In the past three months, I have done an overhaul of my grocery list. Prior to that I was spending $200 a week on groceries and I had the same amount of food in my refridgerator as I have today. The range now goes from $100 to $130, although some weeks its less. Never more. So how did I do it? Well, I've taken some advice from the pros. Dani Johnson and Dave Ramsey.
Here are some tips I learned from the pros.
1. Do Not Complicate Dinner
Plan simple. No need to create three course meals to support your family's desire for nice things. Burger night, breakfast for dinner, taco night and a hearty salad will satisfy their pallets and your wallet. The best way to do it is to think about what's on sale that week and figure out how you can remix that meal in a number of ways.
2. Buy the Store Brands!
Buy the store brands,the least expensive brands. Dani Johnson always jokes that people buy expensive toilet paper and napkins but at the end of the day, do you know where they end up? They are useless the moment you use them! THINK ABOUT IT.
Here's a tidbit from Dave Ramsey: "According to a 2014 academic study, when chefs bought staples like salt, sugar and baking soda, they were much more likely to buy the generic than were non-chefs. And they’re the food experts! The study concluded that if more of us purchased store brands, we could save roughly $44 billion collectively. It pays to be brand un-loyal."
3. Switch up Your Grocery Store
Why do you go there? Is it clean? Friendly staff? Is it the closest to you? Are the prices great? Dave Ramsey says, "Don’t let a comfortable routine cost you money.You may even find that two grocery stores are your best bet—one for meats and bulk items and another for everything else."
4. Plan Out Your Meals and Make A List
This will not only help your wallet but your waistline too! Meal planning is a key tool in living a healthier lifestyle and a frugal one as well. Plan out your breakfast, snacks for the week, lunch, and dinner. Don't go to the supermarket without a plan or you'll end up purchasing everything in the sales aisle. There are so many meal planning tools online. The key is to keep it simple!
5. Always Use Cash
Create that food budget and walk in with the exact amount of cash you intend to spend. This way you can make sure you won't go over budget and YOU WON'T IMPULSE BUY. Supermarkets are set up for impulse buys. Don't fall into their trap.
Better habits lead to better budgeting and in turn will lead to you having the money to spend on what's important to you. Imagine taking your family on vacation or paying off serious debt. How about finally being able to invest in your health? What would you spend the extra money on?
Dani Johnson recommends you take a moment with your family and set a plan for saving. Everyone has to be on board and see the bigger picture for it to work. Communication is number one!
Have a great day!