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How to Stick to Your Grocery Budget

Are you having trouble keeping your grocery bill low? Here are some tips on how to stick to your grocery budget to help save money!

If you’re anything like me, you probably understand how hard it is to stay under budget every week on groceries. The clearance racks are the bane of your existence, just begging you to spend money you don’t have. The kids ask for every box of cereal in sight, and you’re so hungry you grab a bag of chips to much on during your trip home. Every little thing adds up, and when you’re on a budget, you can’t afford these little purchases every trip! Follow these tips on how to stick to your grocery budget, and control your weekly spending.

Use cash, and only get out what you need

This is probably the best way for you to keep on track! Keep an envelope at home with your typical monthly grocery money, and only get out what you’ll spend that week. That way you’re not tempted to spend more than you have!

Shop less often

If you find yourself running to the store three times a week, you should probably rethink your strategy. The more often you go to the store, the more likely you are to buy something you didn’t plan to! Try to shop only once a week and get everything you need all in one trip.

Eat before you go shopping

Have you ever went shopping while hungry? I have, and I’ve had disastrous results! EVERYTHING looks amazing and delicious when I’m hungry, and I’m much more likely to put things in my cart that aren’t on my grocery list. Cookies, I’m looking at you!

Buy store brand items instead of name brand

I touched on this on a previous post about how to save $60 a month on groceries, but it definitely bears repeating. Can you taste a difference between the different cans of corn? It’s okay to be loyal to some name brands; I can’t buy any kind of macaroni and cheese except Kraft! If you’re not picky though, try a store brand to see how you like it. You save so much money doing this!

Take advantage of sale ads

Every Sunday I look through the ads to see what’s cheapest. Don’t do your shopping until you see the ad! Chances are, you might see something you were going to buy anyway, perhaps even at a different store. I love when I see that the produce I wanted went on major sale at another store like Aldi!

Make a list

This is, in my opinion, tied with #1 as the most important way to stick to your budget. I never do any shopping without making a list first! In addition to just adding the items I need to the list, I also include the price of each item. I don’t know the price of EVERYTHING; I do make guesses for some things and am sometimes horribly wrong, either good or bad. But I’ve got a pretty good idea of how much things cost, and that just comes with time and practice. If it helps, record the prices of everything you buy so that next time you have a good idea of what everything costs!

New to list making and meal planning? Check out my tips on meal planning for beginners!

Shop alone

The fewer people that go on the shopping trip, the fewer temptations there are! I know that when John and Allison come with me, John sees things that I walk right past. “Oh look, this is on sale this week!” And sometimes I would give in because hey, it’s only a dollar! But then we end up over budget. And kids are even worse, with the cookies and the cartoon characters on boxes. So leave the kids at home with dad, if possible, and focus solely on shopping!

It may take practice, and you won’t be perfect every week. There are times even now when I make mistakes and am over budget by a few dollars, and will have to make it up the next week. Just stay with it, and in time you’ll be a pro at sticking to your grocery budget!

Can you relate to any of these? How do YOU stick to your grocery budget? Share with us below!




Sunday 7th of June 2015

These are fabulous tips. although 7 isn't an option, since I'm a single parent. Hiring a babysitter would DEFINITELY be more expensive than the odd extra my kids might convince me to pick up!

Nikki @ Happy Home Improving

Tuesday 26th of May 2015

These are some great tips! I have a really hard time sticking to a list. It seems like I always go over budget with those little trips that we make during the week for the things we forgot to get during our main weekly trip.


Wednesday 27th of May 2015

I'm still guilty of doing that! I like to think I'm prepared, but then I find I forget a couple things.

Kristine Hart

Tuesday 26th of May 2015

Great tips!! I too have saving money on groceries down to a science. I'm on snap (desperately trying to get off), which makes saving money, for us, the difference of running out of food before the end of the month or not. Thanks so much for sharing!


Tuesday 26th of May 2015

You have to do what you have to do to put food on the table! =) That's what it's there for! I'm glad you're budgeting to get the most out of it!

Lisa @ Fun Money Mom

Friday 22nd of May 2015

I love this! We just bought a fixer upper and it cost WAY more than we expected. I'm going to start budgeting more and I'm beginning with groceries. I also want to start planning meals ahead of time because I think it will help with the budgeting (so I'm go to go back and read your post about that, too)


Thursday 21st of May 2015

These are such great tips! I've been really trying to stick to "shopping less often" recently. I always go shopping on Mondays, but then every week it seems like I forget something or we need some item for something, so I run to the store for one thing and then come out with 10! I budget for my Monday trip, but not for the $30 weekend run :( And often when I just don't go mid-week, we find we do just fine without whatever it is. :)


Friday 22nd of May 2015

I do this every couple weeks too! I get so mad when I realize I forgot to add something important to the list. =)

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