The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average American spends $284 per month eating meals prepared outside the home, and $306 on groceries (if you have kids, the average family of 4 spends $940 a month on groceries).
In total, the average person spends a whopping $7,700 a year on food.
We, of course, don’t notice this staggering number because the expenses leak out $20-30 at a time- but people who pay close attention to their spending will notice that it really does add up.
Food is third on the list of what a person spends the most money on. So I’m gonna help you guys cut that bill in half with these 10 simple tricks you can use at the grocery.
#1 – Get Paid to Shop
Yes- you read that right! Get paid to shop.
All you have to do is download this app, scan your receipts, and voila- you get cash back! There’s a reason why 22 million people use this app!
If you’re wondering what the catch is- there’s no catch. This app is a referral app. It notifies its users about grocery deals, and in return, stores thank them with a little cash. Ibotta shares that money with you!
My favorite features:
- Can take up to 48 hours for receipt to be processed & funds available for transfer
- Quick & easy- take a photo of the receipt & send
- You get $10 just for signing up!
- No joke, its members have earned a combined $500 million in cash back and counting!
#2: Make a shopping list beforehand and stick with it
I can admit I’ve been guilty of this in the past- where I just “grab as I go”- but this is a huge mistake if you’re wanting to reduce your bill. Using the “grab-and-go” method is an easy way to lose track of how much you’re spending.
Behind success there’s always a need for a plan.
Make your own shopping list. Or if you need some assistance, my favorite grocery list app is:
the [AnyList] app
Its great features include:
- You can search for recipes online and directly import them to the app (It lists the ingredients you need and also stores the directions to cook on it too!).
- You can either hit (the button) “add all ingredients to the list” or choose each ingredient manually (in case you already have it at home)
- You can share lists with your significant other, roommates or family so you dont have multiple grocery lists going
- You can even plan your meals!
#3 – Coupons, duh!
Please let me reintroduce myself- people refer to me as the coupon queen.
According to U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), marketers reportedly distributed $470 billion worth of coupons, but only $4.6 billion coupons were redeemed- that’s $465 billion unused coupons.
Shoppers using CPG coupons saved an average of $30-$50 a week (that’s $1,560 – $2,600 a year) depending on their level of coupon involvement.
The top 2 reasons they say people don’t use coupons-
1) the hassle
2) people question the legitimacy of them
So for those 2 reasons, I rounded up my favorite coupon apps that have proven legitimacy and are easy-to-use/hassle-free!
On that note- let’s get it cou-poppin!
My top 3 coupon apps:
They all save you money, but below their name I’ll state a unique reason I like it. (Click the name to download app)
- You can link all your loyalty accounts on there (like Walgreens, Safeway, etc) & add the coupons to your loyalty cards for each store
- Cash back instantly after scanning receipts (PayPal)
- You can separate coupons by favorited store (i.e. all Walmart coupons, Target, etc. instead of just sorting them by items)
- the KCL team scans the web for freebies and posts them on their blog (some freebies have included free address labels, light bulbs, coffee, dog treats)
- You can narrow down their deal notifications to just the ones you care about (i.e. If I only wanna get discounted paper towel notifications I have the option to do so)
- 80+ new coupon offers everyday
- You have access to deals/ what’s trending near you (via GPS/map)
- You can set reminders on clippings (saved coupons) to notify you when they’re about to expire
- Option to do a shopping list + attach coupons to that list
Be like me & download all these coupon apps so you never miss a deal! (I have all of them grouped in one folder for easy access!)
#4 – Purchase in-season products
An easy way to save on fruits and vegetables is to buy what’s in season. Not only is it cheaper, but they taste way better.
Here’s a simple overview (feel free to save this pic for future reference!):
& if you want a more detailed list, here’s a great one via BusinessInsider:
[pic(s) credit: BusinessInsider]
#5 – Cook a double batch of something and freeze it
I stole this idea from my boss! Every time you cook something- make another few servings of it, and then freeze it in a ziplock bag.
These freezer bag meals come in handy for me when I come home from a hectic day and don’t feel like cooking.
To thaw them out you can either:
- pop them in the microwave (although I don’t recommend ever reheating food in plastic- the chemicals from the plastic enter your food)
- dump it in a crockpot
- (thaw out) under running hot water or in a bowl of it
- dump it in a pan + heat
If you need ideas for freezer meals, here’s a list:
#6 – Don’t shop on an empty stomach
According to new research by the University of Minnesota, hunger increases our intention to buy food. In the study, they found that the spending habits of consumers who shopped while hungry spent 64% more than those who were less hungry.
“Hunger makes us think about seeking, acquiring, and consuming food.”–Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of marketing at the Carlson School
So fill that belly up before you shop, folks!
#7 – Go “Meat-less” one day of the week (i.e. “Meat-less Mondays)
What’s usually the most expensive item on your grocery list? Meat!
That’s why planning a few meatless meals can really save you money.
“Excluding meat for one day out of the week could save your family roughly $10-20 a week, or $500-1000 a year.”via Jennifer Parker
Not only are you saving money, but you get a lot more benefits for cutting meat out.
- An estimated 1,800-2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef- so you’d be doing our dying planet a huge favor!
- Cutting the meat out will reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity
- helps reduce our carbon footprint- About 25 calories of fossil fuel is used to produce 1 calorie of meat (WAY more than the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of grain)
Now I know you’re thinking, “Omg. If I can’t eat meat…. what kinda meals are there to eat??”- Lots!
Here are 2 articles with loads of delicious meatless recipes (ranging from pastas, veggie bowls, burritos, and lots more)!
Save the planet, save your body, save your funds! Go meatless!
#8 – Grow your own fresh herbs
The average person pays $3-$10 for a handful of fresh herbs each week- that’s roughly $520 a year!
Grow your own instead. If you live in a small space- they have pots the size of drinking cups to have them in. You will cut hundreds of dollars out by growing your own (buying the actual plant is very inexpensive)!
Here’s a short 4-minute how-to video for absolute beginners:
#9 – Get a pack of reusable paper towels
This tip doesn’t pertain to food, but it is helpful money wise and saving the planet wise.
- the average American spends $450 a year on paper towels
- Every day- over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the US alone.
- To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed
These are the reusable towels I use (in the kitchen and also for cleaning):
[Microfiber towels (Pack of 36)]
(Click picture below to take you to the link)
#10 – Get Whole food groceries without whole food prices
Do you love Whole Foods but wish you loved their prices as well? If you love healthy, organic, non-GMO food but want to opt for a cheaper route- try Thrive Market.
What is it?
Thrive Market is an American e-commerce membership-based retailer offering natural and organic food products at reduced costs (their prices are known to be 25-50% cheaper than WholeFoods). And the best part is that they deliver the groceries directly to your doorstep- fast and free (orders over $45).
What’s the catch?
They do require a yearly membership fee (just like Costco) at $59.95 a year ($5/month) – which is nothing compared to the savings you’ll get- they guarantee it!
Why I love this company
For every paid membership, they give a FREE membership to a teacher, student, veteran, or low income family.
Yall know me- I LOVE companies that give back!
That wraps my 10 tips for cutting your grocery bill in half. I hope this article helps you save money. If you try any (or all) of these tricks on the list- please reach out to me and let me know! I love getting feedback 🙂