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

This “ Cut Grocery Bill: Feed A Family For $150 A Month” post describes what my wife and I do that allows us to feed our family for just $150 per month. We are three in the family. Basically, we spend less than $5/day per person. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy

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 5 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.

Truth of the matter is, when we thought we wouldn’t be able to cut grocery bill, we were able to reduce it.

Thanks to a number of different factors.

We tried to further cut the $150 grocery bill 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.

Read:

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

There are tricks on how to cut grocery bill.

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

I totally agree with that.

Here are the steps that my family does to reduce our grocery bill per month.

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 on the volume of information discussed here but they work.

 

1. Make better grocery decisions.

Effectiveness Level: High

Cutting grocery bill for good starts with making the right grocery decisions. It’s easier said than done, right? Absolutely.

Making those decisions is difficult especially when you don’t know where to begin and/or  where you are making those mistakes.

In reality, we sometimes just need another set of eyes to help us figure out what we are doing wrong so we can make better decisions. That also applies to cutting our grocery bill.

There are two ways to get the help you need for FREE. First, ask for it from people close to you. They can give you direct advice and actionable tips/tricks.

Second, use products/services that provide recommendations based solely on actual data. My family has been using Spentapp and we love it. It is FREE, user-friendly, remarkable, and it gets the job done.

It automatically analyzes our expenses to see where we make mistakes and give us financial recommendations so we can make positive changes.

For those who feel like keeping their grocery habits in private or need more than one set of eyes, Spentapp is your best companion.

Best of all, it gives us money for simply spending money. It gives us up to 45% cash back on many things (see my account’s image below).

If our yearly (non) food bill is $5,000 and the cash back is 20%, we get roughly $1,000 back. That’s savings there. Who’s going to give you $1,000 that easy?

With much help from Spentapp, we were able to make great decisions that ultimately helped us pay off our $40K debt and saved $70K all in 2.5 years. Click here for the full story.

Spentapp is a game changer for us. It helps us figure out what we can do to stay in our food budget. With Spentapp, we get the advice we need and make money, too. It’s a double win for us. It could be for you as well. I call it amazing.

Click here to instantly get Spentapp for FREE, and start saving and making money on groceries and just about everything.

spent app

Note: For every qualified purchase, you get % of cash back. With Spentapp, you can earn up to 45% cash back. Plus, you get to organize  your expenses and let Spentapp do its magic and make financial decisions for you to consider. Click here to start using Spentapp

 

2. 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 $5 Meal Plan to the dot. Suddenly, we found ourselves spending way less than hat we used, too.

This plan has helped us bring our monthly grocery budget down to the bare minimum. It is simply amazing. How I wish I found this a long time ago. 

If you have tried and failed many times to control your food budget, then, this meal plan is for you. It’s super easy to follow. Best of all, it works like a magic.

Click here now to try $5 Meal Plan and see how this meal plan will change your life. It is remarkable.

We also make sure that we plan our meals for the upcoming week based on the weekly sales. There a ton of websites that publish weekly sales ads even before the stores publish them.

One of my most favorite sites for weekly sales ad information is Living Rich With Coupons. I know there are a ton out there but this is always my first stop before we do our grocery shopping.

If you ever go to a grocery store without a plan or even a list, what do you think happens? You may either end up not buying the things you need, buying more than what you need, or a combination of both.

When you plan your meals and know exactly what you need, you reduce the chance of buying or spending more.

Read: 5 Sites To Make More Money Through Shopping

 

one income family budget thanksgiving budget bad investing habits

 

3. Compare your food expenses with other people’s food expenses. 

Effectiveness Level: Medium-High

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.

 

4. Automatically submit a claim and receive refund. 

Effectiveness Level: Medium-High

Since almost everything can be bought online, it has, sometimes, become difficult to take advantage of price matching and other money saving strategies that can only be done through buying from the traditional way of buying things.

I know you’ll agree with me when I say that’s somewhat the dilemma of a lot of people but it shouldn’t be. Do you know you can still save money even after you’ve made your purchase already?

We’ve been using Paribus lately and it’s been a miracle. Paribus keeps track of the prices of the items we purchase and put a claim for refund on our behalf when prices drop. It’s that simple.

We manage to our cut grocery cost just by using this app. My wife and I have received refunds of over $70 in 2 months because of ParibusThat’s $70 without us lifting a single finger. It’s that easy.

Click here to start getting money back with Paribus without putting any effort.

