That grocery bill tho!
It’s one of the hardest categories to control in your budget without high levels of intentionality…and that’s what I want to discuss here today.
It’s time to get intentional about your grocery spending and reduce that category in 2015.
1. Meal Planning
I don’t want to admit it but more often than not, I wandered into the grocery store the past several months without a game plan.
This resulted in a higher incidence of impulse purchases…I can’t resist those chocolate covered peanut clusters at Sprouts if I don’t have a handy dandy grocery list in hand.
It also led to buying random items that didn’t necessarily make a week worth of meals, so I ended up being at the grocery store making impulse purchases more frequently. It left me feeling like we never had any food in the house since I bought tons of groceries but none of it necessarily went together. Last but not least, it left me throwing out spoiled food since I would buy things and never know what night I was cooking it or with what foods I was pairing it with.
Why wasn’t I using eMeals, the meal planning service being SENT to my phone app weekly?
How could I be so lazy as to not use the pre-made plan being sent to me weekly? I have no clue. Can I blame the adoption? 🙂
I am jumping back on the wagon and committed to reigning things in this year. To my delight, eMeals just sent me an email all about their NEW plan – Budget Friendly. That sounds like my kind of plan.
Below is a sample recipe from their latest plan:
1½ lb ground beef
½ (9.6-oz) pkg ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1½ cups homemade chicken broth
2 (15-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15.5-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ (15-oz) can corn, drained
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
Cook ground beef, sausage, onion and bell pepper in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbly; drain. Stir in broth and all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Head over to eMeals for your 14-day Free Trial and check out all the plans they have to offer.
Do yourself a favor and meal plan in 2015. It will make a massive difference in your grocery bill and significantly reduce waste, trust me.
2. Couponing & Price Matching
Have you heard about Grocery Smarts?
If I am going to coupon, it HAS to be easy. I don’t have time to search and scan all the ads and my coupons from the Sunday paper.
That’s where Grocery Smarts comes in handy. I literally tell it what state I am located in and then select the stores I shop at and it shows me what items are on sale, how hot of a sale it is, what coupons I can combine with the sale, and the final estimated cost of the item.
All I have to do then is find the coupon in my paper ads or print it from online.
As for price matching, you can absolutely bring all the ads with you to your favorite grocery store and price match at the checkout counter. We’ve also been using Walmart’s savings catcher and they more or less do the price matching for us and give the savings back to us on a Walmart gift card.
3. Staying on Budget
Last and absolutely not least…a way to reduce your grocery spending is to set a realistic budget for you and/or your family and then STICK TO IT!
This can be the hardest part but it’s vital to actually bringing more order and control to this area of your life. Once you know your budget, meal plan around it, and then have a system in place to hold you accountable.
Cash envelopes are pretty darn hard to argue with. When the money is gone, it’s gone.
We use YNAB – You Need a Budget software and are totally in love with it. Every time we are at the grocery store, we immediately pull out our phones first to consult the budget and determine how much is left in groceries for the month. At checkout, we then enter in the grocery store and amount spent..and seconds later our budget auto syncs to let us know what’s left in the grocery category.
You can sign up for a FREE 31-day trial with YNAB or use this link to get $6.00 off if you do decide to purchase it.
I hope these tips are helpful to you for not only saving time but lots of money in 2015. We all have bigger goals than the grocery bill on any given month so freeing this category up will allow you to hit some other milestones in your budget!