Groceries On A $50 Budget
A big part of being a mom is grocery shopping and making sure your family is fed. If you are like me, then you really want to make sure your family is well fed and have food available at all times. The challenge with that is making sure there is plenty of food available when you are on a tight budget. I have some ideas to share about how to get groceries on a $50 budget each week.
Just keep reading! You can’t pass up a $50 grocery bill that will feed your whole family!
Let me start by saying that reaching a point of purchasing groceries for $50 (or less!) took a lot of tears and sweat, LITERALLY. There were days that I would go grocery shopping with my game face on and came back home in tears because once again the groceries went over budget. I thought I had everything together, everything planned out, had my game plays mapped out, and was armed with a stack of coupons. I was going to come back home feeling like a CHAMP!
I actually came back home feeling like a failure. There was no use.
Why was I trying so hard to be like those moms that bought up almost the entire store and only paid $2.38 for their grocery bill?!?! Clearly that was all make-believe. Or something was missing in their “so-called” explanation of how they did it. Or I was missing something. But I had to do something because my grocery bill rounding up to be about $200 a WEEK!!! When I was growing up, I remember my mom paying about $100 per week on groceries for 4 of us! Why was mine so high??? What was I getting???
Even though I continued to feel like a failure, I did have some success. I had couple weeks where I would several products for the price of one by matching coupons and sales. But this didn’t work with EVERYTHING I needed to purchase. And I didn’t want to buy extra things just because they were on sale and had coupons when I really didn’t need it or I don’t even use that particular product. That was my first mistake with couponing. I would buy things I didn’t even need or use just because I had a coupon for it. Apparently, I didn’t think that through!
But now I purchase everything I need for the week to keep my family fed and nourished.
1- I shop only at ONE store. It was too stressful, exhausting, and time-consuming to travel all over town going from store to store trying to find the best deals. I get everything I need from one place. Continue reading to find out more about where I shop!
2- Plan your meals for the week. I think about what I may have taste for or ask my husband what all he wants to eat in the coming week so that I can plan out a meal plan for the week. Now that AJ is eating table food, I include his meals, too, and consider planning meals that we can share with him. Once I plan out what I’m going to cook for the week, I check the fridge, freezer, and pantry and decide what all I need to add to the grocery list in order to have everything for the meals.
I also plan about 2 or 3 meals for the week so that the meals are large enough for leftovers! That means one meal will last 2 days! So, I’m not cooking every single day. Who has time for that anyway?!?! I work with middle schoolers all day! I am exhausted by the time I get home, so cooking full meals everyday is just out of the question! But cooking large meals 2-3 times a week is a life-saver! There are days that I get to come home, heat up a plate of a home-cooked meal, and relax and enjoy!
The large meals that I cook are also…actually…pretty…EASY! I LOVE slow cooker meals! I will post recipes in my “What’s Cooking” section, but I like things like chicken alfredo pasta, BBQ chicken and macaroni, and Italian chicken and rice! All of these are SUPER EASY to make, takes only minutes to prepare and the slow cooker does the rest! I also cook things like spaghetti, chili, or rice and veggies. These meals do not require a lot of ingredients and the ingredients you do need do not cost a lot! Plus, you can get lots for very cheap!!!
3- Make a grocery list throughout the week. This is those of you who, like me, forget what all you need to buy, buy things that you don’t need but it looks so good on the shelf and you feel you need it in your life, or you buy things that you could use, but don’t need it for the current week (probably won’t need it for another month!). I have an app on my phone (Shopping List) where I keep my grocery list. As the week goes by, I add things to this list for the next grocery shop so I won’t forget later. For example, if I see we are running low on eggs, I be sure to add eggs to the list as soon as I can. When it’s time for me to shop for groceries, what all we are running low on is already on the list and I’m ready to shop!
The grocery list also helps me to stick with just what I need to get and nothing extra. I’m not grocery shopping and trying to guess what all I need or how much of something I need. The ingredients for my planned meals are already on the list, so I get everything I need for my meals and don’t have to worry about preparing to cook something and realize I am missing an ingredient. I HATE THAT!!! Make a list and stick to it!
4- Use apps! I have 3 apps that I absolutely LOVE for grocery shopping! One is Coupons.com app. This is where I look for coupons for the items I need and use. I look at expiration dates because I may not need to get particular items right away, but I can save the coupon for when I need it. You can choose your favorite stores, clip coupons, and add coupons to your rewards cards, debit card, or print them out!
