4 Tips to Begin Reducing Your Grocery Spending

Mare left this comment yesterday here on my blog:

I just stumbled on to your article and I have to say your tips are so helpful! I have no clue how to shop for food on a budget and looking at my monthly food bill I spend about 800. 00 a month for two adults and a 15 year old daughter. The go without is my new motto.thank you ! I am planning this weeks breakfast lunch and dinner for the next 5 days which means I can only spend 40.00 !! ?? Is that really possible? I will check back in and let you know how I did. Pulling recipes and food list. Btw I live in CA where most people spend over 60 percent of their take home pay on housing!!!!!

I get this kind of comment/question frequently here at The Thrifty Frugal Mom and thought it might be helpful if I just replied to her comment in the form of a blog post so everyone could benefit.

First of all, I love Mare’s attitude!  She is determined to make a change and having a good attitude is at least half of what is going to make this successful.  I also like the way she is starting a menu plan.  While that is not absolutely necessary to trim your budget it is definitely incredibly helpful.  If you know what you need to buy to make the meals you want to make, it will help you keep from spending extra on things that you don’t really need.  Even better, if you can plan your meals around things that you already have on hand or on things that are on sale you’ll find yourself saving even more!

Here are 4 other tips that I’d recommend following if you want to successfully begin to reduce your grocery spending.

1.  Start Slow
It’s easy to get overly excited and want to try to cut your spending in half immediately.  While it’s good to be motivated, you have to remember that it takes time to implement a new way of thinking/spending.  If you try to reduce your grocery budget too fast, chances are you’ll run out of steam and become discouraged.  Give yourself time, start slow and you’ll have a better chance at being successful at changing your spending long term.

2.  Be Realistic
In order to not get discouraged, it is important that you set a realistic goal for how you can improve your grocery budget.  (And yes, you really do need to set a grocery budget in order to decrease your spending!)  If you are spending $800/mo. now, try to see if you can shave off $50 to $100 this month just by being mindful of what you purchase.  If that goes well, then next month you can try to reduce it some more and eventually you’ll get to the amount that works well for you.

Looking for some specific ways to shave that $50 to $100/mo. off your budget?  Check out these posts:

3.  Extend Grace to Yourself
As you are learning what works for you in trimming your grocery budget, you are bound to make mistakes.  You might even fail miserably and not save a dollar!  Extend grace to yourself.  It’s okay if you mess up- it’s part of the learning process!  And while it might be disappointing and even frustrating to not have your budget work out like you had hoped, it’s really not the end of the world.  Keep a good attitude.  Keep trying.  Don’t give up!  You can do this!

4.  Find a Coupon Match-ups Blog
A lot of people think that couponing isn’t worth their time, but I beg to differ!  The first 6 months of this year alone I saved over $800 with coupons!  Obviously I spend more than a couple of minutes a week focused on couponing to get that kind of savings, but with just a few minutes a week you can easily save at least several dollars.

I recommend finding a good blog that does coupon match-ups for the stores you shop at.  This will make it easy for you to find the best deals without spending a lot of time doing it.  To find a blog, simply Google something like “coupon match-ups and the store name”.  Then before you do your grocery shopping, check out the coupon match-ups to see what things you can get at rock bottom prices, print any coupons you want to use and then enjoy saving!

What have you found helpful in reducing your grocery spending?

And, for advice on cooking beef or poultry, use our free interactive Roasting Guide. Or search for delicious, healthy recipes for the whole family in our Recipe Finder.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Linking up at Living Well Spending Less and Practically Functional.

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