Groceries is one of the hardest areas for me to cut expenses. I'm not very knowledgeable in the kitchen. I do pretty good with a recipe, but it's very hard for me to just come up with something on my own. So my biggest issue is coming up with a menu. Without a menu, I spend a lot more money at the store.
Here are a few things that we are doing to save on the grocery budget:
1. Plan a menu, including lunch and snack options.
2. Create a shopping list from the menu and stick to it - no impulse buys.
3. Use coupons and price matching at Walmart. For one month I kept track of how much I saved with coupons and price matching. Each week I saved between $7 - $15 dollars. Unfortunately, I didn't spend less, I just bought more stuff. My goal would be to but that money saved into a pot to use for something else.
4. Plan more meatless meals. I am planning at least one meal per week using dried beans or peas that I will cook on the weekends.
5. Use what's on hand. You can't spend money if you don't go to the store.
6. Stay out of Walmart! :-) Even though the cost of individual items are little more at our local store, I buy less when I go there. If I go into Walmart for just a couple of things, I'm going to spend twice as much as I intended to. So, I'll go to Walmart for a main shopping trip. If I need something before my next main shopping trip, I will go to IGA or Dollar General.
These are not any ingenious ideas. Hopefully, they will help us keep our grocery budget to a reasonable level. As I figure out specific things that help us cut our grocery budget, I will share them with you. If you have ideas, please post them in the under "comments".