How I Managed to Cut My Grocery Bill by 50% Without Using Coupons

Foodie fanatic. That’s me. I love cooking, experimenting with new flavors and most of all, I love eating! Often times this gets me in trouble, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. Before I learned how to reduce the amount I spent on groceries, I was spending a car note (about $300), each time I went to the grocery store (which was about at least twice a month). And keep in mind that at the time, I only had a two-person household, and one of us was a pick-eating toddler.

Why was I spending so much to begin with? There were a couple of reasons:

  1. I’m a hugeeee snacker.
  2. I never paid attention to grocery store circulars, coupons, etc.
  3. I wouldn’t prefer a list ahead of time (and the few times I did make a list, I didn’t stick to it).
  4. I was a sucker for name brands.
  5. I shopped for whatever I had a taste for at the time.

groceries50

How I manage to save so much on groceries now?

I make a list & stuck to it. First, I scour through the local store circulars to see the deals and specials for the week. I base my meal planning around what is on sale. After I plan out meals for the week, I then come up with a list of items needed to prepare said meal. I also throw in any essentials such as milk, paper towels, cleaning products, etc. Then, with my list in hand, I head to the grocery store…but here’s the catch: I only get what is on the list. I’m a real stickler about this these days. My rule of thumb: if it isn’t on the list, don’t get it. Sticking to your grocery list, is just as important as creating one.

I make sure I don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I’m sure you’ve heard this tip before, however I can’t stress how important it actually is. When you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to get more groceries than you need, and food items that you wouldn’t have bought, had you not been hungry at the time. Because of this, I always make sure that I eat prior to going to the grocery store. Trust me, it makes a world of difference and will ultimately stop you from overspending.

I don’t shop just anywhere for groceries. Prior to having an epiphany regarding my outrageous grocery spending, I would literally shop anywhere for groceries. Target, Walgreen’s, Walmart–whatever place was convenient at the time. Needless to say, you shouldn’t by groceries just anywhere. Not only for pricing reasons, but for quality reasons as well. Stores like Target and Walgreen’s aren’t grocery stores so their prices on food and drink items are typically much higher, however the quality and freshness tends to be lower. Stick with grocery stores that get in regular shipments of food items and that stand behind the quality of their products.

The truth is, being a working mom doesn’t allow for much spare time, so coupon clipping wasn’t an option for me. However, by implementing the practices listed above, I literally slashed my grocery bill in half within a matter of weeks–without clipping coupons. I hope you can do the same!

 

Happy Shopping,

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Comments

  1. Pamela says:

    I always have a list with my meals planned out & stick to it 🙂 And if I’m on an empty stomach I HAVE to grab something to eat before, it’s cheaper than the damage I’ll do to my budget 😉

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      I had to learn the hard way when it came to shopping on an empty stomach :(, but thankfully I was a fast learner. Thanks for reading Pamela!

  2. Kimba Han says:

    Making a list is an absolute must for me as well! I haven’t gotten into the habit of paying attention to store circulars. Great idea to base your weekly menu on them!

    Kimba | DenAndSky.com

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      Thanks for reading Kimba! By the way, love your blog 🙂

  3. Tina Pik says:

    Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is the worst – so many post-shop regrets haha. Meal planning around what is on sale is something I’ve learnt lately and has saved me so much! I used to just plan around recipes I wanted to cook – not very economic!

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      Thanks for reading Tina! Planning around the sales was kind of hard for me to do at first but now I love it! We try new dishes all the time AND save money while doing so!

  4. I used to used coupons and deal shop. Now we try to grocery shop at Aldi’s to save money. I still love Target clearance too.

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      I wish I had time to clip coupons. I would probably be able to save even more money. Thanks for reading!

  5. Krista Dial says:

    Do you have an Aldi’s where you live? Between following similar steps as you mentioned above, minding sales, and sticking to shopping at Kroger and Aldi’s…we’ve been able to eat healthier and cut our grocery bill nearly in half too! Eating well and wholesome doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg!

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      Aldi’s is a huge money-saver! I get lots of grocery items there, but I’m not a huge fan of their produce. The quality is not the best.

  6. Gala says:

    Hi D. Thank you for sharing this post. In some points I recognise myself in you 🙂 But what really helps me is making lists before I go shopping. It saves me soon much money!

    X Gala
    http://www.mybikinimusthaves.com

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      Thanks for reading! Grocery lists totally saved me from myself, aka my bad spending habits 😉

  7. Lesley-Anne says:

    Great tips. It’s so true about going shopping on an empty stomach.

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      I’m so glad you liked them. Thanks for reading Lesley-Anne!

  8. I am a stickler when it comes to going to the grocery store with a list. It’s too easy to get distracted! I recently moved so I’m struggling a bit to determine which market to go to for groceries in order to get the best deals!

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      Grab a newspaper and take a look at the grocery store circulars until you get an idea of which stores have better deals in general. Congrats on your recent move and best of luck!

  9. Jill says:

    Our grocery bills are always high no matter how hard I try to cut back. Thank you for sharing these great tips!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      You’ll get there one day Jill. Just make a decision to save money, come up with a plan, and stick to it! Best of luck and thanks for reading!

  10. Debbie says:

    Love this! And something I need to due! We spend way too much on groceries!

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      Thanks for reading Debbie! Be sure to check back in and let me know if any of the tips worked for you.

  11. Shearly says:

    I am such a sucker for finding just whatever is closest! Definitely should stop doing that. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    1. The Corporate Mom says:

      Thanks for reading Shearly! Convenience is nice, but saving money is even better.

  12. Jenny says:

    Grocery shopping is always an area I’m trying to figure out how to cut back. Thank you for sharing these great tips!

  13. Frida says:

    Happy to read this got some tips to spot now…..a list at hand and no empty stomach a bad in those two…thank you

  14. Cait says:

    I’m with you; I never go shopping hungry! It’s a bad idea & so many extra items end up in the chart otherwise.

    – Cait | http://www.prettyandfun.com

  15. Louisa says:

    I found that I actually spent more money on groceries when I used coupons because of the thrill to buy something just because I had a coupon for it. Now, I buy only what I need once a week to avoid overspending. Love your tips about not getting stuck on brand names.

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