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3 Critical Real Life Ways to Save Money on Groceries

7 March 2012

Groceries is one area where everyone wants to save some money. It’s also a potential Debt Fear!  Some people can feed a family of 6 on $150 a month.  I’m not one of those people and this article will not teach you how to be one of those people.  I’m a regular mom who wants to feed her family regular meals on a regular budget.  This article is for other parents like me, parents who just want an easy meal on the table without breaking the bank.

If you feel like feeding your family is costing too much here are some tips for getting those costs down. 

Meal Plan

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Planning your meals ahead of time make a huge difference in the cost of food.  Meal planning will help you cut back on eating out because you will actually have food in the house and an idea of what to cook before dinner time rolls around.  No more digging in the pantry for something to eat before deciding to just save the hassle and eat out.

Meal planning will also save money on groceries because you can plan your meals around what you already have in the house and what’s on sale.  If you have some chicken left over from the barbecue  you had this weekend then you can use that in your meal plan. Reducing waste is a huge money saver when it comes to food.  Stocking up on sale items will also help save money.  If you know chicken is on sale then plan two meals with chicken this week and also buy some to freeze for later.  You know you will use it since you will plan your meals around it in the weeks to come.

There are meal plan services to help you quickly put together a meal plan.  I’ve personally used Meal Plan Rescue which costs $5 per month (click here for my review of it).  There are also free once such as Food on the Table and Dine without Whine.


I’m not going to get into coupons too much.  There are entire blogs, websites, and TV shows dedicated to the art of couponing.  Shoot… there are entire lives dedicated to couponing, so if you want to learn more about how to use coupons there are plenty of resources.  But I can’t ignore that coupons do help save money.  Same as shopping sales you can stock up on items while they are offering a coupon.  When you combine meal planning with coupons you can maximize your savings.  You can make sure you will actually use those discounted items.

Make a List

If you choose to plan your meals then making a shopping list is second nature.  Obviously you need to make sure you have all the ingredients for those planned meals.  But even if you don’t meal plan making a list will still save you money.  Shopping from a list stops those impulse buys.  You don’t have to go up and down every aisle anymore.  You can just skip the cookie aisle if you don’t have cookies on your list.  This saves both time and money.  A shopping list will also stop you from overbuying.  When you are making your list at home you can check and see if you have enough bread to last you through the week.  No more grabbing something just in case you might need it.  You’ll know what you need before you leave the house.

These tips can help turn a stressful time into some quality family time with minimal effort.  What tips do you have to keep meal costs down?

About the Author

Ashley Barnett

Ashley Barnett is a financial coach and personal finance author. She writes at Money Talks Coaching as well as other personal finance sites

Comments (2 )

Money Beagle Wrote:

We do all of these things. We’ll plan meals based on what’s on sale and what we already have stocked up on from previous trips. We rotate our food in the pantry area so that stuff that expires first is at the front, so we rarely throw out anything. Our freezer isn’t so lucky but we really try to keep waste to a minimum.

Jonathan Wrote:

Hi, I am a Personal Finance student at Singapore American School. As a third culture kid, I often compared my lifestyle compared to the ones my friends lives at home. Growing up abroad, I always perceive mother’s habit of micromanaging the family’s meal and grocery plans as “cheap”. While my friends, both locally and at home had the benefit of dining out frequently, I had no choice but to stuff down whatever is provided or “planned out” by my mother. My mother use to say, “this is all we have for dinner tonight, take it or leave it”. Its nice to know that there are other families out there who go through a similar routine. Now that I have read your blog, I sincerely believe that this is a great living habit, but I feel extremely sorry for anyone whose mother is terrible at cooking.

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