Cooking with FIRE. 15 ways to reduce your grocery budget

Don’t put all your money in the grocery bag.

Groceries budgets can vary vastly depending on the type of food you purchase. If you are looking to reduce this budget item, you might be surprised how easy you can lower it.

I budget $350/month for 2 adults for our groceries and most of the time, we are under budget.

Cutting your grocery bill in half will help you get that much closer to financial independence.

Here’s 15 ways to save money on your groceries
  1. Learn to cook
    • Cooking all of your meals is MUCH more cost effective than buying pre-made meals. If you have connection to the internet, learn to cook (it’s easy).
  2. Plan Meals
    • Planning your meals will help you determine what you need to buy in order to cook your meals at home.
  3. Have a List Prepared
    • Once you plan your meals, and you have in mind what you need, write it down. When you go to the grocery store, only buy the items on your list.
  4. Coupons
    • Use coupons! Once you have your grocery list, search for deals and coupons! Also compare stores.
  5. Buy Bulk
    • Buying larger quantities of items is very often much less expensive than buying a single pack. Only do this with items that make sense and have a long shelf life. E.g. don’t buy 50 bananas because they are on sale, do buy a 50 lbs bag of rice that’s on sale.
  6. Dry beans
    • Dry beans are much cheaper than canned beans. They also have lower sodium! Dry beans do require some prep work however.
  7. Grow Herbs
    • You can grow many herbs indoors or in a small sections of your yard. Garlic, sage, green onions, and more are very easy to grow and maintain.
  8. Grow Fruit
    • Have strawberries, blueberries, raspberries for FREE! Well, free minus your time to plant, pick, and water. Depending on your climate, you can grow other fruits too, like apples, oranges, and others.
  9. Grow Vegetables
    • Also, Vegetables for free! If you are inexperienced in gardening, do a quick YouTube search for starting a vegetable garden. It’s very easy to grow peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and squashes.
  10. Eat Less
    • Don’t eat in excess, maintain your weight and your wallet.
  11. Make your own breads
    • Flour + Yeast is much cheaper than buying bread in the store. It’s also not very difficult. I routinely make bread loaves, english muffins, waffles, pancakes, pizza crust, and more.
  12. Farmer’s markets
    • Your local farmer’s market may have fruits, vegetables, and more cheaper than you’d find at the grocery store.
  13. Chickens
    • Raising chickens is a good source of eggs and chicken meat. This is not for everyone.
  14. Hunt
    • Get your meat how our ancestors did it- hunting. This one is also not for everyone.
  15. Know timing of cost reductions for items expiring soon
    • Our Mejier grocery stores in the midwest mark down 20% off meat that expires within 2 days. They add the 20% off stickers in the morning around 7:30. Ask the employees to find out.
  16. Eat Leftovers
    1. Don’t waste your leftover food – eat it. We almost always eat our dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.
  17. Avoid Restaurants
    • Restaurants are 4-8 times more expensive than making your own food. This includes fast food too!
  18. Make your own snacks
    • Make your own applesauce, chips, fries, yogurt, granola, roasted seeds, cookies, protein bars, etc.
  19. Utilize Rewards Programs
    • Many grocery store chains have loyalty rewards and better coupons for membership.
  20. Buy Generic
    • Never buy the name brand, unless it’s on sale for less than the generic brand.
  21. Make use of the scraps
    • If you have leftover bones from roasting a chicken or turkey, you can make stock or broth.
  22. Grate your own cheese
    • Blocks of cheese are cheaper than shredded cheese. Get your grate on!

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