Want to Really Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half? Here’s How:

How to {effortlessly} cut your grocery bill in half? Ya right! I have read several posts claiming to help me find extra money in my food budget, yet none of them seemed to help.

I was desperate.

My husband and I finally jumped on the band wagon and started Financial Peace University.

The reason we’ve hesitated is because my husband is a pastor and we have seven kids. Several of us have food allergies. Our grocery bill is high especially for our low cost of living area of the country.

We budget $350 a week on groceries and even at that, I feel like we’re always just barely staying in budget.

There’s not much extra money at the end of month. Reason after reason (excuse after excuse) has stopped us from ever really diving in.

Until Now.

There’s No Time Like the Present to Start Saving Money

We finally just did it.

Due in large part to the fact that our 18 year old who just graduated (homeschool) was schooling us on finances! We put him through Foundations in Personal Finance for High Schoolers his senior year, and he caught the living debt-free, saving for the future vision.

Once he started a paid internship, fresh out of high school, he set up his budget and managed(s) his money like a boss!

So we thought, if he can do it, so can we!

Up until this point, we’ve lived debt-free, minus the house, but paycheck to paycheck. We’ve never lacked for anything, but the extra money to save and invest for the future just hasn’t been there.

The biggest culprit? Our grocery bill.

But How to Save Money on the Grocery Bill?

As I mentioned earlier, we have a large family and multiple food allergies, a combination that just doesn’t work well on a limited income. So I’ve always believed that I couldn’t shave anything off of our food bill. And it wasn’t for lack of trying!

I’ve spent countless hours scouring the internet and Pinterest, trying hard to find frugal meals for large families with food allergies, and how to plan meals for people who have food allergies, yet nothing has worked. Because our food allergies are pretty specific. Not the usual, gluten-free, dairy-free stuff that most allergy-free diets are made up of.

Well, one of the best decisions I could have made in starting Financial Peace University, was to join the Dave Ramsey Budget Meals Facebook group.

What a lifesaver!

It’s literally my new favorite group!

We started Financial Peace University, and literally the next day, it was time for me to go grocery shopping. I already felt defeated. I spent a good hour searching for recipes, when suddenly it dawned on me – ask the Facebook group! They have experience!

So that’s exactly what I did!

I posted the following message:

Hi all! My husband and I just started FPU this morning along with our 18 year old son. I’m super excited!!

But….the area that is killing us is meals. We have seven kids on a pastor’s (meager) income and almost everyone in our family has a different food allergies.

I need so much help. I’m out of ideas for what to cook and the specialty food is super expensive.

Our allergies are eggs, dairy, grains, almonds, sugar, sulfites (not everyone has all of these allergies)

So if anyone has any suggestions or can point me in the right direction for planning, I would surely appreciate it! 

Thank you!

And so you can see the entire conversation, here is the update I posted in the group a few days later:

I went grocery shopping today, but let me just tell you how I did!!!

I read thru and considered/used most of them!

The one that helped me incredibly was (KEEP READING TO FIND OUT! I’LL TELL YOU BELOW! ūüôā )¬†WOWSERS!!! I made up my menu plan and then….what took it to the next level was using the Aldi and Walmart grocery shopping online service.

I was able to carefully consider prices and double check my food supply at home (I crossed off at least $20 worth of food that I would have purchased had I been in the store.) Finally, not going into the store to add extra items saved me a ton more.

The final result?? I’m so glad you asked! I’ve been squeaking by, spending $300 a week.

TODAY’S GRAND TOTAL????

Drum roll please……

$$$$$$ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS!!!!$$$$$$

I decreased our grocery bill by HALF!! And I didn’t even feel restricted when I planned or shopped!!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has taken the time to help me and give suggestions and encouragement! I AM SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!

What a great community!!!

I received so many comments of people offering suggestions to help.

The Secret that Will Help You Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Many people had ideas that were very helpful, frugal, and wise. Such as, freezing extra when cooking a meal, growing a small garden, joining a food co-op, getting a membership to Costco, and so on.

But one person in particular let me in on a secret that has literally become the money saving hack for grocery bills that I’ll never be without again!

Wanna know what it is??

Of course you do!

supercook.com

Where has this little gem been all my life?

I mean, really??!?!

It’s a simple little (FREE) app that changed my world! Cuz wait til you hear what happened!! (Keep reading!)

How Supercook.com Helped Me Reduce My Grocery Bill by 50%!!

Supercook.com allows you to reverse engineer your menu plan. Any app I’ve used up until this point asks you to mark the items you can’t eat and then it generates a menu plan.

Well, for my family, that means crossing out just about everything. And then what am I left with?

Nothing!

Save a handful of recipes that are so exotic, I’d never use them anyway.

Well supercook.com thinks a little differently.

How to Use Supercook.com

When you go to the simple webpage, you’ll see a column on the left. That column is broken down into categories: fruits, vegetables, spices, meats, to name a few.

One-by-one, you’ll go through the list on the left, marking everything you can eat. And then the magic happens. As you mark off the things on the left, the app complies a list of recipes from throughout the web that contain ingredients that are suitable for you.

Now, this isn’t just helpful for people with food allergies.

Anyone could benefit from it. And since this isn’t an article about saving money when you have food allergies, but rather how to cut your grocery bill in half, I want you to focus on the fact that you can plan your meals according to the parameters you set up.

You can add in the ingredients you feel are important for your menu plan and work from there.

I don’t know about you, but I find it rather discouraging when meal planning to reduce my grocery bill and I find recipes for rack of lamb or roasted duck. You know what I mean??

Who really eats those things on a budget?

This app changed everything!

Now for the Process of Menu Planning on a Budget

Once I complied my list of foods that our family could eat, I got to work with my menu plan. As if the makers of supercook.com haven’t thought of enough, they even made it possible to save your recipes to Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter!

