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Cut Grocery Bill: Feed A Family For $150 A Month

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“Yeah, that's right! You can feed your family for $150/mo on RAMENS..” That's exactly what some people told me.

When I told them that's how we spend on grocery per month, they thought I was cheapskating.

But I sure am not.

We eat seafood, meat, and all those nice cuisines. No kidding, no lying.

If you reached this part of my post, you either are wondering how my family lives off $150 or less for food per month. Or you are looking to cut grocery bill of yours but can’t seem to figure out how.

Or maybe something in between.

Roughly around five years ago, our average grocery budget per month hovered around $500 primarily due to our daughter’s food (i.e., formula and baby food).

Three years ago, we were fortunate to bring down our food budget to $300.

These past two years we’ve been able to spend around $150 or less for food. I know it's crazy and unbelievable, but it's true.

We tried to cut the $150 grocery bill further, but I think that's the bare minimum we could afford without having to sacrifice the quality, quantity, and variety of food we eat.

For years, we have been experimenting and exploring ways to reduce our food budget.

Of course, with experimentation and exploration, we sometimes end up spending more.

But most of the time, we do save some money.

What You'll Learn:

I'm into telling people right away what they'll learn.

  • Tricks We Used To Keep Our Grocery Budget Unbelievably Low
  • Products That Do The Trick In Saving Us Money on Food
  • The Pre-Historic Ways To Save Money On Grocery (That works up to this day)

 

Cut Grocery Bill: Feed A Family For $150 A Month

There are tricks on how to cut grocery bill.

As many people say, if you want to save money, then, one of the best places to focus is your grocery bill. I agree with that.

Here are the steps that my family does to keep our grocery bill around $150/mo. You will see, at the end of this post, our grocery bill sample and what we buy with our food budget.

Beware: This is an ultimate list of ways to bring down your grocery bill. Don't be shocked by the volume of information discussed here but they work.

 

1. Plan and execute weekly meals.

Effectiveness Level: High

Before we do our grocery shopping, we look into our meal plan to ensure we buy the foods that would keep us within our budget.

We use the PlateJoy Plan to the dot. Suddenly, we find ourselves spending way less than what we used, too.

It is a meal planning service that sends you a super yummy meal plan and shopping list per week. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. At times, that $2 is for a full-day meal (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks).

This plan has helped us bring our monthly grocery budget down to the bare minimum. If you have tried and failed many times to control your food budget, then, this meal plan is for you.

We eat way more and way yummier for way less (see below great sample recipes below). How I wish we started using this meal plan before.

Click here now to try risk-free the PlateJoy Plan and see how this meal plan will change your life. It is remarkable.

Note: PlateJoy subscription is as low as $8.00/mo for 12 months. With the exclusive discount code PRACTICAL10 I negotiated for my readers, it's even way less. We end up paying around $7.00/mo. 

Read: 5 Sites To Make More Money Through Shopping

 

2. Automatically submit a claim and receive a refund. 

Effectiveness Level: Medium-High

Since almost everything can be bought online, it has, sometimes, become difficult to price match, which can only be done through buying from the traditional way of buying things.

Merchants like Amazon change their prices from time to time. As an Amazon fan, I buy from that site some grocery items and sometimes don't get the best prices.

I use Paribus, which helps me get my money back automatically.

If the prices of the grocery products I just purchased dip, I get the savings back.

It simplifies the process of getting the price difference. I know how terrible it is sometimes to get your money back.

Paribus will take care of all the grunt work while you relax and focus on doing other important things.

Trying to get your money back, which could take hours, can now be done in a few minutes automatically (even when you're asleep). Read Paribus Review: Can This App Save You Money? for more information.

Click here to start using Paribus for FREE.

 

3. Don't pay full price when you shop.

My wife and I make sure we buy things on sale and when there are coupons for those items.  When you are on a tight budget (like we are in) or want to be frugal, do not go shopping without using eBates and Ibotta:

eBates – You get automatic cash back for shopping online and buying the things you already are buying.

If you're buying grocery items on Amazon or any grocery shopping online, always go through eBates first to get to the specific sites you want to go. eBates gives you 2-10% cash back.

Sometimes, it will double the cash back. So, you'll be looking at 4-20% cash back.

Ibotta – With Ibotta, you just need to save your Walmart, grocery, and other store receipts and just scan them.

You then earn cash back on your shopping trips, and that's it!

Plus, if you sign up via my link, you'll receive an extra $10 when you try Ibotta, and you'll also get $5 more for each friend you refer.

Between these two, we cut our grocery bill by $200 in cash back and bonuses.

It's our solution to earning extra money without exerting extra effort. I know you will love these apps, too. No doubt about that.

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4. Don't make meals that are just too complicated. 

Effectiveness Level: High

Not making complicated meals is one of the best ways on how to cut grocery bill dramatically.

When I say complicated I mean meals that have a long list of ingredients.

As much as possible, stick with the basic ingredients since you can use these for other dishes. Basic ingredients are those that you use a lot of times.

Uncomplicating your meals can easily cut grocery bill.

