The price of groceries has skyrocketed, and every penny counts. For me, this means that I have had to work harder and shop smarter to get good prices. Following are the most important tips I use to keep my grocery budget at $250 a month. As of right now, the baby is not eating foods so I have not counted him in as our ninth person. If you are feeling the squeeze of making every penny count, believe me, I do as well. Groceries are one of the largest categories in a family’s budget, which is why I have mastered the art of feeding my family for pennies on the dollar.
These things have taken me time to learn as I have been living frugally for more than 20 years, but they are secrets that I am happy to share with you.
Here are the are the 15 essential grocery tips I’ve learned that help me feed my large family for only $25o a month!
(this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you)
- Pay attention to the closing times of the deli, meat counter, and bakery. Oftentimes they deeply discount things they will be throwing out in these departments right before they close. I have gotten amazing deals on rotisserie chicken, deli cuts, and baked goods this way.
- Walk the aisles. At times stores will have unadvertised deals or clearanced items if there are dented cans, sell by dates that have been reached or are close, packaging issues, or some other reason they are not able to be sold at full price any longer.
- Check with someone in the produce department. Much like the other counters I mentioned in number 1, you can ask for things that are near expiration date or for some other reason something they are not up to their standards to be put out. These often don’t make it out into the produce area for the craziest of reasons.
- Don’t assume that bigger is always better. It is not. Most stores have signage that give you the price per ounce, otherwise figure it out yourself to find the size that is of the best value. Quite often, I am surprised to find what actually is the best deal.
- Don’t shy away from generic or store brands. The differences in taste and quality are often minimal if any at all. I also know that sometimes the company that produces the name brand items also produce the store brand items, therefore making them the same or only slightly different.
- Make a list of your price points on grocery items. My list has a good, better, and best price listed so I know where a sale price actually falls. A sale does not always mean a stock up price. At the same time, a best price means stock up like crazy.
- Check for grocery outlets in your area. We have a bread outlet nearby that I can get packages of buns at for $.50, packages of bagels are $1.00, and so on. Even if you have to drive a distance, it could be worth it to make the trip, even if only once a month. Bread items freeze well.
- Shop for good deals on grocery items at drugstores like I mentioned in frugal drugstore treasures.
- Participate in store programs. Sometimes they have a loyalty type card that you swipe in order to get the sale price, sometimes they have electronic coupons that you can clip to further sweeten deals and prices. Find out what your stores have and participate.
- Don’t assume that everything at stores like Aldi and Sav-A-Lot are cheaper. Sometimes they are not. This is where keeping a price list made and with you when you shop is helpful. You can find my list of what to buy at Aldi here.
- In the same way, don’t assume that everything at stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are a good deal. Do your homework on the things you would buy and only buy them in bulk if it is a good deal. Remember, bigger is not always better when it comes to shopping.
- Apply for a store credit card if they have one. Just pay your balance off in full before the due date and you come out ahead. Often with these credit cards there are days where you get extra savings when using their credit card. Sometimes they have special sales for credit card holders. There is almost always some kind of incentive that will make it worth your while to have it.
- If you live where your store doubles coupons, make sure you know when these days are and take advantage of them.
- Watch out for incentives associated with their store’s gas station. Sometimes if you spend a certain amount on groceries, you get a price break on gas. These are savings that you can add on to your savings on groceries since the gas savings are a direct result of the grocery purchases you made.
- Participate in programs like Ibotta or Shopkick for added savings after you purchase certain items. If they are things you buy anyway, these can really work slick. The savings can add up quickly.
Many of these suggestions take a bit of work either beforehand or in the store, but these are the primary reason I can feed my family of eight on a budget of $250 a month including milk.
FREE Cleaning Cheat Sheet!
Just fill in your email address to get your cleaning party started!