It’s here my best tips for grocery shopping on a budget!
I don’t know about you, but groceries are always the hardest to stay on track with. It just seems items not on the shopping list mysteriously end up in the basket. It’s so weird! But for the past few months we have been focused. We have been working hard at sticking to and coming under our grocery budget each month. It hasn’t been easy, but we have been rocking it! So it’s time I share with you my secrets to staying in and under budget.
Before we start, I want to let you know we do most of our grocery shopping at Aldi. Ever since Walmart did away with their price matching we have found ourselves shopping more and more at Aldi. I have to admit – I like it! I probably should have made the switch a long, long time ago. Now if you don’t have an Aldi or prefer another store, that’s fine! You can make this work just about any grocery store, I promise. If Aldi doesn’t carry something we need then we will run to Walmart.
I have already shared with you a quick Aldi shopping haul from after our vacation. It was a little shorter than usual and we didn’t do our typical two week meal planning. So this time around I wanted to give you the full effect of how we meal plan, make our grocery list and then stick with our budget.
The first thing we do is we create our meal plan for the next two weeks (you can even use my easy template, too). I have found we spend less money by shopping every two weeks instead of weekly. Now if we run out or need a few produce items then we may make a run after the first week, but that’s pretty rare. I have discovered we go through a gallon of milk in about a week at our house. J and I hardly drink it (I have a real aversion to cereal and it’s super hard to for me since our son loves it!) and we just don’t go through that fast. I can buy 2 gallons of milk at a time, but I have to watch the dates. If they expire before our two weeks are up then I have to only buy one and go back the next week.
When we’re creating our meal plan we always start with what we have on hand in our freezer, fridge and pantry. That way we can save money by using up what we have. Now I like to keep some ground beef and chicken in the freezer for any time we have company over or need to tighten our budget. So I do this by keeping an eye on the sale prices. If there is a good deal that week on meat then I may stock up a little more than what’s needed, but only if I have room in my budget after getting everything else we need. So I typically go to the meat section of the store at the very end.
After our meal plan is set, I take a look at what else we need around the house. I made a quick video about what all I include in our grocery budget. Basically anything that is consumed or used in our home is on the budget. So I do a run-through to make sure we don’t need shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels or cleaning products.
*I order wipes from Amazon and have them set to a monthly subscription. I automatically deduct that amount from my grocery budget each month.
Next we look at our budget. This way we know exactly how much we have to spend before ever leaving the house. I also track our spending using envelopes, which means I can take a quick glance to see just how much we can spend. It makes it fresh on our minds how much we have to spend. I also keep my phone’s calculator open so I can subtract the items I put in the cart to make sure I am not going over. This helps so much! Just make sure you leave a few dollars at the end to cover your tax!
Here is how we did this week. You can watch the video online or down below:
If you find your grocery budget a little too tight then plan on doing No Eating Out Challenge to save a little money. They work really great to make you cook at home and use up all those leftovers that usually go to waste!
Need More Help?
If you’re looking for a great tool to help keep your family on budget, then check out out my budget spreadsheet. Each month is laid out right in front of you where you can keep track of what you budget and what you actually spend. Now you’ll know in real time how you’re doing each month.