For about the first year of Little J’s life he thrived on mama’s milk and homemade food. In my new mother naiveté, I thought “What are all these boy-moms complaining about? Surely no one is actually eaten out of house and home!” Then Little J turned one. And he started to EAT. I don’t know where he packs it away, but this kid regularly eats adult sized portions of everything. Chicken, veggies (especially “bwa-colli”), fruit, you name it. I needed to get serious about cutting down my grocery budget! I tried clipping coupons, but I found that 1. coupons didn’t exist for the unprocessed food items I wanted, and 2. I didn’t have the time to invest to make couponing worthwhile. So, in the spirit of embracing a simpler lifestyle, I decided to try a stress-free approach to save money on groceries. Here’s my easy-peasy three-pronged attack on the grocery bill monster!
Before I share my three step plan with you, I have to let you in on a little secret. If you really want to save money on groceries, there’s one important element you just can’t miss. Meal planning. Ugh, I know! It sounds like so much work. Icky as it may be, planning your meals is essential to saving money on groceries. I have a super simple meal planning FREE printable for you. Check it out and get your free download here.
Alright, got that done? Now you’re ready to really simplify the way you save on your grocery bill. Here are my steps to success:
(This post contains affiliate links.)
1. I fell in love with my farmer’s market!
I can’t sing these praises loud enough. There is something so therapeutic about a weekly visit with local farmers. My market is five minutes down the road from my house. I pop in, let Little J soak in the smiles from the farmers, bag up my fresh fruits and veggies, and make the quick drive home. Not only are you supporting local farmers, but the quality of your produce is miles ahead of the produce at any supermarket you’ll visit. This summer we bought a whole flat of strawberries that had been picked that same morning. The color, the flavor, even those funky shaped carrots. Everything is just better. (Previous to our farmer’s market switch, Mr. M ate two types of vegetables, green beans and potatoes. Now that we’re eating REAL, flavorful produce? He eats roasted beets y’all. And loves them.) You might think that produce at a farmer’s market is more costly than its counterparts at the grocery store. It’s just not the case. Your produce will last longer plus the prices are at cost or lower than supermarket goods. Check out LocalHarvest.org to find the farmer’s market nearest you!
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2. I buy my chicken from Zaycon Fresh!
If your family is anything like mine, you can eat up some chicken. Roasted, fried, or baked; we love it all! I got tired of spending half of my monthly grocery budget on chicken that shriveled up when I cooked it. But the quality, organic brands were just too expensive. Enter Zaycon Fresh! This company sources chicken and other quality meats directly from local farms to you. You place your order online, select your pickup date and location, then pick up your farm-fresh chicken from the comfort of your car! Their prices are unbeatable. Their chicken is delicious. You’ll buy about 40 pounds of chicken per order, so make sure you have some freezer space available. Seriously, I buy chicken about once every 2-3 months now. It’s so simple. Place your order today!
3. I made the Aldi switch!
You’ve probably seen Aldi shopping lists all over Pinterest. But have you tried it out yourself? Let me tell you, there’s substance behind the hype! Here’s what I’ve learned about making the most of Aldi.
- Buy the Aldi brand. At my Aldi they had store brand green beans for 42 cents per can. What a deal!
- Stay away from brand names. On the other hand, brand name cookies were about 25% more than average cost.
- Take advantage of unadvertised deals. We bought whole wheat bread that was about to expire for 25 cents per loaf! I stuck it in my deep freezer to keep it fresh until needed.
- Bring your own bags. You don’t want to waste all of your savings by purchasing bags at Aldi. Just bring your own reusable bags and you can keep all that dough in your own pocket!
For a more detailed look at why I love Aldi, read here.
Bonus Tip: Amazon Prime Pantry!
I’ve heard awesome review about grocery shopping using Amazon’s Prime Pantry service. Prime Pantry is a store where Prime members can shop for groceries and household products in everyday package sizes (for example, a single box of cereal). You can fill a virtual box of items from the Prime Pantry store and have them conveniently delivered to your doorstep for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 per box. Click below to get started with Prime Pantry!
Introducing Prime Pantry – Everyday Essentials Delivered to You
Busy mamas have too much on their plates to worry about coupons. Shop smart, shop simple! These three tips work for me to help cut my grocery bill down to about $250 per month or less. Throw that bulky coupon binder in the trash ladies! What stress-free strategies do you use to save money on groceries?