If you read my last post you got a look at my experience in learning to grocery shop. Over the past year, I’ve pretty well come up with a system to save money while shooting for healthy, that works really well for me. I remember the first time I tried shopping for Kroger sales, based off of their adds, I drove 20 miles to the nearest Kroger only to find that the sale hadn’t started yet. Needles to say I was pretty disappointed in myself for not having known to check that and, for the wasted gas.
Use A Calculator
One of the first things I started doing when grocery shopping, was using a calculator. When I first got married, I worked at a small, local health food store. It was just part time and only brought home around $125 a week. That was our grocery money. My husbands money covered all of our other bills. We usually didn’t have much, if any leftover.
I quickly learned that I needed all of that $125 to cover our groceries. When you are just starting out, you don’t have even your most basic items. Anytime I wanted to make a particular meal, I had to go shopping for each ingredient. Each week I had to cash my check before shopping, just to have the money to get what I needed.
Jake and I look back at those times and sigh in relief that we are passed that stage. After a few raises and a year of hard work, we have money in savings as well as almost always having a few hundred in the bank. I had to be very careful not to go over our budget, so I went up and down the grocery isle with calculator in hand. If I started to go over, I would put the most unnecessary items back and continue on my merry way.
Only Buy Meat That’s On Sale
What I’ve learned to do, is to buy meat on sale and stock up if possible. When I have a few different options in the freezer, I’m able to asses whats there and make my meal plan for that week accordingly. When it comes to things like a roast, every penny saved is a win. A lot of times I save over a dollar on each meat item I buy.
Base Your Meals Off Of the Meat In Your Freezer
When I buy my meat on sale, I usually end up with a couple of weeks worth in my freezer. I try to look for the sales each time I go shopping so that I never get to low. I’m usually able to make each weeks meal plan with the deals I got the week before or the week before that. This saves me boo-kittles ( Yes, that’s a word I made up).
Make A List
This one is really obvious. We all know that shopping without a list is asking for trouble. We end up coming home with only half of what we needed and a whole slew of things we didn’t. When I make my list, I always try to be aware of those extra things that might pop up such as, a finger food to bring to the family game night and some snacks to pull out in case someone drops in. This saves me an extra unwanted trip to the grocery store as well as the likely possibility of going over budget.
Make A Meal Plan
If you don’t have a meal plan, then you don’t have an accurate list. When I plan out my weeks worth of meals, I aim to be aware of what we have going on that week. Are we having dinner at a family members house? Am I supposed to bring a side? I put those things on my meal plan, so that I remember to shop for those things or that I won’t be needing anything for that night, or day, or whatever it is. I also like to leave room for a leftover night if I think one of the meals is going to make more than enough to send with Jake for his lunches. My favorite thing to add though, is a snack night. It’s one easy meal that I don’t have to do a lot with. We eat something like hummus and veggies with chicken salad and crackers or celery.
These are the first things I’ve learned to save money on groceries. I’m going to be trying out a few new things here soon and I can’t wait to let you all know how it goes! I’ve been looking into being a little more plant based and getting protein from more affordable choices. I’m not sure what exactly I’ll come up with, but I’m excited to try new things!
What ways have you found to eat healthy and save money on groceries? Let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!