Now that the price of everything is going up, I think it’s time to share how we save money on groceries.
No, couponing is not included in this list, although that is a good way to save on groceries as well.
Buy In Bulk
Whenever possible buy in bulk.
We have a big household (6 adults and 2 kids) so for us, it makes sense to buy in bulk. But if there are just 2 people in your household, it might not make much sense.
Costco is our go-to store for bulk grocery purchases. We make enough purchases throughout the year that our cashback is more than enough to cover our membership fee.
Never go to Costco without a list though. That would be a terrible decision! Go in with a list, and stick to the list. Costco also regularly provides coupons to their members and puts items on sale in rotation. Note the times of the year the items you purchase go on sale or are featured on the coupon book, so you’re prepared.
Another tip is to never go to Costco hungry! That would be another terrible decision because you’ll probably end up buying everything. Eat before going or better yet have their $1.50 hotdog & pop meal before heading in to do your grocery shopping. It’s like the pre-workout drink before the workout. LOL
Get Meat From The Source
We are a big meat-eating family. So meat eats up a huge chunk of our grocery budget (pun intended).
I have done a lot of trial and error on meat buying. What we’ve realized is that it is definitely cheaper to get the meat from the source. We purchase a side of pork and a quarter of beef from a local farm/slaughterhouse every 10 to 12 weeks, which costs about $600.
To be able to do this, we did purchase a stand-up freezer from Costco that we placed in the garage. I haven’t seen any difference in our electricity bill since we started using the freezer.
It’s nice to be able to save money while patronizing a local family business.
Not all grocery stores are created equal. Know your prices.
Most of the grocery stores that are a 5 to 10 minute drive from our house are “high end”. We drive the extra 5 minutes to go to Walmart because we find most of their prices are significantly cheaper.
We have tested this theory before by purchasing our weekly grocery list from Walmart, then going to a high-end grocery store to add up how much the same grocery list would have cost. The high-end grocery store groceries cost almost $50 more! That $50 per week adds up to $2,600 annually.
If it’s just for groceries, Walmart and Superstore are at par in prices. However, when it comes to toiletries (which is part of our grocery budget), Walmart’s prices are lower. This is comparing regular prices at each store, sale prices are a different story. Our family is partial to Walmart because my brother works there so we get a 10% discount on top of low prices. (Note that I’m based in Alberta, Canada.)
Meal planning fixes everything! (Wait, I think that’s duct tape. LOL)
Meal planning reduces food waste. Less food waste, fewer groceries needed, less money spent on groceries. Makes a whole lot of sense, right?
Most of the people I’ve talked to that don’t meal plan mentions lack of time as the main reason why. I would suggest creating 10-12 different weekly meal plans in one seating and just rotating through those. This will probably take you about 2-4 hours, faster if your family has a lot of go-to recipes or “favorite meals”. Having a grocery list attached to each meal plan would also help make this process faster.
Left Over Meals
When meal planning, include a left over meal. This allows you to use up left overs for a meal, which will mitigate food wastage.
In our household, left overs are mostly taken to work for lunches. Cook once, eat twice, or thrice!
Shelf cooking is a term coined by Jordan Page. Basically creating a meal from ingredients only found in your shelves.
We try to do this once or twice a month to rotate fridge and pantry items that we keep on hand. At the beginning of the year, I take on my annual pantry clean-up. So most of our January meals are “shelf cooking”.
We’ve been doing all of the above for the past 3 years to keep our grocery budget in check. So far it has been working, without making us feel deprived or unhappy about our meals.
Do you have any grocery saving tips you’d like to share? Chat with me in the comments below.