Pin #26: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Reduce grocery bill

Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half from Living Well Spending Less.

In the last few months, the hubs and I have committed to reducing our expenses so that we can become financially independent, thus giving our family the flexibility to travel and take on new adventures (you can read about our journey to financial independence on hubs’ blog), so to support that endeavor we’ve been looking at all of our spending. And man, we spend a LOT of money on groceries!

We’ve started buying in bulk at Costco, but when I saw this pin from Ruth at Living Well Spending Less, I was intrigued. We’ve had some success with coupons in the past, but Ruth gives 5 tips about ways to cut your grocery bill — and only one of those tips refers to coupons. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of her post

  1. It’s Not About the Coupons… “Always, always, always buy food when it is on sale. And by this I mean really on sale, as in 30-50% off the regular price”
  2. Stockpile, Stockpile, Stockpile… “Most items go on sale every 6-8 weeks, which means you need to buy enough to last your family that long… because you are shopping the sales each week, you will be buying a larger quantity of a smaller variety of items, which means your overall grocery bill will still go down. The goal is to build up your own mini-grocery store in your pantry which you can then use to plan your family’s meals.”
  3. Eat Less Meat… “Meat costs usually account for a significant portion of people’s grocery bills, so cutting out even a little will make a big difference over time.”
  4. Change the Way You Meal Plan… “Instead of running to the store for your dinner supplies you’ll be able to run to your stockpile–a ready-made grocery store right in your own home.”
  5. Learn to Match Coupons to Store Sales… “Coupons can and do save you a ton of money on your grocery bill, but only if you follow these other steps first.”
reducing grocery bill

How I felt grocery shopping with no list.

So the last couple of weeks I’ve tried out Ruth’s method. The first week was kind of half-assed – I used my pre-planned list (we’re a “plan the week’s meals out on Sunday afternoon” kind of family), I didn’t really stockpile but I did luck out and stumbled upon some great sales. The next week I decided to go in full-on Ruth mode and didn’t take a list to the store with me.

And let me tell you… THAT WAS AWKWARD. Like I said, I’m a LIST kinda girl when it comes to the grocery runs. Walking around the grocery store trying to figure out what the good sales were and just stockpiling sale items because they were there – I felt like I was walking around with my undies showing and everyone else knew except me. BUT, I did rake up some big savings – $23 the first time, $35 the second and $6 on the third quick trip. Granted, I no longer know what I’m making for dinner every night, but I’m starting to see how Ruth’s approach can help save a lot of money.

I’m going to continue this approach for the next month or so – I’ll be sure to update this post when I’ve got a few more insights on how well this starts working for us in the long run!


Pinterest In Real Life: Savings are seriously starting to add up.

What about you? What do you think of Ruth’s recommendations? Share your favorite tips for saving at the grocery store in the comments section!

Also, I submitted this post as part of the very fun and very cool Pin Tester Movement. Be sure to check out pins that other folks have tried… And next round submit your own!


24 thoughts on “Pin #26: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

  1. I love Costco! So many great finds and so so cheap on some items. I’m not sure I agree with everyone’s view on spending too much money on food. The USA spends much less on food than other countries. I think everyone will pretty much even out in healthcare bills vs. food bills in the long term.

    • Costco has been great. My husband is actually going to do a post on his blog comparing the pricing – it’s been pretty impressive comparing the two. We’ll cover the membership fee in savings on dog food alone.

  2. I shop Aldi and then stockpile some when they have stuff on sale. My grocery budget for our family of five is at around $100 a week. So far, we normally are right around that. Kroger is the only grocery store that can compare to the prices I get at Aldi.

    • I’ll have to look into Aldi – there’s one not far from us! I also just discovered that Kroger will email me their weekly ad – I bet the same is for just about any grocery store. I think that will make it a lot easier for me to start planning my line of attack. One thing I will say about Publix – their BOGO deals can be pretty great… the rest of the prices not so much. Thanks for the suggestion Leigh Anne!

  3. Pingback: Pintester Movement | Pintester

    • Thanks for your comment! I’ve been doing it for about 3 weeks and think I’ll be sticking with it for at least the next few months. The first week I hit some HUGE sales and that really got my stockpile going. This week there weren’t any great sales on the stuff we get, so I just got produce and a few other things and only spent $30 vs. $80+ that we used to average. I’ll be updating my results in the next few weeks.

    • Thanks, Kristen. I checked out your blog earlier today when the Pintester links went up. Loved your attempt at the Butterfly clips. Yeah, the checking out the weekly flyer has been a big help – and the store apps actually are a huge help. I’ll be writing about those when I update the post with my result from the first 4 weeks.

    • Thanks for your comment, Ashley! I think it’s a little bit of a slower way to start generating savings – kind of looking at savings in the long run instead of short term. I’d love to see how your Food Stamp Challenge goes this week. Will you be blogging about it?

      • Yup! It’s off to a slow start since I killed my ankles last night after a hike, and couldn’t bring myself to the grocery store to start the challenge today. So I’m going after work and officially starting tomorrow. I’ll blog as I go!

  4. My mom has always shopped this way, and as a result, she has about 50 cake mixes in her pantry. I don’t think there is a way she will ever use them all… but from her extreme stocking up, I have learned to do a normal non-hoarding version that suits us quite well.

    • Ha! So when do you think they’ll start a reality show called “Non-Hoarders”? Yeah, instead of buying out the entire stock when a sale hits, I just try to figure out what we’ll need for the next 6 – 8 weeks until the sales cycle back through. It’s helped keep the cake mix stockpile at bay 😉 Thanks for your comment, Jodee Rose!

  5. This sounds like an approachable way to save money (as opposed to the extremes you see on some of the couponing reality shows–the ones where they build extra rooms to house everything!). Looking forward to seeing how it goes!

    • Wow, I had no idea people were that in to couponing. I definitely don’t have the energy for that – but I do have enough brain power to be organized enough buy stuff that’s on sale. I’ll be making a post update in the next few weeks.

  6. I’m pretty sure my mom shops like this. I’m not super great at using coupons except if Vons/Safeway has the digital ones in their Just4U special. I also use the “cut back on meat” tip by eating tofu once a week and buying in bulk then freezing the extras!

    • Yup, digital coupons are really about the only way I can get behind the whole couponing movement. You might also check out and see what your grocery store’s apps are like — the ones for Kroger and Publix allow you to make shopping lists based on items that are in their weekly flyer. It’s been really helpful for me. Thanks for your comment!

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