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.
It’s February and that means we’re starting week 5 of the Cut Your Grocery Bill Challenge. How is it going for you? Here’s what we’ve covered in this challenge so far…
In week #1, we talked about setting up a grocery budget. That’s the most important first step in cutting your grocery bill.
In week #2, 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.
In week #3, I challenged you to commit to change one thing for three weeks. You can see the comments on the post for ideas of what others picked.
Last week, I encouraged you to check in on your progress to see how you are doing, what you are learning, what’s working, and what’s not working.
Week #5: Evaluate Your Options
It can be easy to look around (and online!) and see deals that other people are getting at their stores and feel like you are really missing out. This week, instead of looking at what other people might have as options, I want you to really consider what your options are.
Make a list of the stores in your area that sell grocery items — and I’m not just talking about grocery stores. Of course, start with grocery stores, but then think of stores like Walmart and Target. What about Sam’s Club and Costco? Drug stores? Are there any discount grocery stores or dollar stores? Does your area have any ethnic markets or farmer’s markets? What about local food co-ops or farms that sell to the public?
Search online for discount groceries near you. Think outside the box. And then start visiting each of these places you listed over the course of the next month to see what kinds of deals they offer. Who knows? You might end up stumbling upon a goldmine of deals.
And if not, you can be encouraged that you’ve left no stone unturned in your quest to be intentional with your finances!
I stocked up on meat, dishwashing tabs, and tortillas this week! I was excited about the chicken breasts for $1.99/lb. (Kroger weekly digital deal) and the apples for $0.99/lb (Kroger weekly digital deal).
We’re planning spaghetti, southwest rollups, Chicken Satay over rice, meatballs and twice-baked potatoes, lasagna, leftovers/fend for yourself, and takeout for dinners this week.
All totaled, I spent $106 for the groceries shown above. We also bought two dozen eggs this past week from some friends who have chickens (they sell them for $5/dozen). So I spent $116 total on groceries. Since I’d been under budget the past few weeks, I used the surplus to cover the $16 over our $100 weekly grocery budget.
Week #5 Project: Evaluate Your Options
Are joining us for the Cut Your Grocery Bill Challenge? If so, I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me the list that you came up with of places you could buy groceries in your area and which ones you feel are the best and why. Your list might give others some ideas and inspiration of creative places to look for deals on food and other groceries.
Need some practical ideas for ways to cut your grocery bill? Be sure to sign up for my free cheatsheet with 10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill by $50 This Week!
Mary Stockton says
We have Aldi, Dollar Tree, and Walmart in my area. Also, Dollar General and Family Dollar as well as Ollies Bargin Outlet, Target and several Thrift stores that carry a wide arrange of products. In additon there are several farmers markets in the area that are available.
Thanks for sharing, Mary! -Olivia, MSM Team
For those in the northeast, Ocean State Job Lot! They have a free food section. You buy $10 minimum of items (as much as you want) and they give you a gift card for the total cost. It’s an amazing savings. The last time I went, I got organic dried fruit, peanut butter, and orange juice for free!
Wow, that is amazing, Jamie!! Thanks so much for sharing! -Olivia, MSM Team
Carlie C’s (formerly Piggly Wiggly)
Aldi, Walmart, and target only of I’m going there for something else.
For me it’s been checking Big Lots for nearly expired or a few days expired to find items like dried fruits and cereals and snacks. If you are a rewards member they send you coupons in your email. I got a $15 off $75. Can’t turn down free food 😍
Thanks for the great tips, Rebecca! -Olivia, MSM Team
Anne M says
Another place to think of for groceries is specialty condiment stores and “gourmet sections” of gift shops. The regular prices are usually high, but you can often find good bargains on the clearance shelf. Spices are especially useful for changing up the flavor of basic dishes and making them more interesting.
Thanks for those great ideas, Anne! -Olivia, MSM Team
Don’t sleep on truck stops and gas stations! They often have sales or specials on convenience foods and many carry fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, download their apps! I’ve gotten lots of discounts and free food items on the Murphy USA and QT gas station apps!
Wow, that’s a great idea, Faith! I would have never thought of checking for the sales and specials at truck stops and gas stations! Thanks for sharing! -Olivia, MSM Team
We have discount grocery stores here with close dated & overstocked grocery items for super cheap. We also have a lot of Amish farms nearby and a lot of them sell meat, dairy products, produce, etc. for really cheap & it’s high quality.
Wow, that is amazing! Sounds like a great place to live! 🙂 -Olivia, MSM Team
Stephanie Hart says
We have very limited options where I live. Super small town. We have a Food Giant grocery store the next town up (only a mile away) but no grocery store in our town. We don’t lack for dollar stores though. I think we have 4 within 5 miles maybe! Also a CVS. But that’s it. There is a Walmart about 20 minutes away which is where I buy most of my groceries.
Anita Walter says
One way I have saved on grocery shopping is by using the Flash Food App. Once it is downloaded it will tell you what grocery stores in your area participate. They offer mark downs, foods nearing expiration, or overstock items at huge discounts. You order through the app and pick up at a set location in your store. I have saved so much on meats for my freezer, fresh produce, and unique grocery items that I would not normally buy.
Crystal Paine says
Yes! I’m a huge fan of that app — I wish that it was in our area!
I have been going to Kroger, Walmart, and Aldi… getting good deals in all😊 and it’s nice that they are all close together!!!
Crystal Paine says
YAY! I love that you are finding good deals and that they are close together!
Charlotte W says
Currently I just have Ingles and Walmart.
I do have a celebration this week. Organic tortillas for $2 regularly $4.18. I bought 5 packs. Very few markdowns this week at store but noticed that other shoppers were catching onto the markdowns.
Love this verse that I came across…Diligence is man’s precious possession. Holding fast to this verse as I diligently look for things on sale and holding to my budget plans.
Thanks for the challenge!! It’s been inspiring!!