You’ve learned a few ways to save money on dining out, thanks to the 9 Ways to Save Money on Dining Out article, now it’s time to master saving money on groceries. If you’re anything like the ladies of the CGS Team, your intentions are always in the right place, just not acted upon.
You vow to hit the grocery store and stock up for the week to avoid eating out, only to forget a breakfast ingredient and pick up something quick. There’s nothing wrong with picking up something quick every now and then, but if consistent, it can add up.
The CGS Team is sharing 8 ways to plan better so you can save money on groceries moving forward.
8 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
#1 Plan Your Breakfast
Starting with the most important meal of the day, plan ahead! Have at least 3 rotating and easy-to-make options in mind for breakfast. 1 egg and 2 turkey bacon slices, yogurt topped with fruit and granola, oatmeal with a banana, and peanut butter toast with an apple are just a few easy and healthy options.
Once you decide on your rotating breakfast options, make sure you always have ingredients for your choices on hand. The ingredients should always be on your grocery list.
#2 Pack Your Lunch the Night Before
Similar to breakfast, you should also have a few healthy lunch ideas handy. Leftovers from the dinner before, turkey and avocado sandwiches, or a chopped Caesar salad are quick go-tos. Always pack your lunch the night before.
There’s nothing worse than waking up late, rushing to get ready and trying to figure out how to quickly make your lunch. That is a recipe for picking up lunch and forgetting about the hassle.
#3 Get Creative for Dinner
When you don’t have anything tasty or enticing to eat for dinner, you end up heading out to spend money on food somewhere else. Avoid the need to hit your local restaurant by getting creative with what you make for dinner.
There are hundreds of healthy, tasty dinner recipes waiting to be tried! Before your next grocery visit, create a list of affordable dinners to try for the month. When you plan your meals out well in advance, you don’t have to worry about scrambling or being indecisive with what to make. Check out some of our recipes.
#4 Set a Day to Meal Prep
Do you have a specific day (likely Sunday) that doesn’t require much activity on your part? If so, this could be a perfect day to meal prep for the week ahead. Meal prepping essentially means you are preparing your meals ahead of time. Weekly meal prepping is best to avoid food spoiling or not tasting as good.
We are sharing a few tips for healthy meal prepping in the article 6 Tips for Healthy Meal Prepping. Meal prepping should be part of your planning process, so you know exactly what you need from the grocery store!
#5 Identify Your Monthly Budget for Groceries
This should be an easy step if you already have a budget in place. If not, it may take a little bit of work to set a realistic monthly budget for groceries. If you have no idea where to start, refer back to your old bank statements. How much did you spend on groceries last month? Did you end up throwing food out?
If so, it means you should budget less than what you’ve spent in the past. If you stick to your go-to ingredients, you shouldn’t have to worry about wasting food… and your money!
#6 Stock Up on Frozen Goods
Seafood, frozen fruits and vegetables, and chicken breast are all examples of items that come frozen but taste great after being cooked. They are often cheaper and less likely to spoil when purchased frozen.
Stock up on frozen goods that are always edible and keep them handy. Incorporate those ingredients in your recipe ideas. You’ll save money by stocking up and only having to refresh items that need more consistent purchasing.
#7 Pick Up Coffee at the Grocery Store
Coffee is my weakness and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to make it as good as my Starbucks barista does, and that’s ok. I realize that it’s just not financially worth it to pick up a Starbucks coffee every day. I invested in a coffee maker (not a Keurig) and I brew a fresh pot every morning.
I purchase a big tub of ground coffee and it lasts a good month or so. Every now and then I splurge on my Starbucks, but by purchasing my coffee from the grocery store, I’ve saved quite a bit!
#8 Get a Snack You Enjoy
One of the biggest reasons we put our groceries to the side is because we are craving something delicious. Whether it’s ice cream, chips, a muffin, or anything else, when taste buds take over, everything else is on the back burner!
Anticipate this ahead of time and purchase a few snacks you enjoy from the grocery store. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of the things you enjoy, just get it from your grocery store to avoid overspending when you pick it up at a restaurant.
Related: How to Save at the Grocery Store
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on groceries every month only to throw out spoiled food! Have a solid list of ingredients you know will be used. Always stick to the list to avoid going over budget and picking up items you don’t necessarily need. Do you have any tips to share about saving money on groceries? What is your current monthly grocery budget? Leave a comment below to share!