How to Save Money on Groceries Without Eating Like Crap
On June 24, 2016, my husband and I decided that enough was enough. We were finally going to get a handle on our credit cards and pay off $13,000 within a year or less. How? We created a serious plan and within five weeks, we crushed $7,000 in debt!! I will never forget sharing this news with one of my friends. Their first comment was, "Wow, so you've been eating Ramen Noodles for five weeks?" Not at all! There are a few things we are unwilling to sacrifice on this journey toward 100% financial freedom and one of them is the quality of food that we put into our bodies. Because, health is wealth!
Want to know how to save money on groceries without eating like crap? Here are the exact steps we took:
Start Shopping at Aldi
We love shopping at Aldi because this is where we get the most bang for our buck. You literally can eat WELL spending $250/month on food at this "no-frills" grocery store. On the other hand, we used to spend more than double this amount at our neighborhood grocery store for less food.
The secret to Aldi's success is that they keep their overheads low so that they can offer the best prices possible without compromising on quality. All of the food they sell is the "Aldi" brand and most things are comparable (if not better) than the regular brand name things that we were used to buying. There are just a few items that we've come across that don't necessarily fit the bill. However, their meat, dairy, produce and most snacks are top notch. We love shopping here to save money on groceries.
Invest in a deep freezer
I know, I know. This post is supposed to be about saving money not spending it. However, sometimes investing a little bit of money now can save you a lot in the long run. Take this scenario: A few weeks ago, Aldi had our favorite Lean & Fit Ground Turkey marked down by a lot! We were able to stock up and get a ton of packages for super cheap because we knew we had somewhere to put them...in our chest freezer at home.
We paid about $78 on sale at Home Depot. But I'm sure if you do a bit of extra research you could find one even cheaper at a garage sale or on Craigslist, for example.
Be careful what you buy at Costco
We used to hit Costco once a week and literally spent $100 each time outside of our regular grocery budget often on things we didn't even need or end up using. Now, we only go once a month and we get the exact same items every single time: paper products and steak for my husband (I don't eat meat except for chicken). As you can imagine, we have saved a few hundred dollars with this plan.
Buy seasonal fruit and veggies
I love grapes and berries as much (or probably more) than the next person. But you won't catch me buying these during the winter time for two reasons 1) they don't taste as sweet and 2) they are much more expensive. If you are trying to save money on groceries while still eating a nutritious diet then I would recommend going for the cheapest fruit and veggies that are always in season. For example, bananas are a staple in our home as well as lettuce and cucumbers year round. When summer comes around, we go crazy with watermelons, pineapple, berries, etc. because they are a lot cheaper and so yummy.
Try shopping at ethnic markets for produce
There's an awesome market near to our house, where we get fresh produce for super cheap. The drawback of this type of grocery store is that it can get super crowded (I'm not the only one in on the secret) and sometimes it's hit and miss in terms of the quality of the produce depending on the day or even the time of the day. But overall, my experience has been positive and I highly recommend seeing if you've got one in your town.
Scale back elsewhere
Although we trimmed our budget A LOT by using the above 5 tips, because we still wanted to include steak in the budget we scaled back in other areas (steak runs $65-70 a month). If you would like to know the other ways we saved last year, then check out my most popular post (shared 2,000 times so far on Pinterest and Facebook)!!
Please let me know if any of these help you or if you have any ideas that have worked for you by dropping a comment below!