Also, be sure to use those credit cards that give you cash back, points, and/or rewards. We only use two credit cards.

We use Discover Card and it gives us over $300 in cash back every year on our purchases. We use this card mostly for basic purchases of our necessities (i.e. food, clothing, and gas). Plus, we get free FICO score, and ever-increasing credit limit, which is good to increase our credit score.

Open an account here to experience the benefits Discover Card offers.

We also use our Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. It works like our Discover Card but we use this for big purchases that we can stagger the payments without having to pay interest.

Plus, we get 3% of most of our purchases plus product warranty, car insurance coverage, and so many things.

This year alone, we have made $800 (see image below) from cash backs and deals with our American Express. Click here to experience all benefits this card has to offer.

These app, add-on, and great credit cards save us over $2,000 every year.

Try:  Student Loan Prepayment Calculator

american express discover card

 

5. Save more by buying online. 

While in-store grocery shopping is still the means to buy groceries, more and more people buy their groceries online for reasons such as variety of choices, convenience, and others.

We used to believe that buying in-store was always cheap until companies popped up left and right like eBates and Ibotta that help people save more by buying online.

EBates gives you 2-10% of cash back depending on the merchant’s promotion while Ibotta gives you back money for purchasing items listed on its app.

Between these two, we make at least $200 between 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.

Click here to create an account with EBates and here to start using Ibotta and see the wonders these apps will bring you.

BONUS:

Now more than ever, it makes sense for us to buy things online. I know you’ll agree with this statement.

Why? It’s because we can save more doing this way instead of going to stores and hunt for sales, clearance, etc.

We’ve recently found Gumdrop and we’ve been happy with it. We save not only on grocery items but also on other purchases like clothes. Gumdrop searches coupons for me, which means I don’t have to do the heavy lifting.

If you are like me who searches everywhere to get a coupon and wish there’s a better of doing it, now you will think Gumdrop is sent from your dream land.

So far, we’ve managed to save at least $300 just by using Gumdrop when we shop online for groceries and general things without lifting a finger to go to another site for a coupon.

It saves us time and sanity. It’s like the 8th wonder of the world.

Set up a Gumdrop account now for FREE and see money gets saved one at a time without any effort.

 

6. Don’t make meals that are just too complicated. 

Effectiveness Level: High

This 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 potsto create your perfect meal without using a lot of ingredients and spending too much time in the kitchen.

My other blog “The Handy Foodie” has numerous recipes that only require 5 or less ingredients. You should check it out when you have time or in need of great recipes at 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:

 

7. 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 with 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 sale, we know that there’s another sale that will come in the near future.

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

 

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

Effectiveness Level: Medium-High

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 the 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 a space, then, do it. Seeds only cost a dollar at the Dollar Store or similar stores.

You know the best benefit of planting your own 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 doe its own magic. 🙂

plants and vegetables

 

9. 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 either re-invent them to create a new dish and/or 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

 

10. 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 big 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 dishes, 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

 

11. 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 don’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 mark down,  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.

 

12. Learn the prices of the products.

Effectiveness Level: High

We learn to cut grocery bill of ours by learning 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.

Don’t be deceived by promotions or sales. They’re just simple and plain temptations that will suck your money away from you.[/su_pullquote]

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

 

13. Avoid loading your dish with meat.

Effectiveness Level: High

Meat can be or is expensive. In order 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 your main ingredient of your dish. Use less meat in a dish. 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 really 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.

For vegetables and fruits, we always buy in-season veggies and fruits since they are cheaper. I suggest that you consider buying 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

 

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

Effectiveness Level: High

Amazon is one of the best companies in terms of getting products at discounted prices. It’s AmazonFresh is no exception.

A lot of its fresh produce are reasonably priced compared with those in stores. If you like organic produce and/or 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 with 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 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 time 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 own 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 2 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 are able to feed our family for $150 or less. Do you think it will work for your family? What have you done in order to cut grocery bill?

 

28 Comments

  1. Matt @ Distilled Dollar June 14, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  2. Level Up Money June 14, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  3. Mrs. PIE June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  4. Financial Slacker June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  5. Jennifer June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  6. Katie June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  7. Sharon June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  8. Amanda @ centsiblyrich June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
  9. Elena June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 15, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 16, 2016
  10. Brittany June 16, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 16, 2016
  11. candy June 17, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 18, 2016
  12. ZJ Thorne June 17, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 18, 2016
  13. Charles Brown June 24, 2016
    • Allan Liwanag June 25, 2016