Eat at Home — they plan all of the menus for you, there are 4 completely different menu options to choose from each week, and they put together a color-coded grocery list for you, too! You can try it out for two weeks to see if it works. If not, just email to ask for a refund before the two weeks is up. (Psst! If you sign up here, you’ll get to see sample menu plans + get a coupon code for the menu-planning service!)
Tiffany said: I always forget something on my list or someone eats something that was panned for. Then I end up going back to the store later in the week and always end up impulse buying random things.
Idea: Commit to only shopping once per week. If you forget something, get creative and make do with what you have. Or, you could also say that if you make any extra trips for a specific item, you only bring enough cash in to buy that specific item so that you’re not tempted to impulse buy.
What are you going to commit to change/try/do for the next three weeks? I can’t wait to hear!
I went to Kroger again this week — but back to my normal Kroger where they do a better job of tagging things and updating prices so I didn’t have the same issues I had last week!
They didn’t have that many great weekly deals I was excited about (the $1.99 Kellogg’s cereal deal was decent and the sliced cheese for $1.79 was a pretty good deal), but I found some good mark downs. Plus, I stumbled across this potato deal — I don’t think it was advertised and maybe was just our store? $1.99 for 5 pounds of potatoes, which is a good deal on potatoes right now!
Here’s everything we got! It was $76 total. So I’ll roll over the extra from this week + last week to next week and hopefully there will be some more stock up deals!
I’m loosely planning chicken/cheese croissants, steak/peppers over rice, potato soup, cheese/chicken quesadillas, and Curry over rice for dinners this upcoming week. I don’t have a set-in-stone menu plan because I like to see how I feel each day and how much time I have to cook, etc. We also usually do one leftovers/fend-for-yourself night (which often means the kids eat cereal for dinner, which they love!!) and one night we get takeout.
Week #3 Project: Commit to Change One Thing & Share It!
Are you in for the Cut Your Grocery Bill Challenge? If so, I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know what one thing you are committing to change for the next three weeks. This will inspire others with ideas, too!
Plus, if you have a minute, go through the comments and leave a comment or two replying to someone and cheering them on or giving them more ideas!
We’ll check back in later on in this challenge on how our three-week commitment is going and what we learned from it and how to apply what we learned.
Need some practical ideas for ways to cut your grocery bill or one thing you could do to commit to change? Be sure to sign up for my free cheatsheet with 10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill by $50 This Week!
I have started to plan 5-6 meals, but not on specific days. I also try to buy ingredients that will be used in at least two meals. So. we have rice, or potatoes two meals , then I cook the sides just once for two meals. Then I cook the proteins in amounts for two meals, like chicken, or roast , or ground beef. I like to cook once and eat twice. Its a time saver. and I use up the groceries.
Melissa Willits says
Buy a smaller selection of fruits and vegetables so that everything gets used up before buying more.
Also, give myself grace since I blew it this week. Back on track next week!
I do a meal plan, but during the week it seems to fall apart. I get home late and don’t have time to make what I planned, I forgot to thaw the meat, or what I planned just doesn’t sound appetizing for today. I need to work on having several quick alternatives ready for when that situation happens!
Do you set your meal plan based on what you are going to buy. Just trying to get new insight on meal planning.
Crystal Paine says
I plan based upon what we already have on hand + what’s on sale.
Thanks sure will try this need some new ideas for dinners lunch’s and breakfast
I need to get better at looking what we already have at home first and then go shopping.
I’m going to shop my pantry. Only buy absolute necessities such as milk!
Pantry shopping before we go grocery shopping. I have a large pantry and plenty that needs to be used.
Mary Stockton says
Making a list and tracking spending and prices for things to see where I can save more on Food/Groceries.
I suppose telling my young adult children they have to move out is not what you’re looking for…but it has crossed my mind! 😂
Haha! I remember my mom preaching at us when we were young that we were required to move out when we graduated :). We briefly moved in with my parents when we were moving but none of my siblings has moved home. You should charge rent! 🙂
I’m going to try and keep my husband out of the discount grocery stores. There’s three he enjoys checking out on a regular basis. I think we could be held up in our home for months and only run out of the staples (milk, bread, eggs).
Love this! This is what I’m going to be doing too. We homeschool and feels like we feed an army since it’s all day/everyday – 5 of us but only 1 is technically still eating ‘child’ sized portions. We haven’t been to Costco – which saves us so much money – since before Thanksgiving and it shows in our bank account!!!!
Working on writing down what we spend to see if our allotted grocery budget amount is reasonable. Trying to stretch what we buy and use stuff we already have.
Liz C says
I am going to have at least 1 meatless meal a week
I’m going to menu plan not just the main but the sides as well.
Leann Richardson says
I have been using Misfits Market and I am finding that I spend more that I would if I bought some of that stuff locally even when I have to drive across town to get things on sale. I am going to limit my Misfits orders to two instead of four per month and see what happens. If that is still not working for me I will drop the service. I think I can save about $100.00 per month by not using it.
I am also struggling through the menu planning phase. I used to be amazing at this but it seemed easier with little kids. Now we have four adults and we all like more sophisticated meals now… and healthier. My 24 year old daughter and I have been losing weight so we are trying to budget for more healthy options. I did just sign up for emeals and we are switching to the diabetic menus to control protein and carb intake. That is helping and I got that amazing deal you shared for a year subscription.
