Grocery Bill Through The Roof? Cut Cost With These Simple Tips
When you’re planning out your money for the month, it won’t have escaped your attention that your grocery bill takes up a good chunk of it. Of course we need to eat to live, but doing so can be incredibly expensive. Even if you’re quite good in the fact that you don’t order takeaways or drink daily cups of coffee from expensive coffee shops, you might still be falling into traps when it comes to overspending on food and drink. If you’re fed up of sky-high grocery bills, here are a few of the ways you can slash costs.
Write a Weekly Meal Plan
It’s helpful to know exactly what you’re going to be eating in the week. You could buy a large chalkboard to hang in your kitchen, and on Sunday evening write up the menu for the following week. If you find yourself gravitating back to the same old boring dinners, trawl through Pinterest, recipe books and blogs to come up with new and exciting ideas. Make sure you factor in your lifestyle here. If you have one or two days in the week that are especially busy, then you might want to assign meals that are easy to prepare and cook here.
Arm Yourself With a Shopping List
Once you know what meals you will be preparing, you can create a shopping list with exactly what you need. Turning up at the grocery store without a plan is just going to spell disaster for your bank balance. When you’re wandering round not knowing what you buy, you’re far more likely to give into tempting offers and treats that you don’t really need. Alternatively, you could do your grocery shop online which makes it easier to stick to a list. Plus it allows you can see exactly how much you’re spending as you go along. Rather than getting to the checkout of a store and being shocked by the total!
Stock Up Your Store Cupboard
A well-stocked store cupboard is the key to eating well on a budget. When you don’t have a whole lot of fresh ingredients in (or are going through leaner times with money) the store cupboard is your saviour. Big bags of pasta, rice, and other grains can become the star of dishes. Pair them with canned vegetables, different sauces and liven them up with herbs and spices. You could check out a frugal website for recipes for ideas about the kinds of things you can cook. They don’t have to be bland and uninspired meals- far from it!
Ditch Brand Names
There’s no denying that sometimes brand names are better. When it comes to certain products, it’s often worth spending a little more for taste and quality. However, with many products, the brand name doesn’t make much difference. The ingredients are almost identical, and the taste is similar, so it’s worth swapping where possible to save big cash on your grocery bill. When it comes to products like raw oats and other cereals, dairy foods, pantry items and frozen vegetables they’re going to be very similar if not identical to other more expensive brands. Know where it’s worth spending a little extra and when it’s worth saving. Cutting down your bill doesn’t need to mean getting rid of everything you like. It just means you need to shop smarter.
Try Batch Cooking
Whether you’re looking to save time, money or both- batch cooking meals is a good option. Make up big portions of chili, stews, curry and other family favorites and portion them into plastic containers for the freezer. That way you have delicious home cooked meals on hand that you can simply pop into the microwave whenever you’re having a day when you’re too busy or tired to cook. It allows you to use up any meat, vegetables, and herbs you have in the refrigerator that need using up, so saves on waste too. Other ways you can utilize the freezer is by buying meat when it’s on sale and then freezing it for future use. If it’s a large piece, cut it up first and freeze the pieces in portion sized pieces. That way when you’re cooking dishes, you can grab the amount that you need.
Grow Your Own
Finally, growing your own is another option. While you’re not likely to ever become self-sufficient, it can still cut a good amount of money off your shopping bill. Herbs for example are incredibly easy to grow but expensive to buy. Get a herb garden going in a few big pots, and you have unlimited access to your own. If you have space for a greenhouse, you’ll get even more out of the growing season. If you have the luxury of producing too much, don’t waste it. Find someone else with an allotment or who grows their own and find out if they’d be interested in regular swaps. You could also can or freeze the excess to use throughout the winter once your garden is no longer producing fruit and veg. Work out what you use the most of, and then have a go at growing some crops yourself. It’s a fun, productive hobby and will save you money too. Another thing you could do if you have the space, is keep chickens. They’re cheap to feed and will lay you lots of fresh eggs which again can save you cash since grocery store eggs are pricey.
By making a few simple swaps and cutting back in some areas, you can save yourself a heap of money without feeling like you’re deprived or going without. As well as save you money, these tips will also allow you and your family to eat much more healthily too. When you cook yourself, it costs less, and you know exactly what’s gone into each meal. No hidden salt, sugar or oil to catch you out and ruin your health goals!
Will you be trying any of these things to help cut down grocery costs?