Something that inevitably shows up in your social media feed is someone asking for ideas on how to save money. This can be difficult to know where to start. Here are three things that have worked for me.
Set a Goal
Last year I challenged myself to start keeping my grocery budget at $50 per week. I had read all kinds of blogs that were doing $300, $250, and $200 per month, and I thought there was no way I would be able to come close. Our food budget at the time for two people was $400 per month. I decided to reduce our budget by half.
Now I'm sure you are wondering why I would try this goal when I was almost certain that I would fail. I felt that I needed to try. Even if I failed at $50 per week, I would save some money by trying. I chose a specific goal to give me something concrete to aim for rather than the ambiguous goal of: "Save Money."
I got a few negative reactions when I mentioned this goal to people. They were concerned that I was not eating healthy, or enough. I was pregnant at the time, and that was a concern. There was no need, because I ate really well, possibly even better than I had been.
Take Advantage of Sales
Buy mostly staples, meat, and produce. Most grocery stores have weekly sales ads. You can check your newspaper for them, and most stores are now putting their ads on their websites for even easier access. Plan meals around what is on sale.
I shop mostly at Aldi and Sprout's. Aldi has wonderful prices on everything--although I keep a running list of what is cheaper to buy in bulk elsewhere. Sprout's has sales on meat and produce that are wonderful, and the quality is outstanding.
Cook From Scratch
One way to save a lot of money on your food budget is cooking from scratch. Pinterest is a wonderful resource for recipes to make homemade versions of your favorite convenience foods. There are recipes for Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, Pasta-Roni, macaroni and cheese, even "cream of" soups all from scratch. It's not much more trouble than from the box, and it's so much healthier for you. And cheaper. Always remember that. It's cheaper.
You can check out my personal board for this below. I've indicated which recipes I've already tried.
Follow Ashley's board DIY Mixes on Pinterest.
Starting out saving money on groceries is daunting, but it is a satisfying endeavor. Set a goal, take advantage of sales, and cook from scratch. Doing this, I hit my goal of $50 per week on groceries. I actually kept it closer to $40 per week on average. Sweetie was pleasantly surprised with my success. Go pinch those pennies just a little tighter, and cook something delicious while you do it.