So, this week… evaluate where I can cut budget and make a real menu plan. LOL I know that is two but I am overachieving this week. 😉
Carrie M says
I haven’t been using a certain amount for groceries so in January I set a specific budget and now do my shopping with cash. Three weeks so far and I’ve stayed in my number.
I am going to use up the meats we have in the freezer before buying any more and have bone broth for my mid day snack.
I am going to keep my meals simple with no special ingredients. Make a menu for the week which will discourage eating out.
I am going to start menu planning again. I’m going to plan around what we have first, then fill in using grocery pick up to avoid extras
I want to start planning meals based on what is on sale, not just what I feel like eating. I feel this will be the habit that has the biggest impact on my budget!
Charlotte W. says
Shop at my grocery store on Thursday afternoon for the meat markdowns which ranges from 15 percent to maybe 50 percent off depending on type of meat. Last week I scored these markdowns…..ground turkey (Planville brand), ground sirloin, and 2 packages of turkey wings for a little over 12 dollars.
That is awesome! What store were you at?
I am going to meal plan from my pantry and freezer. I am only going to buy what I must have. My budget is $200 weekly, but I want to try to only spend $75 each week for the next 3 weeks
I am going to do at least one meal a week from things that are in our freezer or pantry. It’s surprising what we have on hand that we need to use.
I’m going to shop in our pantry and freezer first. Then buy based on the sales that week. I’ve never tried meal planning the way you do it. We might have some interesting combos, but I’m excited to reduce our food bill and waste. 😁
Check my stash and our calendars before I meal plan. Also, relentlessly push leftovers!
I am going to look at the ads along with our freezers to create the meal plan.
Anne M says
I hope to use up some of the pantry items that have gotten pushed to the back, including partial boxes of pasta, small remnants of rice, etc.
I’m going to stick to my list. I didnt get to post about my roadblocks, but I would say impulse buying would be my greatest one.
Crystal Paine says
You can do it! I’m cheering for you!
I am going to meal plan using items we already have.
Rachel Averett says
I am going to stick to a $100 a week grocery budget. I have already been doing it for the past three weeks but I plan on doing it through February and try to us up things that need to be used up in our fridge, freezer and pantry. I am mostly sticking to a list and shopping the sales. We are a family of seven.
Crystal Paine says
Way to go!!
I am going to shop my jam packed freezer. We have so much n there we need to clean it out and eat what is in there.
I am going to shop our home and use up some things we have kicking around. Might make for some strange meals but it will mean I am paying attention to inventory. I started this week and only spent $73 at the grocery store this week!
Crystal Paine says
Woohoo!! We love to make it like a game!
I am going to be more intentional about what I buy instead of just buying what sounds good.
Charlotte W says
👍 I committed to that same thing. I’m just buying items on sale or markdowns. It’s so encouraging to me seeing others having the same kind of commitment. Good luck to you!!
I’m going to simplify my meal plan so I can buy in bulk. We homeschool so I feed 5 of us 3 times a day plus snacks. I think I’ve been trying to make things more complicated than they need to be.
Crystal Paine says
YES!! I’m a big fan of simplicity — and also having easy meals/snack ideas that your kids can make themselves so it’s less work for you!
I’m going to try to not go to the store more then twice a week! Going often means I spend more overall.
Crystal Paine says
Yes! I love that commitment! It makes such a difference — and it encourages you to get creative with what you have!
Jane Ulness says
Read the labels on the ready made things you buy. You can look the, up on a retailers web site and look at them without buying and in the quiet of your own home. Cream soup has a first ingredient of chicken broth and a thickening agent. Utah extension service has a recipe for a cream soup base. Parmesan cheese can have up to 4 percent wood pulp in it, Read your labels. We eat in 300.00 a month for two seniors. That’s half the usda stats. And it’s up 50.00 from two years ago.
Crystal Paine says
I love that you’re committing to do this for the next three weeks! I’m over here cheering for you!
Jennie C. says
I am planning to go meatless once a week.
I am going to make meals around food I have minus the fresh produce we need. I need to shop our freezer and pantry first.
I am an impulse buyer, so I am going to try grocery pickup. We also have a lot of food waste, going to meal plan and stick to it, minimize going out to eat.
I shop the sales most weeks, but for the foreseeable future I’m focusing on planning multiple meals with the same ingredients so that less goes to waste. I want to do a better job of prepping fresh foods so that they get eaten before they go bad.
I’m also planning to fix meals that use up the little bits of sauces and condiments that are cluttering my fridge and pantry.
“Shopping” my freezer first!
👍That’s a goal of mine too!!
I’m going to go back into Costco if necessary. I was only going twice a month but their prices for organic for our large family are much better than running into Whole Foods, especially to restock fruits/vegetables.
One meatless meal a week. Easy for me, but my husband always wants meat. I will leave it up to him to cook his own meat that night from what we have in the freezer if he thinks he needs it. He likely won’t go to the trouble but I won’t be “controlling” the situation that way, ha,ha.
My husband and I struggle without meat in our meals (I’m not convinced it really healthier either, but that’s
a different topic, and eating meat sure is more expensive either way!) but it really helps us to still have some animal products: our favorite is to cook red lentils in chicken stock and with a bit of butter and also lots of Indian spices. Obviously using eggs doesn’t help cut the budget right now, but adding a bit of cheese might be another way to help your husband feel better without the meat.
I have meat in my freezer. I’m going to use what I have instead of buying more every shopping trip.
Emily M. says
I plan on doing grocery pick-up for the next few weeks. I feel like I won’t buy extras if I do and I can see my total before I purchase them which will help.
Crystal Paine says
I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!