Grocery Shopping on a Budget

woman in grocery store

It can be challenging to stay within your budget while grocery shopping, but here are some tips to help you.

Money saving tips for your grocery budget:

1. Revisit Your Grocery Budget
How much money did you assign to the grocery category in your monthly budget? You’ll need to divide that number by the amount of times you’re going to the grocery store this month. If you go once a week and have $600 to spend, that means you can spend $150 at the store per trip.

2. Meal Plan
Meal planning is like budgeting with your food. It's a strategy to map out what you are going to eat. Meal planning can also reduce your stress throughout the week because you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner. You’ve already decided that and shopped for it. The reason this helps save money is because you know exactly what you need to buy to feed your family all week, without relying on last-minute takeout or impulse purchases at the store.
Bonus: Planning out your meals for the week will give you the chance to save even more by looking for the best deal or coupons for all the ingredients in advance.

3. Make a Grocery List
A shopping list is a huge way to stay on track. A grocery list will help you:
  • Stay accountable to your budget.
  •  Avoid getting distracted by impulse items.
  •  Manage your kids’ expectations. “Sorry, Oreos aren’t on the list.”
  •  Save time inside the grocery store.
  •  Remember everything in just one trip.
Tip: You can even use the notes app on your phone to make your list.
4. Take Cash Out for Groceries
If you find yourself overspending at the register by swiping plastic, consider carrying cash into the grocery store. Studies show that you’ll spend less money when you pay with cash versus swiping a card.

5. Try Discount Grocery Stores
Smart shopping isn’t only about what you buy, but where you buy. We all know certain stores are more expensive than others, so be mindful of that. Maybe one store has better quality of meat, while another’s produce is perfectly fine and reasonably priced. You can save a lot of money just by shopping around for different products at different stores.

6. Shop Generic
According to The Wall Street Journal, generic products cost 29% less than name-brand products. This is a super simple hack to save one-third of your money without even cutting back.

7. Use Coupons
When it comes to grocery shopping on a budget, it would be crazy not to include coupons. There is a plethora of Facebook groups to show you how to coupon at the store of your choice. Be mindful of how much time you’re spending versus how much you’re saving, and decide if couponing is worth it for you. If you’re working on getting out of debt or saving for a goal, coupons could help you pinch pennies.

Think of your grocery list as an extension of your budget. You’re the boss, so you can make whatever choice you want about what you’re going to buy at the store. You just have to decide before you leave home, and stick to the plan!