Our grocery bill for one week is now under or around $100.00! (List below of everything purchased) How do we save money on our grocery bill? First we now shop at ALDI, I could not believe the difference in prices! We also try to keep it simple. Simple meals, simple list! In the past, we did not do that, and it cost us a lot more than it does now. I would be checking out at the grocery store, looking at the total and think Holy Cow this is a lot! Then I would look over and realize the cashier was not even half way through ringing my items!! Is it because I shopped hungry? Is it because my kids threw things in while I wasn’t looking? The answer is probably yes to both!
I am pretty sure the main reason why it was so expensive is because I did not have a simple plan in place! The first thing I realized, in order to save money on groceries, was I needed to not go and buy food just for that meal/day. In doing that I was EASILY spending $30-$40 just on dinner. We fool ourselves thinking, well that wasn’t a bad grocery bill when really that cost was only for ONE MEAL/DAY. All those single day grocery bills add up fast when you actually stop and think about it. Another thing, try not to shop with your spouse. Two carts in a grocery store going different directions is never a good thing for the bill! 😉
Today grocery shopping is a lot different for our family. We have saved money quite a bit at the store. I am really happy that we have done this for a while because now that we are going to be on the road, simple and inexpensive meals are a must! I also want to mention that I am not a cook at all. Our menu may sound extremely boring to most, but it works for our family. Choosing meals that do not need many ingredients is key. This keeps my grocery list to a minimal and I know I can handle it. We basically eat the same meals and snacks every week. I feel like when I would shop in the past I would grab for so many items because they either looked amazingly delicious or they were on sale. Then more times than not, they would either sit in the pantry for weeks on end or I realized my kids just had way too much food around them! Another great benefit to having a simple list of staple items you always buy is that it has helped our family eat a lot healthier than we use too. For us we did not have to feel we had to spend tons of money to eat healthier, we really just had to simplify our food list! I felt like everything started coming together as we went this route with our family! I go to the store with my list and I stick to it no matter what!
What does our weekly menu tend to look like? It is SIMPLE:
Breakfast-Eggs, Waffles, cereal or oatmeal (We use to go and grab all kinds of cereals/ frozen breakfast items and end up with way too many boxes when we got home, now we keep it to TWO family sized boxes)
Lunch-We will have a lunch meat sandwich or PB and J with a snack item.
Dinner for 6 nights-Spaghetti (meat sauce and noodles), Shepherd’s Pie (potatoes, ground meat, corn), Meatloaf (ground meat, onion, egg), Chicken n egg noodles, Pancake/Bacon, Grilled Cheese and soup (notice all these meals only have a few easy ingredients each) 3 of our meals contain ground meat, therefore we buy a big thing of meat and subdivide it for the week. It saves money! We will use slices of bread to make garlic toast or just have bread and butter with our dinner along with a veggie. (This menu can change slightly if I decide to do a different SIMPLE meal another week but its easier for us to stick to the usual 😉
Veggies-Now that we will be RVing we will stick to canned corn, baked beans, green beans and carrots! Our fridge and freezer are way smaller now so we have to get items that are okay going into the pantry.
Fruit- Apples and Bananas (if it is watermelon season, then it is definitely watermelon instead
Snacks-Chips, Pretzels, Popcorn, Ritz crackers, granola (Not that we get all those items at a time but we use to grab every yummy snack we could fit in the cart! Now we keep our snacks to the same things every week.)
3 gallons of milk, (3) dozen eggs, 4 loaves of bread
Coffee- This is a MUST!
We are usually under $100 or less now for a WEEK of groceries. This is about $15 a day to feed 8 people! We could easily go out to dinner and spend 3x that in just ONE meal. Before when we would go to the store and buy anything and everything that looked great, our total was always over $200.00. Now this does not include any money we may spend eating outside our home. I will write another posting on tips on eating out and how/ when we do it!
We try not to buy juices and to drink mainly water since it is FREE! We always have flour, sugar and a sweet on hand to make homemade cookies! There are always items such as condiments, butter, spices etc we will have to buy as needed during the month. This does not really affect our weekly cost because some of the items we buy each week will carry over to the next week like our huge container of coffee and oatmeal so it evens itself out. Of course I WANT to eat fancy dinners, but fancy dinners can really add up. I also want to TRY and make those yummy recipes I come across, but they usually need many ingredients that add up as well! Our kids learn that we do not need to eat every few minutes but have to get use to eating meals/snacks at proper times. Are there times when we splurge? Of course, and that is okay! In order to have a large family and be able to afford it, we have to be very wise with how we spend our money. It is worth it to us to eat simple yet hearty meals every week. We honestly do not even think much about the repetition or what we are missing out on because this is OUR normal. We try to focus more on the time we are spending around the table together then what we wish we could be eating instead!
You can come up with your own simple ingredient meals and snacks that work for your family. Just keep it simple and easy! Plan ahead, write it down, and stick to it! It is actually really refreshing for me to go to the grocery store now. I am no longer overwhelmed by all the foods and sales staring me down. I go right to what I need to get, and then I am out of there! Simple as that.
I would like to hear how your family saves money at the grocery store! Please share your tips on grocery shopping for your family! I know others would love to see it too 🙂
We bought 4 loaves of bread, 2 boxes of noodles, 3 dozen eggs, 2 bags of baby carrots, a huge container of pretzel rods, 3 gallons of milk, 2 cartons of Almond milk, 2 boxes of cereal, 2 big bags of chips, 3 boxes of waffles, 1 package of bacon, a box of pancake mix, bag of potatoes, canned corn, canned green beans, baked beans, 2 cans of soup, package of sliced cheese, huge container of oatmeal, jar of jelly, 2 lbs of lunch meat, 34 oz container of coffee, bag on onions, box of popcorn, bag of apples, bundle of bananas, 2 jars of meat sauce, 2 lbs of chicken and 5.5 lbs of ground meat! (We already have peanut butter and syrup at home leftover from last week!)
P.S. Remember I am not a cook and I do not get joy out of cooking. Some nights I am more than happy to just give my family a bowl of cereal. Weeks when we have a little extra money to eat out or order in, make my heart very happy!