Frugal Friday :: A Step-by-Step Guide to Saving on Groceries

Happy Frugal Friday!  Today I’m sharing with you my foolproof method to saving big at the grocery store.  

On average, I spend about $75 a week on groceries.  That’s for a family of 4!  Want to spend even less than that $75?  Eating more vegetarian meals significantly lowers the price of our groceries, making the weekly total about $60.  Is my method guaranteed to feed your family for under $75.  No.  However, try it once and it will change the way you shop forever.

Step 1 :: Inventory

So many of us are guilty of skipping this essential step when planning our grocery lists.  Chances are, your cupboards, fridge, and freezer are full of neglected food.  Before doing anything else, make a list of what you have on hand.

Step 2 :: Clip Coupons

Scan through the weekly coupon inserts, cutting only the coupons you think you can use this week.  At this point, I also go through my collection of paper coupons from previous weeks to see if there’s anything I can use.

Step 3 :: Look Up Weekly Ads

You can do this right from you phone.  Most major grocery stores have apps that makes it easy to scroll through the weekly sales.  Be on the lookout for major sales (i.e. Buy 10 Save 10) where you buy a specific number of participating items, to increase your savings.  While scrolling through the ad, make sure to write down the participating items that interest you.  Use this as an opportunity to compare sale items to your coupon collection – you never know when you’ll be able to double up on your savings.  At this point, you should also start making connections between what you have on hand, what coupons you’ve clipped, and what’s on start the meal planning process.

Step 4 :: Create Meals

Create a weekly meal plan: breaking it up into 4 categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other.  Using what you’ve discovered in steps 1-3, you should be able to put together some meals pretty easily.  I like to plan for 4 dinners, knowing that we will have leftovers from at least one of them.  With spending so little money during the week, you should have a little extra cash to do fun things on the weekend like go out to eat or order a pizza.  

Step 5 :: Search for Digital Savings

If your grocery store has an app, they probably have a way to download coupons right to your store card.  Kroger and Meijer are two of my favorite stores with downloadable coupons.  Use the app to search for the extras on your list that you don’t have paper coupons for.  This is a great way to find deals on items that are hard to find coupons for, such as meat or organic items.

Step 6 :: Make Your Grocery List

To simplify your shopping, categorize your list by different sections of the store.  This will keep you on track, and prevent you from wandering off, to let’s say the bakery, and tossing extra treats into the cart.

Final Step :: Celebrate Your Savings!

This is the best part – watching the savings at the register.  It’s worth it to put a little extra work into planning when you save so much money!

Tell Us: What are your penny-saving methods when it comes to the weekly grocery store trip?

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