We’ve written before about how to use Plan to Eat to save money on groceries, but we know there’s only so much one app can do. 🙂
If you’re needing to cut back on your spending, here are four foolproof ways to save money at the grocery store!
1. Shop from a meal plan.
When you grocery shop without a plan, you buy things you think you need, but not always items you actually need. This results in more wasted money and food than if you were to shop from an organized list made from your planned recipes.
We know that meal planning can seem like a lot of work, and, honestly, handwriting a grocery list from a stack of cookbooks is! One of the best aspects of Plan to Eat is that all your meal planning needs are in one place. Digital recipe book, meal planning calendar, and shopping list.
Rather than flipping through page after page in your cookbooks, you can quickly find your recipes, add them to your meal planning calendar, and then a shopping list is generated for you!
A shopping list that’s generated from your planned recipes enables you to have a list of ingredients with exact amounts that you need for your week (or month) of meals. Rather than adding items to your cart at random, buy items that have a purpose.
Shopping from a meal plan immediately saves you money on groceries.
2. Create a budget.
If you’re really serious about saving money, we recommend you create a budget for your grocery shopping (and everything else!). There’s no right or wrong amount to spend at the grocery store, but if you give yourself a budget ahead of time, it will help you say, “no”, to all the extra goodies that can casually slip into your cart.
Last year, we reviewed a budgeting app called YNAB and found it helpful for planning how to spend our money. Rather than reacting to your spending, YNAB helps you create a plan for where and how you’ll spend your money, before you spend it.
3. Eat what you already have.
When you happen to have a week where money is a little tighter, or when other unexpected expenses pop up, take inventory of what you already have around your house! Many of us still have cupboards full of “panic buys” from 2020 and making a few meals from what you have in stock can be helpful.
If you like to buy extra items from the sale section, but always end up with a too full freezer, it’s okay to eat some of what you have stored up.
Be sure to dig into the bottom of your freezer and the back of your cupboards for stuff that’s getting older and needs to be consumed anyway!
Eating what you already have at home will help reduce your grocery spending in times of need.
Bonus: you can use the “with any/with all ingredients” searches in your Plan to Eat account to find recipes including items you already have!
4. Don’t go to the store hungry!
You may have heard this tip before and it turns out it’s not a joke! Hunger influences our purchasing decisions, even with non-food items, and you can end up spending 64% more at the store if you’re hungry!
Be sure to plan your grocery store run after a meal to ensure you don’t overbuy on items you don’t need.