How to Save on Groceries, with Minimal Planning

Let’s face it, groceries are expensive. When you walk into a store with no list and no plan, you come home with a bags full of food, but nothing to make for dinner. A little planning and few money-saving tips can go a long way. Let’s look at how you can make every penny count while planning your weekly meals.

Set Your Grocery Budget and Stick to It

The best way to make sure you’re spending only what you can afford each week is to set a budget. Think of your grocery budget as a goal to spend less. So if you’ve been spending $150 a week on groceries, but it’s leaving you stretched thin for everything else, make your budget $100. It may seem like a challenge, but let’s look at how you can make that budget work for you.

Use Coupons and Savings Memberships

You don’t have to physically clip coupons to benefit from the savings. These days, almost every major grocery chain has savings membership and online coupons, or even an app. This may seem like a lot of work, but using these memberships regularly lead to even more significant discounts and savings. Fifty cents off a gallon of milk may not seem like much, but when you’re saving that much on regular grocery staples every time, it adds up quickly.

Plan Your Meals Around Sales and Coupons

Instead of heading to the store and hoping that what you need is on sale, do it the other way around. Take a look at your store’s sales online, go through your coupon apps and start planning your meals. If ground beef and mozzarella cheese are on sale, why not make a lasagna? Are apples half price? Make a big batch of homemade applesauce to add to lunches all week. Not only will you cut back significantly on food costs, but you’ll also begin to make meals that you wouldn’t usually cook and expand your tastes.

Have a Designated Planning Day

Every Sunday, or a day that works best for you, set aside about an hour for meal planning. This will give you time to sort through your sales and coupons, browse recipes that match the ingredients you’ll be buying and adding up a soft total for what you’ll be buying.

Using these simple tips can help you stretch your weekly food budget, with minimal planning.