There are plenty of guides out there telling you how to cut your grocery bill, so what makes this one different?
Well it’s simple…
You see, I’m not going to tell you how to reduce your grocery bill in this post. That’s what everyone else is doing. And frankly, it doesn’t seem to be working for you.
Instead, I’m going to show you exactly what I’ve done to cut my family’s grocery bill by almost $10,000 a year.
Then you can steal my secrets and make them work for your family too.
Why am I doing this?
Because giving you real, actionable action steps is a lot more helpful than telling you that “family dinnertime” can save you money. Like seriously, that’s just dumb.
You also won’t see one word about couponing in this post either (other than this instance).
I tried that. But it got me so frustrated that I ended up running over a family of ants with my car. Screw couponing! (Sorry, that’s the last “C” word I promise).
Alright. Let’s jump in.
How to Cut Your Grocery Bill by 90% and Still Eat Healthy
Before you continue, I have a confession to make…
Our monthly grocery bill used to be about $1315.88 for a family of four. That means I was paying $328.97 per person.
But after implementing the strategies I’m about to show you, our bill is now $484.77 per month, which works out to $121.19 per person.
As you can see it’s not quite 90%. It’s more like 63.16%. So I apologize for misleading you.
This doesn’t mean that 90% reduction isn’t possible. It totally is. I’ve got a few friends who have done it. However, I’m happy with our current expenses and that’s all that matters.
Anyway, I’m sure you wouldn’t complain about saving an extra $800+ every month though, right?
Then keep reading to learn…
The Best Ways to Cut Grocery Costs
Some of these tips may shock you. And it’s easy to say “I can’t do that” or “it’s not possible” or whatever excuse you can imagine.
But instead of being negative, think about how you can apply what you’re about to learn to benefit your own situation.
1. Plan to eat and eat what you plan
Like most people we were pretty lax and spontaneous when it came to our daily meals. And while this may work if you have a personal chef, it does nothing for your grocery bill. So creating a monthly meal plan made sense.
If you think about it, we have a plan for most aspects of our life. You know your work schedule, kids school and activity schedule, appointments, etc. There’s no guess work and the predictability is awesome.
So after analyzing each of our favorite foods and overall health goals, I created our family’s meal plan. But it’s not your typical boring meal plan. No, our meal plan changes every 3 months and it’s semi-predictable and fresh.
The inspiration came from my rewards credit card.
You see, my credit card has these special categories that change every quarter with different offers. And that gives me access to new rewards.
So I did the same thing with our meal plan.
And the best part is… it’s 100% automated.
At the end of every quarter I get a curated grocery list and meal plan delivered via email. The meal plan gets posted in the kitchen and we use the list to shop for the groceries we need.
Ultimately, my little meal plan system keeps me from doing manual planning, creates healthy meals based on our favorite foods, and generates a grocery shopping list. All while saving me an average of $800 a month.
Not bad, eh?
2. Get paid for your grocery store runs
Are you for real?
As real as your ridiculously high grocery bill!
Look, I know it sounds like baloney but I promise you it isn’t.
You see, there’s this company called Ibotta and they’ll throw cash at you for snapping pics of your grocery bills.
Still lost? Then I-betta explain Ibotta to you LOL…
After we make our grocery runs, we use the FREE Ibotta app to take pictures of all our receipts and scan the barcodes of our purchases.
Then just like that, Ibotta makes it rain on us (translation: we earn cash back).
But wait, there’s more…
You can get an extra $10 right now just for downloading Ibotta and scanning your first receipt. Click here to get this bonus offer.
Want even more money and savings?
Tell your friends about Ibotta to help them shop smarter, and you’ll earn $5 for each referral.
3. Cut your grocery bill by shopping online
My family loves Amazon. We use it for a lot of things – movies, household supplies, gifts, and even groceries.
Seriously, if you don’t have Amazon Prime, you’re missing out! Like really, who doesn’t have Prime?
I definitely recommend it. You can get a free 30-day trial here.
Now let me tell you how we actually earn cash shopping for groceries online.
There’s this service called Rakuten. And basically, it lets you get cash back on anything from groceries to an entire travel vacation. It’s amazing. It’s like Ibotta on steroids!
All we do is visit Amazon (or another online store) and buy the items we want. Then at the end of every quarter, Rakuten sends us the cash we earned.
And the best part? There are no stupid points, fees, or forms. The sign-up process is very easy.
Rakuten is 100% free. Most smart people are already using it. And you can too.
Click here to join Rakuten and get a $10 cash bonus.
4. Grocery shop like a billionaire
How do you think people get rich?
By being stingy with their money and shopping around for deals, that’s how.
Yes they can probably spend more in a year on groceries than your entire net worth. But that’s not the point.
