I decided to share with you some of my secret shopping habits on How to Save Money on Groceries.
Eat at home, this is an easy way for our family to stay healthy as we eat at home on a budget. Rarely do we eat out. Only on special occasions or to join in the company of friends.
My favorite restaurant in Washington DC - China Chilcan. for our Anniversary
Even at the restaurant, we are very picky about what we order because they are not using the best ingredients most of the time. Which can make us not feel so great when we eat a clean diet.
So here it goes on how much I spend on food, which is the most popular question that I get from people. I've done the math and it goes like this:
- 3 meals a day for 2 people = 6 meals
- 6 meals a week = 42 meals
- 42 meals a week = 1,260 meals a month
- Weekly Grocery Bill Average per week $200 and sometimes $300
- Monthly grocery budget = $800 to $1200
Let's use my high-cost food budget of $1200 which includes my home products by the way, but for this purpose I included them. Per meal is .95 cents so for 2 people, my total cost comes out to $5.70 a day. I don't know what restaurant or eating out can cost the same for 2 people. Now some people say that is so much for food and we have no kids.
That is true but most of my meals are made for 4 servings. Even with more people in a household, there are many ways to increase vegetables, eggs, and tuna without increasing the cost. One way is to buy at discount stores, or a wholesale club are the easiest ways to shop for a larger family. I bought a membership at a bulk center, like BJ but there are other warehouse clubs so find the one closest to you.
I have found that most people don't know the cost of their groceries or the cost of their monthly budget. I also have found that most people don't include the restaurant or bar tab as part of eating or drinking so their grocery bill looks cheap. The reality is that if you consume it, it is part of food and drink.
Here is the shocking news, I buy 90% organic food and organic meat 100% of the time. Nothing goes to waste and I do not cook every day.
Here is the most important part that I stick to every week. Once a week for 4 hours I prep my food for the week and make one extra for meal prep to eat later. I always spend more during the Christmas season which is an exception to the rule.
Now you may say to yourself, you have a food blog, I did this working 60 hours a week in the corporate world and only ate out once a month. All is possible when the desire to stay healthy is there.
Some of my favorite foods that I buy from a grocery trip.
How to Save Money on Groceries
Rules that I follow to get the best deals when grocery shopping week to week but remember never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach! The impulse buying is out of control. Take it from me, been there and done that.
Rule # 1
Find a local farmers market in your area, especially if you buy lots of vegetables. We buy seasonal produce which turns out to be cheaper than the local grocery store for us.
Never run out to the store for one ingredient, as I always say, "Just don't make it."
Buy what's on sale and buy in large quantities. We do this with meat and chicken. We freeze it but don't buy a lifelong supply in case the world ends. Just enough to satisfy the month. Things always go back on sale next month.
If you know how much you eat, you can pretty much determine how much to spend. To determine how much to buy make a meal planning for the week. This helps to make a grocery list and eliminate impulse buys for the first time. Then estimate how much food waste was left or not and now you can start gaging how much to buy.
We only buy organic meat because we hope it's less filled with antibiotics, this is by far the most important. To supply us with enough protein we include organic eggs, like the French do, canned tuna, and cheaper peanut butter.
Always buy the main ingredients to satisfy a balanced diet. Ours include lettuce, fresh fruits, milk, and eggs. These items are always in the basket. Only buy a week's supply because you want it as fresh as it can be. You must go to the grocery store once a week. My day is Friday night or early Saturday morning when things are freshly stocked. On Friday they stock early because no one usually goes to the grocery store during that time except for me and a few others.
Rule #7 Never buy from a box. There are so many unrecognizable ingredients in food today. I am a big believer that if I can't pronounce it- I don't buy it. Not to mention it comes out more expensive. Buy fresh produce for all the added benefits that you get from healthy foods.
I never buy juices or soda, however, we buy bags of tea to make iced tea during the week. You will save tons of money by doing this and eliminate all the sugar from your diet.
Coupons work for detergent, towels, garbage bags, and condiments which I usually don't buy at the grocery store.
Always buy what's in season so you can save money. This is when things are in abundance and are the least expensive. Here is a chart you can follow on what's in season.
A great way to save money is to download all the grocery apps to see what's on sale for the week. Then I make a list and off I go! I usually make my list on Wednesday and look for my coupons at this time. That way I just go from one to the other without wasting any time. This will take me about an hour of shopping for all 3 grocery stores which for me are, Publix, Winn Dixx, and Walmart Market
Last but not least, my once-a-month purchases like my toilet paper and paper towels. To get the best price I shop store brands or generic brands, You can save so much money by doing this, and let's face it, it goes in the trash. I buy most of my household items at a warehouse club like Sam's Club or Costco which lasts me up to 3 months.
Now I know that food prices are very high right now and I have to say, It's shocking at times what basics cost, like eggs, butter and milk but eating out is more. For example, we were on the road and my husband said, Let's get something to eat!" So here we are in the drive-thru of Chick-fil-A, it costs $29.10 for 2 people!
Now let's do the math If I were to eat fast food once a day for 2 people at Chick-Fil-A, which by the way is the only one we go to for fast food.
- 2 meals a day = $29.10
- 2 meals a week = $203.70
- 2 meals a month = $873.00
I don't know about you but I will stick to my $ 5.70-a-day meal for two.
It's almost impossible to save money without meal plans for the week along with a shopping list. As we all look to get a great deal at different stores I am reminded when I talk to people, that we are all looking for extra savings on grocery items. So when a birthday comes or a holiday, remember that gift cards for groceries make a great gift.
I hope you enjoyed our journey today on How to Save Money on Groceries, which is a hot topic right now with food costs. Till next time my beautiful friends as my quest for the perfect bite continues, As the French would say, l n’y a pas de petites économies, which means, There are no small savings!