If you need ¼ cup of tomato sauce and bought a 1 cup tomato sauce and don’t know where to use the rest, you may end up putting it to waste. Not good at all.

There are a ton of great recipes that mostly use basic ingredients. You can always go to All Recipes, Pinterest, and Yummly for some great dishes.

You can always use crock pots to create your perfect meal without using a lot of ingredients and spend too much time in the kitchen.

My other blog “The Handy Foodie” has numerous recipes that only require 5 or fewer ingredients.

You should check it out when you have the time or in need of great recipes on a low budget.

I recommend the following cookbooks with recipes that can easily be created without spending too much money.

These are the recipes we keep on hand in case we want something different from to time:

 

 

one income family budget thanksgiving budget bad investing habits

 

5. Re-invent and use leftovers.

Effectiveness Level: High

As much as we want to eat everything that my wife cooks, we just end up having leftovers.

We sometimes intentionally do this because it’s much cheaper, more convenient, and easier to cook more than less.

When we have leftovers, we re-invent them to create a new dish and use them as my lunch for the next day.

For example, when we have baked chicken leftover, we create chicken pot pie using such leftover.

Good for me because I take the chicken pot pie to work as lunch.

Re-inventing leftovers can be tricky, but it doesn't always have to be. Check out these recipe books for some ideas:

Try: Personal Loan Calculator

 

6. Don't throw vegetable scraps or bones.

Effectiveness Level: Medium-High

One of the things that causes a big jump in your grocery budget is likely food waste.

In America, 50% of all produce is thrown away. Yikes, that's significant percentage by any standard.

Be creative with your food and don't just throw them away because they are leftovers, scraps, and the likes.

If you are a veggie lover but don't like the skins, you can store the skins in a zip lock bag and eventually use all the scraps you saved to make vegetable stock.

If you happen to have chicken bones, beef bones, or pork bones, use them to make chicken, beef, or pork stock or use these bones in other dishes.

If you do use them in other recipes, your foods will taste even better because these bones are packed with a ton of flavor.

You paid for those veggies and meat. So, you might as well use every single part of them.

Read: One Trick That Saves My Family $250/Month on Groceries

 

7. Plant even if it means throwing the seed aimlessly.

Effectiveness Level: Medium-High

This is the primitive technique of saving money on grocery.

If you have space in your backyard, then, use it for planting veggies and fruits. Many times, you don't necessarily have to plant. You can just throw the seeds and let nature take care of the rest.

By doing this, you are becoming self-sustaining when it comes to veggies and fruits, and you get endless produce for months to come.

My family likes to plant. We just harvested a couple of big squashes and several pounds of Okra. The picture you see below is my daughter in our garden.

If you happen to have space, then, do it. Seeds only cost a dollar at the Dollar Store or similar stores.

You know the best benefit of planting your veggies?

The best benefit is that you exactly know what you use to help your plants grow. You can call them organic veggies and fruits if you choose to let nature do its magic. 🙂

plants and vegetables

 

8. Use coupons. 

Effectiveness Level: High

Even when the products are on sale, we avoid buying impulsively.

We tend not to buy items when we don’t have coupons for them. Just because a product is on sale doesn’t mean that it’s a good buy.

What I observed from years of couponing is that sometimes some stores will bring up the prices of the products before discounting them.

Many shoppers, being unaware of this trick, think that they are getting good deals out of these products.

My wife and I use  SavingStar.

It not only provides printable grocery coupons but also grocery discounts and gift cards you can't find elsewhere. How I wish we found this a long time ago.

With SavingStar,  you don't have to clip coupons to save. You can save money as long as your store card is connected to your SavingStar App.

What's better is that it provides valuable information on grocery shopping, cooking, healthy eating, coupon clipping, saving money,  and more.

Create an account here and start saving money with SavingStar.

SavingStar

My wife and I always wait when the products are on sale and when we have coupons for them. If we miss the deal, we know that there’s another sale that will come shortly.

So, we wait until the sale comes around and we have coupons for those products we like to purchase.

We don't become impulsive buyers when these so-called “Sales”, “Promotions”, or something else come up.

Some stores will double your coupons’ value. When the products are on sale, and you have coupons that can be doubled, then, you are looking at great savings.

If you want to learn how to coupon, I recommend you check out these books:

Read: Is Blogging For You? The Truths About Blogging

 

9. Compare your food expenses with other people's food expenses. 

Effectiveness Level: Medium-High

Be nozy for the right reasons.

When you can and if you know people with the same family size, ask them how much they spend.

If you find people who spend way less than you spend, ask them for tips and tricks.

One of the things I realized when we started cutting our budget was that my wife and I were not alone in our quest to cut down our food budget.

So, we (i.e., our friends and us) shared our experiences, budgets, etc.

Personally, I learned so many ways to trim down our food budget from them. The lessons I learned are notated in some of the tips and tricks here.

Never be shy to ask your friends and families how much they spend on food. It may sound like a personal question, but you are just asking for valuable information.

The worse they will say is “No. I won't be able to help you.”

You can also use the dynamic budget breakdown screen by Smart Asset (above) to identify how much your budget looks like compared to the budget of those families in your surrounding area.

It's a pretty good budget breakdown comparison if you ask me.

