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Happy Saturday everyone!
It’s almost that time of the week again to re-up on our grocery supplies! Recently, I’ve changed tactics on how I approach this never-ending task. Some of this you might know about or do these already, but just in case you don’t, I’m going to share the three easy ways that I stay within our grocery budget.
1. Meal Planning
Lately, I’ve been going over our budget and it was driving me bonkers as to why! Then I had an ah-ha moment, and promptly gave myself a good face palm. The answer was so ridiculously obvious.
All this time I’d been just buying what I thought we would need/use, and found myself constantly having to make quick trips to the commissary because there was just one or two things that I still needed when dinner time came around.
One day, I just sat down, pulled up my Pinterest, and planned every nights dinner for the entire pay period. While doing so, I’ll jot down what I need to make that meal whilst simultaneously checking the supplies I’ve already got. I plan weekend breakfasts also, but school day breakfasts always consist of the same quick to make meals.
I was shocked to see my final list was much shorter than it usually is. I was even skeptical the first shopping trip, in disbelief that this was all I needed for two weeks worth of meals. This alone has helped me stay about $50-$75 under our $200/two-week grocery budget. Needless to say, I will be continuing meal planning for the rest of our foreseeable future.
As and added bonus, I’ve created these Menu Planning & Grocery List Printables free for subscribers! Although if you’d prefer not to subscribe, or if you’d like to customize the colors to suit your references, I also provide them on my Etsy shop.
There was a period in my life, right about when extreme couponing came to light in “reality” TV shows, that I had thought “Hey, I could do that too!” Not only was it harder than appeared, which is how most things in life turn out to be unfortunately, but a lot of the coupons I found were for things I wasn’t planning on buying. A lot of them were also for multiples of things I already wasn’t planning on buying in the first place.
Couponing has remained but a short stint in my past, until within the last year or so. I discovered Coupons.com. It’s exactly as it sounds, just a website with coupons that you print out, and some you can even add to your loyalty rewards cards as well.
The way I make it work for me, unlike my past coupon experience, is I make my list first. Then I’ll scroll down the list of available coupons and only print out the ones for items already on my list. That way, I’m not persuaded to buy things I wasn’t planning on simply because there’s a coupon for it available.
Bonus tip: Military Commissaries often have coupons attached right under their corresponding products, ready to use! Keep an eye out for those as they are quite valuable and convenient.
Once I get home and unload the car, I open my Ibotta app on my phone. This app allows you to earn cash back on stores, online shopping and even restaurants.
It’s as easy as selecting which store you visited, clicking on the items you’ve purchased, scanning the bar codes of said products and then scanning your receipt. Within 24 hours (but in my experience within the hour) it’ll add the rebate to your account and you’re done!
What I love about Ibotta is even the Military Commissary has rebates on this app. It will also have monthly special rewards for things such as a gallon of milk, a carton of eggs, or a loaf of bread from any brand you chose. You can link your account to your paypal and once you’ve reached the $20 withdraw threshold, you can transfer the funds and put that money right back into your pocket.
There are a few other apps similar to this one, such as Checkout 51. I found myself rarely using the latter though, there just weren’t a lot of rebates for products that I buy regularly. It might work for you so definitely check it out, but it just didn’t for me.
My goal this summer is to try my hand at growing a couple of veggies that we eat a lot of, to even further reduce the amount we spend on food. I don’t know if I was born with a green thumb or not, but I’m excited to find out and get my kindergartener involved as well.
And that’s all there is folks! 3 Ways I stay within my family’s grocery budget, every single time.
What are some ways that you stay within your budget? Comment below, tag me on twitter @gracethaneblog, or on facebook @graceandthane.