Survey says…The average American family spends $150 a week on groceries.
The average American INDIVIDUAL spends about 11% of their income on groceries/eating out.
But certainly, the tighter your budget is, the higher the percentage…Right? Does it HAVE to be that way, if you’re smarter than the average shopper? How do you cut a little slice out of that 11% per year?
But they all add up, and your family could easily end up saving in the 4-figures ballpark, every year!!
So Strategy 1 is…find cheaper groceries!! This sounds obvious, but I mean both the store you choose, and inside that store.
And as for what store you shop at, I know a lot of people want to buy organic and are willing to pay a little extra for that…
But places like Aldi and Trader Joe’s are not only often the CHEAPEST, but have organic brands (Simply Nature brand) that are GENERIC and thus cheaper. Walmart’s generic Great Value has some organic foods too!
And if you’re into organic WINES, then taste-wise and healty-wise, then Dry Farm Wines are right up your alley, especially for the price…
Oh, right, price!! Because this article is about how to save hundreds on groceries, not how to get the best wine…SO once you’re at a cheap grocery store, my next tip is, “Shop the perimeter.”
You may have heard this before — It’s a pretty common HEALTH tip.
(For more guidance on what to eat, go read Melissa’s Guide to High-Fat Eating!)
Because as you know, the produce, the meat, the dairy…they’re all close to the walls, right? It’s when you go to the CENTER that you find the unhealthy snacks and cereals and soda.
I think of it as the ninth circle of hell, to be avoided at all costs. 😉
But anyway, the idea of filling up your cart from the corners of the store can also help out your WALLET.
Yes, produce and meat gets a bad rep for being more expensive. So, eating just those doesn’t seem like a good way to save hundreds on groceries. But there are so many tips to make them CHEAPER!
Like, buy bananas, milk, meat…bread if you’re into that…on quick-sale discounts.
It’s not “gross,” it will just need to be consumed quicker and you can plan ahead for that! Also, “damaged” products like slightly dented soup cans are a good bet if the soup is healthy and low-sodium.
Another thing — I know you know this — but products are of course cheaper if you’re willing to do a little extra WORK…like, I would never buy pre-made tea, pre-cut fruit, or even packaged lettuce. (I DID recently buy a veggie tray that was 50% off, though!!)
But what about doing extra work in the grocery store itself? Like, instead of buying ground beef, ask the butcher to grind you a cheaper chuck roast.
Or buy cheaper meats, and challenge your inner chef to marinade ’em, smoke ’em, or do whatever it takes to make them taste even better than a more expensive cut.
DISCLAIMER: I do support eating grass-fed meat because the scientific literature shows it has a better saturated fatty acid profile. For me, there’s a big difference between a cow that is allowed to eat in open pastures, and one that is raised in a manure ridden barn or feeding lot. But if you buy grass-fed meat in bulk or off the bone, it’ll be cheaper.
Speaking of cheaper, the MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember, in order to save hundreds on groceries…
(After you’ve filled your cart from the perimeter, and run out of room for the bad stuff in the middle… 😉 )
Don’t buy things you don’t need, even if it’s a good deal!
If you have to buy 5 to get a deal, but you won’t be able to eat all 5 before it goes bad…well, then you didn’t save any money, didya? And, those $1 day-old discount doughnuts might be a “good deal,” but that’s still $1 that you should NOT have spent…;)
So do you consider yourself a thrifty grocery shopper, or are you a big spender who just wants what they want, without having to think about it too much?
Pick Team Thrifty or Team Spendy, and let me know in the comments!!