How to save money on groceries

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Today, my husband and I spent the afternoon completing our monthly grocery shopping trip to Costco. We left the store with an overflowing buggy and a whopping $430 less in the bank. Maybe not so bad if that was all for the month, but there will be at least one, sometimes two, additional grocery shopping trips to Walmart each week for all of the things we didn’t buy at Costco. By the end of the month, our total grocery bill typically ends up around the $600 range.

Over the past few years, our grocery expenses have steadily grown along with our growing family. (We are a family of five, going on six.) High grocery costs can put a strain on our monthly budget.

I tried couponing, but found that it took much more time and effort than I had to spare. I also found that many coupons are for processed foods, instead of the whole, healthy foods I prefer to feed my family.

Struggling with our rising food bill, I’ve been asking the question: How can I save money on groceries while continuing to feed my family a healthy diet? I’ve come across a few tips that my family will be trying out in the weeks to come.

  1. Drink water. Not only is it healthier, but it’s also cheaper. Instead of packing juice boxes for school lunches, fill a reusable water bottle instead. If the kids insist on something other than water, choose one meal per day to serve a cup of milk or watered down juice, then serve water for the rest of the day. Skip the soft drinks and sports drinks completely since they aren’t healthy choices anyway.
  1. Plan a menu. Plan meals for a set time period. Make a list of the items needed for those meals and stick to the list. Sticking to a list results in fewer impulse buys.
  1. Meatless meals. Pick a night or two each week to serve a meatless dinner. Cutting out meat even once a week can be a big money saver.
  1. Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is often cheaper, especially if you can stock up on a sale item. Just be sure not to overbuy, check the expiration dates and store foods in the freezer when possible. Tossing uneaten food in the trash is never a money saver.
  1. Buy generic/store brand products. With some exceptions, generic foods are generally cheaper than and usually just as good as brand name products. Even saving a few cents per item adds up in the long run.
  1. Save leftovers. Stop throwing away leftover food and instead save it for lunch the next day or incorporate the leftovers into another dinner meal. Although leftovers can be monotonous, using up leftover food instead of throwing it away can save on your grocery bill.
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