Another app I use is ibotta! I love this app because you get cash back for items you buy! Simply buy your groceries, search the app for items you bought, scan the item’s barcode, scan the receipt, and vuala! Instant cash back added to your account! You can get from 25¢ to $10 on single items!!! Plus, you can add your friends, and as you all scan your groceries and get cash back, you all get closer to getting EXTRA cash back rewards!!! Now, that’s serious grocery shopping teamwork!!!
My absolute favorite app for grocery shopping is Flipp. On flipp, you can go through and browse sale papers for just about any store you can think of!!! Browse the sales papers on your phone! AND it will show you if items in the sale papers also have coupons to go with them!!! That means you can find sales and coupons for particular items at certain stores all in ONE PLACE!!! I don’t get a newspaper so being able to check the sales papers so easily BEFORE heading out to the stores is AWESOME!!! To add to this, you can add a grocery list by going to the grocery list tab or SCANNING your list and flipp will match any sales and coupons with the items on your list!!! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!! Saving money just got real!!!
5- Know how to coupon! This is what I am still learning how to do to its fullest potential. But if you do not know how to coupon to the point that you can buy 100 items and only spend 13¢, stick to the basics. Use coupons on things you need and use regularly. Match them with sales for extra money off the price. Follow store policies on coupons and read the fine print! For really good deals, stock up!!!
6- Shop store brands. The store brands are cheaper. My advice, however, is to not compromise the quality of your food. If the store brand is of terrible quality, just get the name brand or the cheapest brand with good quality. Saving money but your meals are now disgusting is not a win to me. Saving money and your meals taste like a gourmet chef prepared them is what I call a WIN-WIN!!!
7- Buy meats in bulk. I buy my meats in the bags. They are the store brands and they last me for weeks. That means I only have to buy meat once or twice a month! I usually get meats like chicken breast, chicken thighs, chicken wings, chicken legs, and bags of salmon. I get ground beef as needed. A 3-4lb bag of meat will give me about 2 meals. Plus, it’s even cheaper than getting the trays that will only give me enough meat for one meal!
8- Shop for groceries from the comfort of your home! I have actually quit shopping in stores for groceries. I get all of my groceries through Wal-Mart Grocery online! I had heard about it a few times and thought it was just some silly way to get you to sign up for something. Like you could actually order your groceries online and you drive up and they load your groceries for you!! Yeah right!!! Well, that is EXACTLY how it works!!!
I saw a couple on youtube trying it and thought that would be so cool!! I have two Wal-Marts in my area and didn’t believe either one was doing the online grocery. To my surprise they ARE!!! So, I went online and tried it. I ordered my groceries, set my pick up time, got a call when my groceries were ready for pick up, drove to Wal-Mart, they loaded the groceries, and back home I went! SO EASY!!! And no worrying about a crying baby because I’m taking too long picking out which sauces or spices to get!
Wal-mart Grocery is not only convenient, but it helps me keep my budget in check! I can remove or add items before I check out and keep my balance where I want it. Sometimes I do go over because I have to get non-grocery items like detergent or DIAPERS (I’m researching how to get those for CHEAP!). Sometimes, I do so well with my groceries, that I end up having enough for the next week! My last grocery bill was about $38!!! I can look up items and add the cheapest one to my cart. Be sure to pay attention to the package sizes, too! I made the mistake of thinking I was getting a case of bottled water for cheap when in actuality, they were TINY cans!!! Ughhh!!!
Wal-Mart Grocery helps me stick to my list, and if I go over budget, I will know before I make the purchase and can take the items that are not really a need out of my cart. You can also “favorite” items that you get regularly and easily add them to your cart as soon as you begin your online grocery shop! You can also choose which items you want substituted if they are out. For example, if I order a family size box of Cheerios, but the store is out, they will replace it for a GIANT size box or two regular size boxes of Cheerios for the same price that I paid for the family size!!! Or if it’s something that they do not have at all, they will refund your money for that item.
Another nice plus is that they give you a FREE goodie bag with FREE items at each pick up!!!!
You can order your groceries HERE and get $10 off your total bill NOW with Wal-Mart Grocery!!!!!
Thanks for reading!!!
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Have a SUPER day!!!
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