In the past 6 months I've spent a lot of time thinking about money.
I started working when I was 15 years old and most of high school I had at least 2 part time jobs.
In the past 6 months I've cut down to working a maximum of 20 hours a month so I can spend more time raising my children.
This has forced me to be aware of every penny that comes in and out of our account.
It has become almost addicting to budget and be accountable for every penny.
One place we used to
spend blow a lot of our money was on Food.
I believe at one point we were spending close to 1,200 a month on groceries for a family of 5.
I justified our over spending by telling myself that Food is a necessity.
Yes, food is a necessity but it is not necessary to spend as much as 1200 a month on groceries, even for a family of five.
The past 6 months I've become really good at saving money on groceries, really really good at it actually.
I went from spending close to 1200 a month on groceries to spending under $600 a month for our family of five and I don't even coupon!
Here is how I changed our spending habits in 7 Easy Steps.
Make a budget at stick to it
I know, I know.
Budget is a scary word.
Guess what - being an adult is scary and life will be a whole lot scarier if you do not have a budget in place.
Sit down with your spouse, take a look at your finances and see how much your grocery budget should be and Stick to it!
Shop Your Pantry and Make a List
I used to go to the grocery store and pick up whatever my stomach desired.
I didn't even look at the price which is SO crazy to me now.
Now I don't ever go grocery shopping without first taking inventory of what food we already have in our kitchen and writing out a detailed list of what I need to complete meals based on what we already have.
I find I can go a lot longer between big shops now that I take inventory of my pantry before I go shopping.
Meal Plan based on your Pantry Inventory
6 months ago I used to come home from work and have no Idea what I was going to make for dinner so we would end up ordering in.
Not only did I waste our money by doing this it wasted food that I already had in the house.
After I take inventory of our pantry, I sit down and write out a weekly meal plan with the items I already have on hand.
Yes - I'm that woman in line price matching all her food.
I'm fully aware that most of you behind me in line are giving me dirty looks.
I get it - because once upon a time I used to get annoyed too.
Do you know what is even more annoying than waiting in line behind someone who is price matching?
Spending hundreds more a month on groceries than you need to.
I have saved anywhere from $5 to $150 per grocery shop by price matching.
It doesn't have to be time consuming either as long as you are organized.
I will save this for another post though.
Buy meat in bulk
I used to buy meat every week and every week meat would get thrown out and wasted.
Now I buy meat once a month in bulk at Costco.
I usually buy a big thing of ground beef, chicken and sausage and divide them up into freezer bags and place them in the freezer to have on hand when I need it.
We don't eat a lot of meat in our house so this is perfect for our family.
We used to throw a lot of meat out and now there is no need to waste the food or the money.
Do not shop on an empty stomach.
I swear this will save you at least $20 every grocery shop.
Shop alone at first.
I know grocery shopping is a wonderful opportunity to teach your little ones all sorts of things from the Food Groups to Budgeting, but if you are trying to get into a new spending routine yourself leave the kids at home if possible to avoid over spending.
When I first experimented with cutting my grocery bill in half I shopped alone so I could get a feel for sticking to my budget without little ones throwing all their favourite treats into the cart.
Now that I'm pretty much a grocery shopping expert, I bring the kids along with me.
They know that Mommy has a list and budget to stick to and they have become really good at understand needs vs. wants.
I usually leave room in the budget for them to pick one snack each under a certain dollar amount.
If they know they have $4 to spend on a treat they know they can buy one thing for $4 or two $2 items.
I would love to hear how you save money on groceries.
Do you price match? Coupon? What works or doesn't work for you?
Let me know in the comments below.