BUDGETINGLIFESTYLE & TRAVEL
Are Groceries Breaking Your Budget?
Written by: Jessica (she/her)
2 min read | Published: January 9, 2024
For the past few years, a common gripe among many Americans has been the cost of groceries. Between inflation and supply chain issues, many of us feel too much of our paycheck gets spent at the grocery store. Here are some tips that may help you on your next trip to the store.
- Plan your meals: Take a few minutes each week — or however often you grocery shop — to plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. This takes the work out of creating your grocery list. Furthermore, if you choose meal options that have fewer ingredients or similar ingredients, you can significantly cut costs. For example, when I’m meal planning and decide I want to make spaghetti bake (a family favorite in my house) and chicken parmesan, I save on food by planning meals that have a lot of overlapping ingredients including pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and pasta. Consider meals that use like items to reduce food costs ahead of your next trip to the store to save.
- Swap expensive items for cheaper options: This tip could include swapping national brands for store-brand foods. Saving a dollar or two may not seem like much but it adds up quickly. Another great way to save is when choosing meat options. Compare per-pound prices when purchasing things like ground beef, chicken, or turkey and buy them based on what gives you the most bang for your buck.
- Shop alone: Whether it’s a roommate, a partner or a child, shopping with others can increase impulse buying and make it harder to stick to your dedicated grocery list. Rather than shopping with friends or family, have everyone submit their grocery items needed before you shop.
- Choose curbside: One great way to save money and avoid overspending is placing an online grocery order. This takes all temptation and impulse buying out of the equation. Most major grocery stores offer the option to place your grocery order online and choose a time to pick it up that is convenient for you. This option also can offer extra savings with coupons for online orders. Lastly, most grocery stores will offer no fee for your first order, so it’s definitely something to try out!
Training yourself to stick to a monthly grocery budget will empower you to allocate those extra funds to other areas of your budget — such as savings or debt repayments — or giving you a little bit more money for the fun things in life.