Money Savers Part 1: Groceries & Meal Planning

Thank you so much for choosing to follow this series of posts! After sharing that I would start the series, I had so many people show interest in the topic and I’m so excited to share our tips! When this all began, we had a pile of student loan debt, as well as credit card/medical debt. I pray that these tips will help you just like they helped us! But I don’t want to promise they will eliminate all your financial concerns.

After thinking about how I wanted organize these posts for y’all, I decided to start with the quickest/easiest cuts to implement. Hopefully you can get started saving right away!

money-savers-part-1

The first money saver I want to talk about is how we grocery shop and meal plan. These can be a super easy for saving, or just cause more stress than its worth. For me, I’m all about finding an efficient strategy I can use every time I plan. We love shopping at Kroger so all of my planning is based on their sales and ads. If you don’t shop there, you can definitely apply these strategies to your favorite store!

Meal Planning

Every Wednesday a new sale cycle begins at Kroger. This is the day I try to do all of my planning. While Baby Girl is napping or occupied, I pull up their weekly ad online and write down all of the things I would like to consider for the next week (Thursday – Wednesday). In addition, I LOVE to check out what extra sales Kroger Krazy has gotten ahold of and include those items on my list. (If you Kroger shoppers don’t follow Kroger Krazy on Facebook, you’re missing out! She is amazing and has helped us save soooo much money on groceries!)

After I have my list of sale items, I go through the digital coupons on my Kroger app and paper coupons I might have. I try to choose items from my list that are on sale AND have coupons, but that doesn’t always work out. From there I plan out our meals for the next week. I plan as many meals as I can using only sale/coupon items before I start adding things that aren’t on sale. I also include whatever we may still have in the freezer/pantry to fill in gaps. This alone has saved us so much money, y’all!

Weekly Shopping Trips

For a while, I swore by grocery shopping every two weeks. It felt so good to get all of my planning done and make one trip! After a while I noticed a bad habit of ours, though. In the weeks between trips, we would run out of something that was still full when I made my list. So, we’d make a “quick trip” to grab that one thing and leave $20+ later. If this happened 2-3 times in those two weeks, we added so much to our monthly grocery budget! That’s when I switched to weekly shopping. My goal is to spend around $75/week (adding up to $300/month). This may sound crazy for some, but it can be done! I’ve even managed to spend around this amount or a little more on a gluten free diet! This diet actually makes it easier to shop weekly because I don’t want to buy a lot of produce that’s just going to spoil before I have the chance to cook it. For the most part I get exactly what we need for the next week and avoid extra trips in between.

Stocking Up

There are times, however, that I don’t get just what I need for that week. This is something I do on non-perishable items and household helpers. For example, if we don’t need shampoo but there’s a shampoo we like on sale for $1, you better believe I’m getting like 5 of them! The same applies for laundry soap, dish soap, toothpaste, baby items, etc. I stock up on enough of these things so that I don’t have to buy them again until they’re on sale. I can’t tell you the last time we’ve paid full price for any of those items and it has helped us so much!

I hope that these small tips will help make a big difference in your monthly grocery budget! Feel free to comment or e-mail me any questions, and stay tuned for my next tip on saving with your cable/internet bills!

4 thoughts on “Money Savers Part 1: Groceries & Meal Planning

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