The point is to steal their habits and understanding of money.
You see, we’ve developed the habit of taking advantage of sales whenever possible. There’s no need to pay full price for an item whose price gets jacked up like a hot pharmaceutical drug.
A great example of this is certain canned foods. Our local chain grocery store charges $1.99 for a popular can of soup. But we get that same soup elsewhere for $0.67 a can. Hmmm.
We’re also not brand whores. Some store branded products are actually no different than the leading brand. So we take advantage of the savings – unless quality is pretty suspect.
And here’s another secret about store sales…
If you pay full price on an item and the price drops, you can get your money back. And you can do it even if you’re sleeping like a baby at 1AM.
How is this possible? Well we do it with an app called Paribus.
Basically, you scan your receipts with the app. Then Paribus tracks prices and checks it against your purchases. If there’s a difference, Paribus negotiates a refund on your behalf.
And the beauty is, you don’t have to do a thing. Just than sit back and enjoy your refunds.
When we first started using the app it saved us $740 in a few months. And it’s been saving us hundreds on groceries ever since.
Does Paribus sounds like something you need in your life? If so, then you can click here to get it now for FREE.
5. Charge your groceries for rewards
I mentioned earlier that I have a rewards credit card. It’s actually the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card. I use this card for all my grocery purchases and earn 2% cash back every time.
That may not seem like much to you but it’s a no brainer for me. Here’s why…
If I’m spending around $484.77 per month on groceries (forget the 3-month cycle for now), then I’ll be earning $9.70 in rewards every month. And while it’s not exactly on par with Uncle Scrooge’s fortune, it’s way more than $0.00.
Plus that’s just for groceries. My credit card also gives me 3% cash back on gas and 1% on everything else. So I make sure I take full advantage of all those perks.
BTW… you don’t need a credit card.
But if you’re going to use one for most of your shopping, wouldn’t it be great to earn some cash back?
CAUTION: Consumers and credit cards are like fuel and fire, they make a deadly combination. Therefore, I do not recommend getting a credit if you’re buried in debt or are as responsible as a toddler. You need to get rid of your debt first and learn to be financially responsible. Otherwise, just stick to cash and save yourself from future financial ruin.
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6. Stop playing Grocery Store Crush
Raise your hand if you have a sweet tooth.
Ha… you and I should be besties!
I’ve always been a sucker for sweet treats and snacks. I’d find excuses to go to a grocery or convenient store a bunch of times during the week. I’m too embarrassed to say how many.
Then one day my wife told me I was “getting a belly”. Naturally, I did what any normal guy would do…
I hugged her and thanked her for marrying me before I let myself go.
She was not amused.
She then tried to get our family doctor to scare me to better health. We ended up discussing basketball instead (doc is a family friend).
Again, wifey was not amused.
It wasn’t until I asked my accountant for some extra money saving tips that I finally changed my ways.
You see, when I asked her the question, she made a joke that I could start by cutting back on my craving expenses.
I laughed and told her there’s no way that would make a difference. Then she showed me the amount…
How much was it?
Let’s just say that I could have gotten my wife two pairs of red bottom pumps. But shhh, don’t tell her that.
Moral of the story is…
Your penchant for snacking and subsequent grocery store trips is probably costing more than you think. So you might want to reassess that habit.
The good news is my wife and I are both happy. Her for my health and me for the huge savings.
Yeah, my priorities are questionable. I’m a miser and a cheapskate, so what?
7. Make money for food feedback
Do you often have opinions about certain foods?
Well, companies will pay you to find out what’s on your mind.
I’ll be honest, I don’t have as much to say about food as I do finance. But my wife… she can prattle for days.
In fact, she’s the one who heard about these companies from her friends.
Apparently one of them was making an extra $1000 a month just doing surveys about food online.
At first I was suspect and thought it was a scam.
But then I looked into it and discovered that there’s a huge niche market built on food surveys, food panels, and conferences. This is largely made up of consumers and is backed by food companies.
It’s kind of a win-win scenario. The food companies get much needed data about their products, and consumers get access to better products in the future as well as compensation for their feedback.
My wife only does surveys because panels and conferences require time and effort. With online surveys, she has the luxury of doing them while watching TV at night or chilling on the weekend with wine.
In fact, she even got our daughter hooked on surveys too. So now it’s a mother and daughter hobby (Fortnite owns my son’s soul).
As of this post, they’re making about $320+ a month. Not bad for the dynamic duo.
If you’re wondering how that affects our grocery bill, the answer is – it doesn’t.
Only 5% gets put into the grocery fund. The rest goes into a savings fund for our kids.
Anyway if you’d like to try this for yourself, the site my wife and daughter use is called Survey Junkie.
