What area of your monthly budget is the hardest for you to keep? For us, it’s always been groceries. For most of my adult life, I’d set a grocery budget….totally overspend, and just accepted that as life and do it all over again the next month. Then I became a SAHM…and staying within the confines of our grocery budget became a little more important to our 1 income family. Our grocery budget is $300 a month, and staying under that isn’t always easy. And let’s be honest: some months I still overspend. But I’ve learned a few tricks, and developed some habits that keep me in that $300 range. However, there is 1 grocery trick that saves me over $50 a month.
I wish I had some fancy way to say it, but basically….
Do it Yourself.
What do I mean by that? It pretty much comes down to instead of buying “pre-packaged” or “pre-cut” or “individually packaged” food, just spend a few minutes at home doing it yourself. It takes 5 minutes, and can save you over $50 a month. Let’s take a look at my own list of items that I buy weekly (prices are from our local grocery store, HEB).
Cut your own cheese sticks from a cheese block.
- Cheese sticks (9 oz): $2.99
- Cheese block (8 oz): $1.99
- That’s only $1 saved each week, but at the end of the month that adds up to $4.
Y’all…I know it’s convenient-but if you are buying cut fruit instead of cutting it yourself, you are wasting so much money! Buy whole fruit, and cut it yourself at home.
Savings: $20/month or more!
- Cut pineapple: $4.98
- Whole pineapple: $2.98
- If you’re buying pineapple weekly, that’s $8 in savings at the end of the month. This pineapple corer makes cutting your own pineapple SO easy!
- Cut watermelon: $7.98!!!!! (nooooooo!)
- Whole watermelon: $3.87
- Again-if this is a weekly expense, you could save $16 at the end of the month just by buying whole! This watermelon slicer is a life saver!
Those little packs of oatmeal are convenient. And let’s be real, they’re dang good too! But is it really that much more convenient than scooping oatmeal out of a large canister…?
- Oatmeal packs (10 oz-10 packs): $2.32/twice a month
- Large oatmeal (42 oz): $3.28/once a month
- That’s about $6 saved at the end of the month.
4. Individually packaged snacks
You know what I’m talking about: little packages of goldfish, chips, almonds….you name it. Yeah, these are great to throw in a lunch box or munch on during a road trip. But you can also buy the bigger package and spend less than 5 minutes making little Ziploc packages yourself.
- Individual goldfish packs (9 oz): $4.98
- Single bag of goldfish (7 oz): $1.72
- This is a weekly expense for us, and it saves me $12 a month just by putting them in baggies myself.
This is a big one. I love my Keurig-and I love the ease of making just a single cup of coffee. But guys…K-cups are expensive. Whenever I spot a sale on K-cups, I stock up! But the rest of the time, I buy ground coffee and fill up my own K-cups using these nifty little things. It takes, what? 10 seconds to scoop some coffee in there? I think I can handle that.
- K-cups (5 oz-or 12 pods): $6.49/weekly (especially if you have 2 adults drinking coffee daily)
- Ground coffee (12 oz): $6.74/twice a month
- That’s $14/month you save by scooping your own coffee
$56 in Savings
If you’re doing the math, that’s about how much I save on average each month by just doing a little bit myself. Sometimes that number is even higher, depending on what other items I’m swapping. If you’re struggling with your grocery budget, give it a try! Think of it as someone paying you $50 to do something so minimal. I don’t know about you, but I can think of alot of things to do with $50!
What are ways you save at the grocery store? Big or small! Leave us your tips below!