10 Reasons You're Spending Too Much Money On Groceries

One of the biggest challenges of the kitchen is the grocery budget! Yes, prices are going up and food can just be plain expensive. But there are many things we do that actually make us spend more money than we need to. Here are some reasons why you’re spending too much!

1. You’re not BUDGETING. I know, budgeting is a dirty word to some people- but it’s absolutely critical. Without a budget, you won’t really know how much you’re spending, and you won’t have any accountability! Budgets give you the freedom to know exactly how much you can spend, without feeling guilty. It also forces you to make smarter choices since you know you have limited funds- you’ll think twice before grabbing that candy bar at the register ;).

2. You go to the grocery store too often. Every time you go to the grocery store, you’re spending money- and chances are you’re probably buying things that aren’t on your list- maybe you’re hungry, maybe you see a killer sale, or maybe something new catches your eye that you’re interested in trying! Limit grocery trips to once a week or even every other week if you can! The more often you go to the store, the more money you’ll spend.

3. You’re not meal planning. Meal planning is KEY to saving money. With a meal plan, you know exactly what you need so you’re not buying extra produce that’s going to go bad, and you won’t end up with a bunch of random stuff in your pantry that you never use.

4. You don’t shop deals. Those annoying ads that come in the mail each week? They’re actually a great way to save money! You can base a meal plan around what’s on sale to really stretch your money farther (e.g. if peppers are on sale, make fajitas! Tomatoes and onions? Do street tacos with pico de gallo!).

5. You don’t buy in bulk. Speaking of ads, they’re a quite way to stock up on your family’s regulars! Instead of buying cheese at $8, I like to wait til it’s on sale for $4.99 and then buy a ton of it! Pay attention to the sales and utilize them to stock up! Also, most of the time, items are cheaper when you buy them in bulk. This isn’t always true, so do some math to calculate if buying the bigger size is actually cheaper. And of course, don’t buy something in bulk if you won’t get through it before it goes bad!

6. You don’t utilize your freezer! All that cheese I buy? I stick it in the freezer. I stick almost EVERYTHING in the freezer. Blueberries, spinach, bread, rolls- if I see something on sale that I know I will use in the future, I buy a ton of it and freeze it for later. I also try to freeze things that I might not get to before it goes bad. For example, if I buy ground beef to make spaghetti, but then something comes up and I’m not able to cook dinner that night, I be sure to stick the ground beef in the freezer before it goes bad so that I don’t just end up throwing it away! (But make sure you seal things and label things clearly or you’ll end up throwing out a bunch of stuff anyway!).

7. You aren’t using grocery pick-up. More and more stores are offering delivery and pick-up services. Some stores charge a fee, but not all of them! This is a great way to save money if you’re an impulse buyer; since you’re not wandering through the store, you can’t buy random things that aren’t on your list and you can actually save a ton of money just from this alone!

8. You aren’t using money saving apps. There’s a billion of them. They give you coupons or give you money back when you purchase certain items- some take a little extra time, but they pay off in the long run! Do some research to find out which apps are most helpful in your area.

9. You’re buying name brand. A lot of the time- the name is just a name, and that’s all you’re paying for. I will admit, there are definitely exceptions (nothing comes close to the name brand Oreos, or Darigold cottage cheese) but in general, most storebrand items are just as good (or better!) than the name brand. It’s amazing how much you can save just by buying the store brand!

10. You’re not taking inventory of your pantry and fridge. Before you go to the store, look at what you have! How many times do we buy something just to come home and realize we already had one? This can also help you as you try to meal plan, because you can utilize the items you already have in your pantry!

How do you save money on your grocery budget? I’d love to hear your tips!

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    Camille Hoffmann
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! camille@dvo.com

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