When I used it, it showed that my family spends $330 less than other people.

 

10. Shop around for sales.

Effectiveness Level: High

One of the best ways to cut grocery cost is to shop when foods are on sale whether they are online or in-store.

We buy what is on sale.

With so many recipes online and so many grocery stores that advertise sales every week, chances are you can find something that you like to eat.

I know we do.

If the product is on deep discount, then, we tend to buy in bulk as long as the product is non-perishable or something that doesn’t expire fast.

Again, you can also take advantage of the benefits of having Paribus.

As you know, prices of the same products change all the time. Paribus gets you money back when prices drop.

You don't have to go back to store, drive miles after miles, look for your receipts, spend money on gas, etc. to get pricing matching when prices drop. Paribus will make your life easier. Don't you like that?

For the past couple of months, my wife and I have saved more than $500 just by using Paribus.

So, with Paribus, if the product is already discounted and gets another markdown,  Paribus will get your money when the price drops. Ain't that cool.

Click here to create an account with Paribus and take yourself away from the hassle of getting money back.

 

11. Learn the prices of the products.

Effectiveness Level: High

We learn to cut grocery bill of ours by determining the prices of products.

Prices of grocery products may or will change from time to time.

For us, when we know that the prices are high even when the products are on sale, we don’t put those products in our cart. It’s just that simple.

When you do your grocery shopping, and you buy the same exact stuff almost all the time, you get to know how much they cost and when they are priced high or low.

Read: Earn Thousands A Year: The Most Comprehensive Survey Sites Lists You May Ever See

 

12. Avoid loading your dish with meat.

Effectiveness Level: High

Meat can be or is expensive. To cut grocery bill, you need to limit the amount of meat in a dish.

When you cook, try not to make the meat as the main ingredient of your dish.

Use less meat in a recipe. This goes to say that you should use more vegetables and less meat.

When you do this, you make the meat as an accent to your dish. Vegetables especially the in-season ones are cheap, and they are healthy, too.

Better yet, put the amount of meat that meets your dietary requirements. You don't need to overload your body with proteins.

We always buy in-season veggies and fruits since they are cheaper than those that aren't in-season. I suggest that you consider purchasing in-season products.

If you think there aren't a lot of vegetable dishes you can make with simple ingredients, think again. There are a ton out there. Check out the following recipe books dedicated to just vegetable recipes:

Read: Income Reports: How I Made Over $30,000 In A Year From Blogging

 

13. Use the secret power of Amazon (i.e., AmazonFresh).

Effectiveness Level: High

Amazon is one of the best companies regarding getting products at discounted prices. It's AmazonFresh is no exception.

A lot of its fresh produce is reasonably priced compared with those in stores.

If you like organic produce and cook from scratch (i.e., not buying pre-packaged foods), then, you know buying ingredients in-store is not cheap.

We buy vegetables and fruits all the time there, and the quality of these products are beyond outstanding.

That's where AmazonFresh comes in.

Ever since we started using AmazonFresh, we've saved at least 15% on our fresh produce bill per month.

The best thing about AmazonFresh is that the produce gets delivered in front of your home within 1-2 days.

If you're looking to save on produce, create an account with AmazonFresh. As a starter, you'll get a 7-day FREE trial. With the power of Amazon behind AmazonFresh, that free trial means a lot.

 

Final thoughts:

These are the ways on how to reduce grocery bill dramatically in a short period.

Whether you want to know how to cut your grocery bill without coupons or want to make money by spending money, the list I provided above can help you with what you need to bring down your grocery costs.

Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any other questions. I am here to help. Thanks.

Other resources: how to cut grocery bill and still eat healthy

Example of My Family's Weekly Food Choices:

A couple of years ago, our grocery bill for the 3 of us was around $500.00/month, which was a lot. We came from Las Vegas where food was cheap, but it’s a different scenario where we live now.

But we have managed to cut down our grocery bill to $150.00/month by planning meals, finding alternatives to many expensive ingredients, planting our veggies, among others.

When I wrote the How To Save At Least $14,000 A Year, Alexandra (one of my readers) asked me what on earth am I feeding my family on $150/month. Here’s my response to her.

“Here’s how we budget our meals (on average):
6lbs of chicken @ $1.99/lb – $11.94
4 lbs of chicken thighs/drumsticks @ $1.88/lb – $7.52
5 lbs of ground beef @ $2.89/lb – $14.45
1 lb of Shrimp – $6.00 (on and off meaning sometimes we do have shrimp every week sometimes we don’t)
Veggies and fruits – $8.00 (just because we have veggies planted)
Breakfast (i.e., oatmeal, pancake, peanut butter, egg, bread, and milk) – $7.50 (roughly because our oatmeal, peanut butter, and pancake are something that we don’t buy every week but more like every two weeks).
Misc food (i.e., flour and spices) – $5.00 (this is not an every week supply).

Total – $60.00ish minus coupons*

Note: We tend to have some unused foods by the end of the week, and the $60 is the highest amount we budget for our family. 

Read:

We can feed our family for $150 or less. Do you think it will work for your family? What have you done to cut grocery bill?

 

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