What would you do with an extra $80 a month?
If you could save $80 each month through the year, that would equal up to $960!
For us, that's just under what we spend each year on Christmas gifts!
It's easy to save $80 a month, just by cutting out $20 in spending each week on your grocery bill.
A good friend of mine, Donna, her family was spending over $600 a month on groceries for their family of four. I showed her some easy steps to save more, eat healthier and without using coupons!
Here are my tips:
1. Write out a menu each week. This is key in saving money. If you don't have a written plan, then you'll let your stomach and your kids dictate what food goes into your cart. I'll talk more next week about how to start small in menu planning.
2. Look at what you already have. One of Donna's issues was she had no idea what was in her pantry. For example, she'd buy a can of soup - not knowing that there were four cans already in her pantry. Before you go grocery shopping, take a notepad and a pen and write down everything in your pantry, cupboards, refrigerator and freezer. Put together meals from what you already have.
3. Shop the sales. Is chicken on sale this week? Buy enough the last a couple of meals. Canned soup on sale? Write it into your menu plan. I don't mean that you have to travel to six stores grabbing all of their best deals - but for this week just pick one store and make a menu plan based on their sale items.
4. Shop at Aldi's. Shopping at your local Aldi's can save you big. If you've never been to one, go check it out. Our local Aldi stores are clean and have friendly cashiers and a wide range of products! Just keep in mind that you'll need to bring a quarter for your own cart, your own bags (unless you want to pay for them) and an open mind. You won't find many name brand products, but they do offer this great guarentee (and we've loved everything we've bought there.) Click here to find a store near you.
5. Shop with cash and keep track of what you're spending. It's a whole lot harder to over-spend if you have cash in your hand. I like to keep a running total in my head as a shop...of course, if I bring the kids with me - I usually also bring a calculator. If you're normal weekly shopping budget is $150, only bring $130 to the store with you....and stick with it.
6. Cook. I know it's easy to whip out that box of Boxed Helper and throw it on the table. But, I really don't like serving my family things that I cannot pronounce. Cooking doesn't have to mean gourmet meals. Cooking can be spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread and green beans. You could make that meal for about the same cost of that Boxed Helper.
For Donna and her family, she's told me that they've been able to drop their grocery budget by almost $200 a month - just by using the tips above!! I love this!
Donna is also cooking alot more. She's having a few issues with getting her kids to try new foods, but you have to just keep trying. I love my grandma's saying that "Kids won't starve. What they don't eat at this meal, they'll make up for at the next." I refuse to be a short order cook at my house, so the kids have to at least try everything on their plate.
I hope these tips are helpful to you too! What other money saving tips to you use when it comes to saving money at the grocery store, without using coupons?