That’s right! Only $50 per week, and that’s for two people. Now, when I say $50 a week, that’s an average. Some weeks might be a little higher, depending on what kind of meat you buy. Some weeks might be a little lower if stores are having really great sales (or if you have good coupons). But, overall, you can eat healthy for about $50 per week!
My boyfriend and I have recently moved in together, and for a few weeks, neither of us had a paycheck coming in. It was scary, but we are really good at budgeting our money. I really like to eat healthy, so I was worried about our grocery bills. But I had no reason to worry! We can eat great food and still pay all the bills! All it takes is a little planning, some extra time to find coupons, and a few adjustments to your regular purchases. You might have to compromise once in a while to save money, but in the end, it’s definitely worth it to be able to keep some money in the bank.
Here are some tips that will really help you save money on your grocery bill:
Plan out your meals for the entire week.
Choose one day per week to do your grocery shopping, and plan out all the meals you’ll need for that week. I like to write down each day and list what meals we’ll need, keeping in mind that I might change them based on sales or coupons I have. This is better than running to the store every few days to grab a few things. Not only does that waste time, but it will also waste gas, and you’ll probably be in a hurry, so you won’t take the time to find sales or coupons.
I also allow two or three days each week for leftovers. Chances are, when you’re only cooking for two, you’ll have a lot of leftover meals or ingredients to use throughout the week. Consider taking leftovers in your lunch or using the leftover ingredients to make a different meal. My boyfriend likes to combine leftovers with noodles and make a pasta dish.
Take your own lunch to work.
Don’t go to a restaurant every day for lunch. Even if you only spend $5 per day, that’s $25 per week (for a 5 day work week), which is $1300 per year! Plan to only go out to lunch once or twice a month, and see how much money you’ll be saving. When you really think about it, packing your lunch makes way more sense.
Read the grocery store sale ad.
You can find most sale ads online, at the store, or in the mail. Some stores even have an app that makes it really easy to find what they have on sale each week. Once you see what’s on sale, you can tailor your meals and you shopping list to what will save you more money. But remember, just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it! Not all sales are great deals.
Make a list of all the things you need, and stick to it.
Once you’ve planned all your meals, think about what you’ll need to make all of them. Write them on a list. Don’t forget basic weekly needs like eggs, milk, and butter. Once you’re at the store, only buy the things on your list. It can be tempting to pick up a few extra things that you didn’t plan for, but each one of those little purchases will add up. Stick to your list!
Use a store rewards card.
If you shop at a grocery store that has a rewards program, take advantage of it! I do most of my shopping at Kroger, and they have a rewards card that allows me to save money in the store, use digital coupons, and accumulate fuel points to save on gas. If your favorite store doesn’t have a rewards card, no problem. You can still save lots of money without a card.
Whether you prefer digital coupons, paper coupons, or printable coupons online, use them! However, don’t think you need to use good coupons just because you have them. If you won’t use something, or you don’t need something, don’t bother using the coupon. Also, don’t forget to read the fine print. Some coupons only save you money if you buy multiple items. Don’t be fooled. What good is saving a dollar if you have to buy two extra things you don’t really need?
Don’t be afraid to try the store brands.
I almost never buy name brand items unless they are on sale and I have a good coupon. So far, almost every store brand item I’ve purchased has been just as good (if not better) than the name brand! Some store brand foods are almost identical, and they can be about half the price! If you’re skeptical of trying store brands, just try one item per week. That way, if you don’t like it, you didn’t waste very much money.
Look for reduced-price items at the store.
Most stores will have items marked down that are about to reach their sell-by dates. It doesn’t mean these items are expired or gross; it just means the stores can’t sell them anymore after that date. One day, we got a perfectly good loaf of bread for only 40¢! You can get meat that’s marked down and simply put it in the freezer or cook it up that day and use it for dinner. Just store things in the fridge, like bread, fruits, vegetables, and anything else that goes bad quickly. The fridge is the best place to keep things from going bad too quickly.
Don’t be afraid to splurge a little.
Like I said earlier, some weeks you’ll spend more than $50, but some weeks you’ll spend less. You’ll have to give up seafood, steak, and fancy cheeses some weeks, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself once in a while. Just this week, my boyfriend and I got some shrimp, but it was totally worth the extra money. Once in a while, it’s ok to splurge!
I hope these tips help you out. Let me know in the comments where you like to get your coupons, what stores have the best sales, and where I can get cheap groceries. I’m always looking for the best deals!