Grocery Budget: 6 Tips for Maximizing Yours

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Budget… Ahh! That is not a word I like to hear. Budgeting can be scary and overwhelming, especially when it comes to shopping for groceries. But it doesn’t have to be. Don’t worry Mommas, I have a few tips for maximizing your grocery budget.

A handwritten grocery list

Now I am by no means an expert, and this is definitely not one of those one-size-fits-all situations, but these are some of the most helpful tips that have worked for my family. I’m hoping they can work for yours as well.

1. Set a budget and stick to it

Seems simple enough right? Try to see previous spending patterns and how much you spend on groceries on average during the week. About once a month, get an accountability buddy–it can be your spouse, partner, or friend and make a spending plan for all your bills and include a category for groceries. Here you will set aside money specifically for your monthly groceries. It may take a couple of times to find a rhythm and an amount which works for you and your family. A helpful hack that assists me in sticking to my grocery budget is taking it out in cash. Using cash at the grocery store allows me to stay within this budget as once the money runs out, there is no more for that month.

2. Meal plan

This is a game changer. Not only to maximize your grocery budget but also to maximize your time as a mom with a super busy schedule. Once you meal plan for the week, check your pantry and fridge for the ingredients you already have. Put on your list the ones you don’t, and this allows you to maximize your budget by not overspending for the week. You can meal plan a menu on Friday, have your grocery delivered on Saturday, and Sunday you can meal prep the base of these meals for the week ahead.

3. Have your groceries delivered or use curbside pick up

I know, I know, you may be thinking, how does this maximize my grocery budget? Well, ordering your groceries online allows you to look into your pantry and fridge for the actual items you are missing. This avoids buying unnecessary items or possibly even buying items you already have. If you’re like me, I’m constantly leaving my grocery lists at home. Online shopping avoids this and when in doubt I can just run to the pantry or fridge. Shopping online also helps you compare prices. You can also see your cart and the amount fill up which helps you stay on budget.

This is another thing that has been super helpful for my family. Not only do we avoid the crowds and shopping with our kids, but it also avoids buying those tempting cookies as we’re strolling down the aisle. There are grocery stores that provide free curbside so you’re also not breaking the bank with this option. This also avoids the very true cliché, don’t go to the grocery store hungry as you tend to mentally snack while throwing items into your cart.

A shopping basket full of groceries

4. Don’t get married to one grocery store

We all have our one “go-to” grocery store which cuts our meat just right at the deli or always has your fresh bread. As painful as it sounds, keep an open mind and shop around. You may be surprised to find that the neighboring grocery store may have the same eggs at a much cheaper price or on sale, saving you money and maximizing your grocery budget.

5. Coupon

Now, this is not my favorite budgeting tip, and here’s why. Although couponing is great and very useful, it can lead to you buying unnecessary items just because you have a coupon. With that being said, once you make your budget, meal plan, and grocery list, you may be pleasantly surprised to find the bottle of marinara sauce you had on your list for Wednesday’s spaghetti night is 50 cents off.

6. Buy generic items

Lastly, don’t be scared to buy generic. There are a lot of grocery store brands that are the real deal. They are also a fraction of the cost of the brand name. Kids are the first to tell you this isn’t the real deal, but I’ve put this hack to the test with cereal. Since we put our cereals in plastic containers, they have yet to taste the difference between a bowl of name-brand Cheerios or store-brand crispy oats.

I hope these tips help maximize your grocery budget next time you’re at the grocery store or online shopping.

Happy shopping Momma!

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Diana Llanso Garcia is a Miami native who is currently living down south in Homestead! She’s a stepmommy of a teenager and mom of 2. Did she mention they’re all girls? Her poor husband, even their family dogs are girls. She is currently a full-time claims adjuster for homeowner claims. She went to school abroad for college although she is not currently practicing what she went to school for. She loves spending time with her girls and her husband exploring new things in their city. Starbucks and Target runs are a definition of a good time in this household! One thing for sure is their house runs on faith, love, and coffee! Follow her on Instagram @Diana.Garcia_16

2 COMMENTS

  1. This was helpful Diana! Groceries are SO expensive! to your point, I find that I do spend less when I order online vs. when I walk the aisles!

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