I have found that the best way to cut back on your grocery bill is to go to the store prepared. If you plan a menu for the week, and create your list off of that you’ll put fewer impulse items in your cart!
If you want to take the money saving to the next level, check out your grocery’s circular. Find out what meat and produce is on sale first, and then find recipes for the week that utilize those foods. If you find a dish that you just have to have and it calls for a fresh herb you don’t have, for example, find other recipes that can use it too!
Top it all off with clipping coupons. But don’t be fooled – unless you’re committed to a specific brand – just because you have a coupon, doesn’t automatically make it cheaper.
I like to have variety in my weekly menu – Mexican Monday, Salad Night, seafood, pasta, red meat, chicken, pork, slow cooker. If Mexican Monday uses red meat, then that’s a 2-for-1 meal. (Chicken is the only exception; I’ve been guilty of 3 chicken nights in a row!)
To cut back on food waste, I never buy fresh seafood in advance. Whenever I do I’m jinxed and something unexpected comes up. I’m blessed by living in Florida that there’s a local fish market on my way home from work. I am not opposed to buying frozen seafood though, so that is always an option! (Except for shrimp, I’m slightly challenged when it comes to cooking previously frozen shrimp) I also always freeze my proteins when I get home and put it in the fridge the night before I plan to cook it.
When fall hits, life in the Everson household gets pretty busy – Stuart coaches youth soccer 2 nights a week and plays in an Ultimate Frisbee league one night a week, and I play in a bowling league one night a week. Sometimes we can just eat later than normal and sometimes I know that we’ll each be responsible for feeding ourselves. Late night dinners call for something quick or a feat of Slow Cooker Engineering.
Therefore, something to consider is your schedule. If you know that your son has football practice until 8 on Thursday and you’ll be driving thru McDonald’s, take that into account. Don’t plan and buy food for 7 meals if you know you’ll probably only cook 4. I always leave one day empty, just in case we opt to go out or we’re invited to a friend’s house for dinner.
I hope my grocery shopping ritual helps you to become more organized and better yet, saves you money!