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So, now that I am on maternity leave, we realized that we have to tighten our belts a little.
Okay, a lot.
When we went over our monthly spending, do you know what we were shocked to find?
We spend over 700 dollars a month for food, just the two of us!
That is before baby!
So we are making groceries and food our work on first when it comes to our budget since aside from necessary bills, it is the thing that we spend the most on.
Here are some proven tips that we are implementing to reduce spending on food.
- No more coffees and take out. This is the hardest for us, we love to go out and eat. We decided to have on more date night before the baby comes (since we only have 7 weeks left!) and then that is it. Even just having a 2 dollar coffee a few times a week adds up over the year, let alone full meals!
- We are making a meal plan. We decided to plan out two full weeks worth of meals, and make a proper grocery list and ONLY buy the ingredients that we need for those two weeks. We realized that most of our expenditures at the grocery store are 20 dollars and under because we just go for a few things here and there! This will help this issue.
- Limit the pop and snacks. We both have massive sweet and salty tooth’s… so this is a hard one. But, we spend easily 50 – 100 dollars a month on snacks. Chips, pop, candy, cakes all add up quickly when you buy it multiple times that week!
- When meals are made, make enough for the next day. I work at 7AM, and my hubby is at work by 9, so a lot of times we end up grabbing lunch if we aren’t up early enough. Making extra food means that we have leftovers for the next day.
- Along with that note, prepare lunches the night prior. This means no accidentally sleeping in and not having lunch, therefore having to buy it.
- Since we do have a sweet tooth, make stuff at home to satisfy it. Instead of buying popcorn, a chocolate bar and pop, make a batch of cupcakes. It satisfies for days and costs less in the end.
- Start buying raw ingredients for salads. To buy a big salad at the grocery store costs between 8-12 dollars. We end up throwing some out because it gets soggy. So instead, have lettuce, cucumber, and other veggies at home so that you can make up enough to eat. It is something that is super healthy and easy to make on the fly.
- Instead of buying bread, make it at home. It tastes better, is fresher, and is cheaper to make!
- It sounds crazy, but not shopping while hungry! This way you curb impulse buys.
- Make sure to buy enough for the week in one trip. We realized we were running to the store for one or two things every few days, and coming out $75 dollars later.
- Use coupons. You don’t need to go all TLC channel, but even a few bucks here and there help.
- Use reward programs. Our grocery stores use PC optimum and air miles, which pays in the long run in free groceries! Keep your eye out for bonus days. They really help!
- Use apps like checkout 51. You just need to upload your receipt and get cash back for specific items!
- Buy in bulk…sometimes. Places like Costco and Sam’s Club are GREAT! If you know your prices. Sometimes things seem like a great deal, but you can get them cheaper if you buy them separately.
- Use different price comparison apps. I love flipp. Type in the item you need, and it tells you where it is on sale! (see money-saving apps for moms!)
These are the guidelines we are going by for the month! Are there any tips and tricks that you use to reduce your monthly spending on groceries? Comment below!
Mom blogger, job coach, ESL teacher and mom to my little girl.