Do you feel like your grocery spending is out of control? Are you shocked by how much you’re paying at the check out and how little food is actually in your cart? Do you constantly struggle at dinner time trying to figure out what to feed your family?
In the next 31 days, we will tackle all of these questions and more.
I am hosting a 31 Days to Slash Your Grocery Spending challenge. Every day this month, I will post one simple challenge to help you get control of your grocery spending. I promise you the challenges will not be overwhelming, but instead simple changes and habits to change the way we shop for groceries.
Groceries is the easiest budget category to get out of control, but it is also the easiest budget category to reduce. It does take some planning though, but not tons of time, and this month we are going to incorporate strategies to simplify meal planning and your grocery shopping trips.
These strategies won’t leave your family miserable with bland meals, boring snacks and not enough food in the house either. Instead you’ll have a stocked kitchen, happy bellies, and new habits and strategies for grocery shopping to help you stay within your budget every single month.
Are you up for the challenge? Great, let’s get started!
First, we need to determine how much are you currently spending on groceries each month.
Gather up any receipts that you might have from previous months, or look at credit or debt card statements to add up your grocery trips by month. Get an idea how much you are spending each month and from this point on, please keep your grocery receipts, so we can keep a running monthly tally.
How much should you budget for the month?
Our current monthly grocery budget is $500 a month for my family of 4. We do not have any food issues and I’m not overly concerned with eating a 100% organic diet. I have two elementary aged daughters who are very hearty eaters. I will also be challenging myself this month to reduce our grocery spending to $450.
Your monthly grocery budget will be based on your family’s size, dietary needs, and location, but must be within your overall budget. Honestly, only you can determine how much you can spend each month on groceries. A family of 6 will spend more than my family of 4, or an empty-nester’s household of 2. Use this month as a challenge to see how far you can slash your grocery spending. Determine a reasonable number that fits within your overall household budget.
31 Days to Slash Your Grocery Spending
Day 1 Challenge: Plan this week’s meals and shopping trip.
Meal planning is really the cornerstone of smart grocery spending. If you do just one challenge this month, make it meal planning. When you walk in the grocery store with a plan, you will avoid duplicate and impulsive purchases, but walk away with enough food to get you through until your next planned trip.
Meal planning saves you time. You’ll spend about 30 minutes each week planning your meals, but that time will make your grocery trips go much smoother. It will also reduce any extra trips to the store during the week. Also with a pre-planned menu, dinner hour is spent preparing the meal, not wondering, “what are we having for dinner?”.
Meal planning saves your sanity. You will avoid the “what’s for dinner” chaos that happens at 5 pm when you don’t have a plan.
Meal planning saves you money. You will be planning your meals around the store sales flyer and what you already have on hand. Also, with less trips to the store and a pre-planned list, you will eliminate any impulse and duplicate purchases.
To get started, please read: 11 Simple Meal Planning Tips
This informative post will walk you through step by step how to plan your weekly menu. You will plan for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and beverages and while you’re planning your meals, you will also be making your grocery list. The goal is to make just one grocery trip a week, so be very thorough.
Good luck with your meal planning. Every Sunday during the challenge will be the day to plan the upcoming week’s menu. Also on Saturdays, I’ll share what we ate for the previous week and also include pictures and information about my week’s shopping trips.
If you are joining the challenge, please introduce yourself in the comments. Also if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will respond.
Follow along daily on Facebook where I share the posts and pictures from my own challenge.
Also bookmark the 31 Days to Slash Your Grocery Spending category page so you can check in daily.