I think the question that I get the most as a couponer is “How much to you spend on groceries?”
For my family of 5, I spend on average $50 per week. This is just something that I started going by because it was all we could afford. This is different for everyone. My family doesn’t have a serious food aversions and we aren’t very picky with much items. So $50 per week is easy for us to achieve. There are times that I go over. I’m not perfect, my boys are going through serious growth spurts and I am finding that I may need to up my grocery budget. But here are some tips that help me stay within my budget each month
:: Meatless meals. We try to have at least one meatless meal each week. homemade pizza with a variety of cheeses and veggies. You don’t realize how expensive it can be trying to plan a meat meal every day of the week!
:: Stick to the budget.
:: Pick up items that you don’t find coupons for with store rewards. When I run low on items that I can’t really stockpile or are lacking of deals to stockpile, I use my store rewards. CVS allows you to purchase milk with ECBs. So I almost always use my rewards to pick up milk. (that is at least $7 saved per week) Also, bread and condiments as good items to pick up at the drugstores.
:: Use overage to your advantage. The only reason I shop at Walmart is to price match or use overage to pick up items like meat or produce. I usually take at least one trip per month to use overage to buy Chicken Breasts or bananas (my kids go through them like water!) This saves me about $10 per month. Yes, there are items that I only purchase because they were free with overage. I donate them if I can’t use them.
:: Only buy what is on sale. I usually shoot for one meat item per week. If its Turkey that is on sale then we are eating Turkey that month. We have about 3 meats that we rotate during the month. We usually stick to Pork, Chicken and Turkey. We don’t buy Expensive Steaks at the grocery store. I purchase enough of each to freeze for at least 3 meals.
:: Eat from your stockpile. Once you have a good size Stockpile you will notice that you will only be picking up meats or produce that work with the items in your stockpile. You will spend less on Condiments as well. Have a lot of Salad Dressing? Then find ways to marinate those in meats (if possible) . Tons of pasta in your stockpile? Then get creative with pasta! We have done this for awhile and I find myself getting more creative as a cook and finding dishes that we really like because I decided to throw this in with that.
:: Make your weekly menu plan by what is in your stockpile and what is on sale. Many families sit down and plan a weekly menu based on what they WANT to eat each week. This is not preferable method because you can end up purchasing items at their highest price that week. So sit down and plan your menu based on what is on sale and what you may have at home already.
If your family has special diets this may not be easy to achieve. If you really want to save money, you need to make a budget around what is reasonable for your family and most importantly, sticking to it.