Last week I started talking about budgeting. One of the most crucial ways to help you stay on budget, is making most of you meals at home. In order to make most of your meals at home, you’re going to have to grocery shop and not blow your grocery budget either. I’ve developed a few methods for staying on budget with groceries, honed mostly from watching my mom feed 17,000 people on a veerrrry tight budget for years.
Create a meal plan for the week. I know, I know, you may not always want to eat everything you plan out, but try to pick simple meals that have your favorite ingredients and then try to stick to that plan. Here is how I plan out my meals, using google docs of course.
Create a shopping list based on the meals you picked for that week. This means inventorying your kitchen before you head to the grocery store so you aren’t buying things you didn’t actually need. I like to create my shopping lists in Google Keep because you can check them off as you go, the list is on your phone and synced across all your devices, you can save recipes here in case your forgot to write down an ingredient, and you can set it to pull the list up when you get to the store.
While grocery shopping, keep your phone calculator up with your shopping list. Add every items cost to the calculator as you go. If you start getting near your budget as you shop, you have to get rid of some of the non-essentials on your list. For me that’s usually wine, and extra snacks. I just went grocery shopping and I came out with nearly everything on the list for $0.71 under my $100 budget for the next two weeks. I just wasn’t able to get wine or chocolate chips but plenty of other goodies!
Meal prep. The internet/instagram is all about meal prep lately, and for good reason. It’s hard to have an excuse to eat out or make unhealthy choices when you’ve already made most of your meals ahead of time. Not only will this save you time during the week, but it will help prevent those $8-12 lunches at work when you forget to pack a lunch. This can easily save you $50 a week.
Do you have any other tips to help you stay on your grocery budget? Tell me in the comments below.