I know what it's like to try and keep a busy family fed. And I know that grocery costs have been on the rise over the last decade.
Last week I talked about what our grocery budget is and I had a lot of people ask how I am able to feed our family of four (plus a toddler) for $400 a month. So today I am going to give you five tips for keeping grocery costs down.
Food is one of the few areas that we can actually control the cost.
1. Use a grocery pick up service.
I use Walmart pickup. And NO they do not sponsor me. But I feel like it saves me cash because I can see how much I am spending BEFORE I check out. And it prevents me from buying things I don't need just because they look good on the shelf.
2. Only grocery shop once a week.
So we've all done this. We need one thing from the store. So we run by on the way home from work for one jar of pasta sauce. And then we spend $47. Yup.
Don't do this. Just go without or see if you can sub that one thing and only shop ONE TIME a week.
3. Understand your sales cycle.
Buy your staples at the lowest price.
The usual sales cycle at most grocery stores is 6 to 8 weeks. This means staples like frozen vegetables, pasta sauce, rice, cereal, toiletries, babyfood you name it goes on sale every 6 to 8 weeks.
This is when things are usually at their lowest price and you can get the most bang for your buck.
You can get these things at their lowest price fill your pantry and know that when they go on sale again you can stock up on them at the same low price.
4. Understand your loss leaders.
What is a loss leader? This is something priced to move. It's priced so low the store isn't making a profit. This is a great time to stock up on items like milk and bread at their lowest prices.
Loss leaders are usually found in the back of the sales flyer. And having a good idea of what your prices usually are will help you determine if these are worth the price.
5. Prep your produce.
This won't actually save you money at the store, but it will prevent food waste, which will save you cash. Taking 15 minutes to wash, cut and store produce will save prevent you from tossing food that went bad because it got pushed to the back of the fridge.