So I set up a board in Pinterest called, “Meal Planning” and then I added sections to that board – Breakfast, Lunch, Supper and divided out and sorted the recipes accordingly.

Next, I made another section called, “Meal Plan #1.”

From my giant list of recipes our family could eat, I added five lunches, and five suppers. (I only plan for five days and stretch out the leftovers to last us a week. Also, we have a set breakfast that our family eats so I knew I didn’t need to plan for breakfasts. My Breakfast section is only in case I find something new we want to try.)

How to Really Save Money When Planning Your Menu

Now up until this point, nothing too spectacular had happened.

I’ve already done meal plans where I’ve spent tons and tons of hours compiling menu plans. But remember that supercook.com made it possible for me to plan only from the meals that I knew would work for our family.

In fact, often times when I plan our family’s meals, I feel discouraged because I feel like I almost spend more than if I hadn’t planned.

Enter my money saving grocery shopping hack:

Walmart Online Grocery Shopping and Aldi Online Grocery Shopping.

(If you don’t have an Aldi in your area, adjust this hack to work for the store you do shop at – as long as they have online shopping. Or you can use any zip code to use the online shopping feature even if your Walmart doesn’t have online shopping. To do this, you’ll simply put the items you want in your shopping cart so you can keep track of the total as you shop – it’s a super easy hack to spend less. If you aren’t going to be using grocery pickup, then just shop from that list then you’re in the store.)

You have to use the shop online feature. If you don’t have it in your area, just find an area that does. Enter in everything you want and it will tally up the total.

There’s something about seeing the total add up that makes you a little more mindful as you shop.

At this point, you can either order your groceries (please note that Aldi does actually charge a minimal shopper’s fee) orrrrrr….like I said, you can use that list to shop at the store.

Why Does This Help You Save Money While Grocery Shopping?

There are three main reasons why this hack works and it works well. Remember that I reduced our grocery bill by HALF. I mean, that’s incredible!

1. The first is that you can carefully consider the prices of each item you buy. 

Most stores will show you the price per unit. I was surprised to find that I had been buying a Walmart brand of paper towels for a long time. When I shopped online, surprisingly, I found that the national brand was cheaper by a lot!

You’ll be able to price check each item and decide if the value is good or not.

2. You can comparison shop.

Many items I frequently buy at Aldi were actually much more expensive than Walmart. I would have never known except that I was shopping from two tabs, side-by-side.

Other items such as produce and meat change on a frequent basis.

Additionally stores run sales on particular items.

Seeing the items side by side will help you know which store to shop at. It will also save you the time of physically running back and forth.

3. You won’t impulse buy.

For this particular shopping trip, I chose to do the grocery pickup. Therefore, I never set foot in the store. Consequently, I had zero temptation to put things in my cart that weren’t on my list.

That was a huge savings, right there!

The next time I shopped, I did not do grocery pickup because I wanted to see what it would be like for those of you who might not have grocery pickup available in your area.

So I made up my list and I shopped from it in the store, carefully deleting each item from my online shopping cart as I put it into my real shopping cart.

I stuck strictly to the list and I didn’t add anything extra.

Not one single thing!

Not only was it a huge savings, but it felt good to exercise self control and make myself buy only the things that were on my list!

WIN!!

Something else I’m guilty of is buying more than I need of something. I tend to shop in quantities of two or four! I don’t know why, I just do!

So if I put ketchup in my cart, it’s never just one. Shopping this way helped me buy only what I needed!

4. It’s easy to check your current food supply.

Finally, the reason this money saving hack works is because you’ll be home, so you can check your food supply before you buy.

Now, I thought I was being pretty careful as I complied my list from my living room couch. I would have told you that I had a really good handle on what was in my fridge and pantry.

Would you believe that buy cross checking my list with the food supply I had on hand, I saved ANOTHER $20!!

These are incredible savings that add up to a lot over the course of the month.

If you do this every week, you can shave a couple to several hundred dollars off of your bill!

This is My Favorite Menu Planning Tool

As you plan out your meals, it’s nice to have an organized place to record everything. I like to use the digital tools to help me out, but there’s nothing quite like writing everything down to refer back to.

That’s why I created the Menu Planning Binder! It’s cute and practical and will help you keep your menu organized. Definitely don’t forget to check it out! You can click that link to see it!

BONUS MONEY SAVING HACK:

Check out this post, The Best Cash Back Apps for Groceries {Save $ While You Shop} for an additional way to save even more money while you grocery shop!

Now You Have Money to Save

Once you’ve mastered this incredible grocery shopping hack that will save you half of your grocery bill, you’ll be well on your way to doing something fantastic with the money you’re saving.

My personal suggestion is to give Financial Peace University a try – even if you think you aren’t able to do it. I sure didn’t think I could!

Have you ever heard of supercook.com? What money saving hacks for groceries do you use? Comment below and let me hear how you cut your grocery bill in half!

 

This will teach you how to {effortlessly} cut your grocery bill in half with very little effort.

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill {in Half}

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's how to get motivated to clean when you're overwhelmed by the mess.

Download Your FREEDecluttering Binder Mini Pack

Get started minimizing and decluttering right away!

Check your email for your FREE Mini Gratitude Journal!

Get your FREE Decluttering Binder - Mini Pack!!

What would you do with an organized house? Grab our easy-to-use decluttering worksheets and find out! Invite the calm into your home and get rid of the chaos!

Now go check your email for download instructions!

Need help meal planning? This meal planning binder will help you get started with everything you need to menu plan successfully!

Download Your FREE Meal Planning Binder Mini Pack

Get started meal planning right away!

Check your email for your FREE Menu Planning Binder - Mini Pack!