I often get asked how my family is able to keep our grocery bill so low. We have a family of five and are able to easily stay within our budget of $475 per month, often with some left over at the end of the month. I readily admit that it can be difficult to maintain a strict grocery budget, but it can be done – you just have to work at it. I’ve shared how to save money on groceries in the past, but today I want to give some specific tips as to how we keep our grocery bill so low.
We Shop to the Meal Plan
I know that meal planning isn’t the most earth shattering tip to managing your grocery bill, but it does work. You can do what works for you as your situation is going to be different than mine, but we plan out for ten days at a time. That is how often we go grocery shopping so it fits naturally.
It can be easy to see meal planning as restrictive, but you can make it very flexible. We don’t dictate what meal we’ll have on a given evening, just that we’re having these specific meals during the time period. That gives us flexibility while also limiting what we need to buy. If that isn’t enough, meal planning helps us avoid temptation which is incredibly important to avoid when trying to keep the grocery bill low.
Sales Our Are Friends
The tool we use to maximize our meal plan is to shop the sale items. Not only does this allow us to stock up on items we may like but don’t want to spend too much on, but it also allows us to buy staples that we know we’ll be using regularly.
We sit down with the fliers we receive each week and find what’s on sale. This takes maybe 10-15 minutes of our time and then we’re able to set out our meal plan from there. You can match this with couponing to get even further savings, though we don’t coupon a whole lot as we don’t really have the time and have found that many of the coupons we do find are for packaged products that we really don’t eat.
We Set Our Priorities
I’ve found that what’s important to help us keep a lower grocery bill is to set priorities. In our family we’re trying to eat an increasingly organic diet. This can be a challenge on a tight grocery budget, but we have been able to make it work. It might be a bit easier for us since we garden quite a bit, but it can still be done otherwise if you shop wisely. The point being, you need to shop around what your priorities are and plan from there.
It can be difficult to keep your grocery bill at a minimum, but it can be done. The key, I’ve found, is to be wise with your shopping and determine what your priorities are. Add that to a little planning and you can be on your way to saving money on groceries.
What money saving tips do you have for grocery shopping? How much is your monthly grocery bill?
Image by Sodanie Chea / Flickr
6 thoughts on “How My Family of Five Keeps Its Grocery Bill Under $500 per Month”
We’re going back to a stricter budget for my husband and me. We’ve been creeping up to $700+ a month on food (groceries and restaurants/fast food). We do way better when we keep a running tally of all of our food expenses on our fridge. It helps us easily stay under $500 and sometimes we can get down to $400 without much effort. We do just have two of us, but we do tend to feed friends at least once a week too…
It can definitely be helpful to keep a watchful track of how you’re doing for the month. We’ve never done that on our fridge, but that’s a great idea! Good luck on cutting your bill further.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your grocery bill is to eat less meat – or none at all. It’s not for everyone, but if you can do it, you can save a fortune.
Good point Annie. I’ve been reading and seeing how the cost of beef is going up exponentially. We eat some, but it’s usually only once or twice a month so it’s not too bad.
$500 every month is actually big enough to spend for the groceries alone. We used to spend $300 each month for the groceries. We use coupons and we do grocery shopping during sale events to save.
I agree that it’s usually enough. You just need to plan and stick to it.
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