Saving 101: Slashing the Grocery Budget

Saving 101: Slashing the Grocery Budget

( – The average American family spends nearly $400 on groceries alone in a single month. But the sheer amount of money people spend on food often doesn’t become bluntly obvious until they begin budgeting their money. While the rising cost of groceries is difficult to avoid, it is possible to slash costs and save big — even while eating well.

Pay With Cash

Shoppers often fall into the trap of picking up unnecessary grocery items, especially when paying by debit or credit. Consider bringing a set amount of cash to spend instead. This strategy will force you to adhere to your budget as there is no wiggle room with cash like there is with plastic. If you have the power to spend more money, chances are you will.

Round Up

After setting a budget to go shopping, round up the cost of each item you buy. For example, if a head of lettuce is $1.69, round it up to $2. The idea may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll gain a better idea of how much you’ll end up spending. You may also be in for a pleasant surprise at checkout when you come in under your budget every single time.

Plan Ahead

Make a meal plan for the week and stick to it. Only buy what you need, avoiding unnecessary extras. Include bulk rice, potatoes, and similar inexpensive staples to stretch what you have. Take a weekend to create a week or two of freezer meals at a time. You can push the strategy even further and stretch every possible dollar by aligning the dishes you create in advance to local food specials and sales.

Look for Discounts

Develop a keen eye for spotting good prices when you shop. Stores regularly put their stock on sale as new shipments come in or when items are on the verge of expiring. Try checking on Sunday nights or just before holidays. Subscribe to flier newsletters. Become a couponing wizard by printing off discounts from sites like to shave a few more cents off of your bill each time you hit the grocery store.

With the right approach and a little practice, reducing the pain at the checkout counter is possible.

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