If you’re anything like me, food is probably one of your biggest monthly expenses. The only thing I spend more on each month is on my rent. I’m blessed to live in Guatemala, a country where fresh fruit and vegetables are relatively inexpensive. A consequence of living here, is that many “Western” style products I might eat at home are more expensive here.
I’ve been working hard to reduce my monthly grocery bill, so wanted to share some of my favourite tips to reduce the grocery bill:
1) Never, ever shop hungry
This is a recipe for a disaster. I’ll always have something high in protein before I even consider going to the supermarket as it ensures I don’t buy random things just because I’m starving.
2) Shop online if you can
This is a simple way to reduce grocery bills for a number of reasons. Firstly, you wont be browsing the aisles, so it will be much easier to stick to your shopping list. Depending on the supermarket site you use, you might be able to save favourites and shop the same things monthly without spending an extra time. You’ll save time driving there, searching around only to realise when you got home you forgot something. I love shopping for my groceries online.
3) Make a list based on actual meals
Starting with a meal plan for the week makes it easier to work backwards and find out what you really need to make meals. There’s nothing worse than going to the supermarket, spending a lot on groceries, only to get home and realise you don’t have any ingredients to make any substantial meals. Plan ahead and you’ll find yourself with substantial savings.
4) Buy a slow cooker
It may sound weird in an article about reducing expenses to suggest buying a slow cooker, but if you don’t already have one they can be game changing. You can make bigger portions, which is cheaper and they can be kept in the fridge or freezer to use another day. You can also buy lesser cost cuts of meats or chicken and by the time they’re done, the meat is so tender you can’t tell it was a cheaper product.
5) Set a budget and stick to it
Be realistic about how much you can afford to spend and how much you really want to spend. Track all food related expenses over a month to see what your total figure is and then work with that to decide how much you’re happy to spend on groceries in order to meet your other financial goals.
If you’re saving for an overseas adventure, a new property, or just for your financial security making small changes to reduce monthly grocery bill will help you make leaps and bounds in your savings goals.