It’s the highest rated and most reputable online survey company with almost 10 million members.
You can click here to start making extra cash with Survey Junkie.
8. Create your own Garden of Eden (minus the sin)
One of my favorite quotes about gardening comes from the great Roman orator, who said…
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
Growing up in a poor country, farming and books were pretty much staples in my environment. So when it comes to gardening, it’s as natural as breathing for me.
Before I had a house, I’d grow a few herbs in my apartment along with a couple plants. But once I got married and got a home with a backyard, I was able to do a lot more than herbs.
Now I grow tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, basil, parsley, and mint.
It’s actually been years since I bought any of those things.
In fact, my garden doesn’t just save my family money. It saves three of my neighbors as well.
And no, I don’t charge them for it because the costs are negligible and foods like this should be free.
When people hear I grow my own vegetables they always ask how I find time and patience to do it. It’s like they picture me on my hands and knees toiling in the sun all day.
But alas, it’s a common misconception about gardening. People think it’s a ton of work and not worth it.
Yes, growing complex food is hard work. However, the veggies I grow are very simple and low maintenance. Even a monkey tossing seeds around and letting nature do its thing can have a garden like mine, maybe better. But I digress.
The bottom line is: it saves me money with minimal effort.
9. Reuse food
Did you know that Americans waste $218 billion worth of food each year?
If that’s too hard for you to comprehend then let me put it another way…
Americans throw away $2,000 every year for no damn reason!
Now I’m not going to lecture you on your personal finances. That’s on you to figure out. However, when it comes to food waste and saving on groceries, here’s what my family does…
- Leftovers: some of our meals allow for leftovers which means we usually have a 2 to 3 day supply of food available. Sometimes we freeze the leftovers or we eat the same thing on consecutive days.
- Scraps: this all depends on the type of scraps. Things like egg shells and other compostable food items get used in my garden. Whereas bread, meat bones, etc, get turned into other dishes like soups.
- Everything else: anything that we can’t reuse in some way gets disposed of sustainably. This type of waste goes on to be converted into energy, food for animals, or whatever else people smarter than I find to protect the environment.
I don’t do these things because I’m a treehugger or Earth activist. I do them because I want to, and because I know that where I come from… $2,000 can feed a family of four for two years!
10. Bulk up and freeze
Buying in bulk isn’t a revolutionary concept. Most savvy grocery shoppers already do it.
We usually stock up on things like milk, baking goods, butter, and other canned stuff whenever necessary at our go-to store: Costco.
Warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s give consumers the opportunity to buy stuff they normally use at reasonable prices.
If you don’t have access to any of them, just find a similar store in your city. It may be a discount store or even a grocery store.
I’ve had my Costco membership for almost a decade now and I love it.
However, it isn’t one of the best investments I’ve ever made. No, that honor goes to the huge cold-storage unit in my garage.
Yup. I’m talking about the big ass standing freezer I bought.
We use it for leftovers, bulk items with expiration dates that can be frozen, meats, and more.
I know some people balk at the idea of freezing stuff like milk but I don’t care. The freezer was totally worth it.
In fact, with the money you’re going to save on groceries, you might as well invest in a freezer.
But don’t get carried away though, it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Our freezer cost less than $600, which is much cheaper than your smartphone.
If you want to get one for yourself, I recommend the Frigidaire Standing Freezer. It’s the one I have. You can order it online and they’ll deliver and install it for you.
Click here for more details about the Frigidaire freezer.
The Bottom Line About Reducing Your Grocery Bill
Like I said at the beginning of this post, these are the exact methods I’ve used to successfully cut my family’s grocery bill expenses.
And I’ve been able to do it without crazy stuff like spending more time in the kitchen, eating junk food, or whatever other bullshit advice there is.
Everything in this post is fairly simple.
Now obviously I can’t promise that cutting your grocery bill is going to be easy. I’d be lying if I did that.
For instance, if you’re all like “I don’t eat leftovers, that’s gross”… well then that’s on you boo.
At the end of the day, you’ve got to assess your own situation and determine just how much – and how bad – you want to cut your grocery bill.
If you’re thinking that you’ll do it overnight, you’re on crack!
It took a lot of effort, small changes, and sacrifice for us to save thousands of dollars on groceries.
It might take you a few weeks or months to get accustomed to any changes you make. But the key is to be consistent and stay the course.
If it helps, you can think of how much money you’ll be saving in the future.
So don’t give up. You can do it. I’ve just shown you how I did it to help you learn how.
Now I’m going to ask you to help me out by sharing this post across the Internet. All you have to do is click those buttons below before you go.
So go ahead and do that now.
P.S. – If you lower your grocery bill and want to tell others about it, you’re welcome to submit your story to be featured in our Dime Dish series. You can do that here.