If you’re looking for a Budget Makeover – start by changing how you shop for groceries.
Because most of us go to the grocery store several times each week, making a few changes in how you shop is one of the fastest ways to rehab your finances.
How can I lower my grocery bill so I can get ahead on my budget?
Question from an Email Subscriber:
I want to start rehabilitating my finances that will include a budget makeover with groceries. So following your advice, I’m revamping my grocery shopping. I homeschool our 4 young children and they tend to drink a gallon of milk a day (just to give you an idea). We have stopped buying $10 milk and $4 eggs fresh from a local farm.
I have to say I feel a little bit guilty but know the savings are significant. I was really hoping that you would provide a monthly menu (I saw a weekly menu in your grocery book) that I could follow, so I could get my grocery budget down to where yours is.
Starting the Budget Makeover with Groceries
It’s great that you are evaluating your grocery expenses. Changes that affect your children are hard, but balanced budgets bring so much peace. If you can make changes that won’t sacrifice your health, like drinking less milk, it will be worth it in the long run.
Good Nutrition while saving money
Drinking lots of milk is not the only way to add calcium to your diet. We learned early in our marriage that calcium was found in numerous foods other than milk.
These foods include; almonds, broccoli, cabbage, kale, oats, oranges, string cheese and yogurt—just to name a few. As a result, we cut back on our kids’ consumption of milk, replacing it with calcium-rich foods and good filtered water. All of our kids are strong and in good health.
Why our Menu Can’t Be Your Menu
Regarding planning a menu. We purposely don’t include our specific menu/grocery list detail for a couple of reasons. First, our tastes wouldn’t be your tastes. And secondly, our menu is almost completely built off of what we have in stock in our freezer and our pantry.
These are food items that we regularly eat and that we have purchased on sale over the past several months.
The chances of finding everything on OUR menu, on sale, this week is highly unlikely. Yes, it would be easier to simply read what someone else does, but in the planning chapter of Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, we included a template for building your own menu.
If you want to see a growing selection of recipes for meals that we regularly eat, check out the Recipe Section of this Website. Cooking smarter is a great way to rehab your finances.
Putting a meal plan together
One simple tool that you can make is a list of every kind of vegetable, starch, and protein that your family likes to consume. Just make a column for each category and then write down the foods that you like best in each category.
Then when you’re planning your menu/meals you can simply mix and match those items to create a balanced diet.
Make a list of the meals you know how to cook
Annette also made a list (which we did provide our book Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half) of the 92 plus meals she knows how to cook (this list is available to website subscribers here).
These are categorized by meat type and meatless meals. Getting these things down on paper (or your tablet) will make creating a menu much easier and productive for you.
Four Secrets to Your Budget Makeover with Groceries
Start with four tricks:
- Write down the various components your family likes—vegetable, starch, and protein
- Make a list of meals your family enjoys, that you already know how to cook.
- Inventory the food you have in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator.
- Create a weekly menu based on a balanced diet, what you know how to cook and what you have in stock.
These four secrets will help reduce the amount of time you spend shopping and prepping meals. And as a result, you’ll drastically reduce what you spend on groceries.
The money you save can be redistributed into your other budget categories like debt reduction, savings or vacation. Changing your grocery shopping and cooking habits are truly two of the fastest ways to turn your household budget around.
If you want to learn more about our amazing household budget system click here. This budget system helped us keep our grocery expenses low, pay cash for all of our cars and pay our homes off in record time.
Have you made a change that has benefited your grocery budget? We’d love to hear what works for you! Please leave a comment in the section below.