Beginners Guide To Grocery Shopping On A Budget

Does it seem like every time you restock the fridge you find it empty again two days later?

With the littlest members of our family growing by the day…we are constantly adjusting the amount of food we buy for our families each week. Our grocery list might be neverending, but one thing is constant. . .OUR BUDGETS. Adding two hungry kids to our families could easily blow our grocery budgets out of the water, but luckily we have refined our grocery shopping practices so that we don’t really find ourselves in outside of our budgets at end of the month and our refrigerators are (generally) stocked.

Having said that, here are a few simple ways to tackle grocery store shopping for our families.

Create a Week-At-A-Glance Meal Plan: Grocery shopping each week begins at the end of the previous week when we look at what remains in the fridge. From there, we jot down specific meals that we will make for the following week. We create a week at a glance meal plan for dinners, followed by items we typically eat for lunches, breakfast, and snacks.

One key to meal planning on a budget is finding ways to make two meals from one! The trick here is to begin by checking out the weekly sales at your grocery store and planning a meal around that, then creating a second meal from the left overs. When things are on sale, it doesn’t kill your budget to buy slightly larger quantities. For example, pot roast makes a great stroganoff a few days later or left over steak can easily be turned into tacos.

Organize Your List: Meal planning helps us to create a comprehensive grocery list, organized by store and then the department. As you create your organized list, don’t forget to write down specific amounts of items. This saves you a little time while shopping, but it also helps you stick to your list, ultimately helping your budget along the way. For example, next to bell peppers write in parenthesis (3), so that you purchase only that amount.

Sort List Out By Store: Once our lists are created, we highlight all of the items that can be purchased in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club, which is usually anything with a good shelf life. Occasionally, when things are on sale, we will stock up on meat products that we can easily freeze and have on hand to create easy meals from. These are some easy ways we help keep our weekly grocery costs down.

As you can see the post Meghan wrote about her favorite items from Trader Joe’s, there are certain items that aren’t necessarily included on the standard grocery store run. So, if you like to have specialty snacks around the house, set money aside from your monthly budget for those favored items!

Curb Side Pick Up Groceries: We wouldn’t feel right sharing our grocery shopping secrets with you without telling you about our favorite #momhack. . . ClickList by Kroger! It’s an order ahead, drive up and go, grocery service for $4.95. And yes, we factor that into our shopping budget too! Shopping this way allows you to create your list through the app, select a convenient time to stop by and pick up your order and have your groceries packed into your car. The convenience and simplicity of this service are worth $4.95! The app keeps track of your previous purchases so you will never forget the essentials!

Before you click order, you see the total cost, which gives you the ability to adjust if you are over budget for the week.

Most of the time, our groceries are usually picked up while still in our pajamas with a cup of coffee in hand! Hello…you don’t have to get out of the car!

If for some reason we decide to run into the store, we pull out the shopping list and STICK TO IT! That is the key here.

There you have it, our beginners guide to meal planning, organizing a your grocery list and sticking to a budget. Sure, are there weeks where we don’t want to plan at all and just end up at the store aimlessly wandering the aisles? Of course! But alas, everyone (including our bank accounts) is much happier when the week is organized and the fridge is stocked!

What creative ways do you keep your weekly grocery shopping on a budget?