Anonymous

Grocery tips

We are a family of four and our grocery spending is crazy. Does anyone have any suggestions for shopping cheaper than Costco? I get my paper goods there (paper towels, tissues, toilet paper) and then the frequent foods we eat at home (kids Clif bars, bananas, salads greens and raw almonds to name a few). If Target doesn’t run a gift card deal when I need it, then I buy my diapers and wipes at Costco as well. At the regular grocery store, I use digital and paper coupons but I still feel like we are spending too much even though I rarely buy meat or even too many different types of snacks. Just wondering if anyone has a better solution! Oh and I also feel that buying from Costco online costs more than going to the actual store because the prices of the things I buy are slightly higher. Although I do realize that staying out of the store usually helps to avoid “impulse” products. I’m pretty good at walking right past them, hubby is not, so I tend to shop while he is at work lol. Help please!!

  • Joanna
    May 16

    Make a weekly meal plan and grocery list and stick to it. That Costco rotisserie chicken is a staple in our home. Snacks and prepackaged foods are overpriced convenient items that I *try* to do without. Like no juice, soda or bottled water. That's just throwing money away. We gave up paper towels and napkins last year for rags and cloth napkins with the occasional paper napkin from take out.

  • Anonymous
    May 16

    We don’t keep juice or soda in the house either. Occasionally some seltzers if they’re on sale. I also use stainless steel water bottles. I wish I could give up paper towels but with two small children I feel like we are so messy, I’m constantly cleaning up. I have microfiber cloths that I need to use more often I guess!

  • Sara
    May 16

    Meal planning is so key to not overspending on groceries. Make sure that in your meal plan you use up what is in your fridge and freezer first and incorporate that into meals -- it will cut down on stuff you have to buy and prevent the stuff deep in your freezer from never getting used. Another thing is to just get used to eating leftovers. You gotta do it. It's so tempting to be like "ugh I just had that for dinner last night I don't want to have it again" but saving and eating your leftovers ensures you're not wasting food (same thing with my kids leftovers... I save them and attempt to feed for the next meal or pack in my daughter's lunch) Another good tip is to stock up when stuff is on sale and put it in your freezer or pantry. Just make sure you remember or note down what's in there so you don't forget to incorporate into a future meal plan!

  • Ali
    May 17

    I have a family of 4 and we spend about $400-500 a month on groceries... I plan our meals for the month, then shop at Aldis to buy the bulk and go to the local grocery every week for bread/milk/fruit and items I couldn’t get at Aldis It eliminates a lot of my stress of shopping with young kids by doing one big trip. I try to go in my own or take my mom to help with kids. We could spend less but I work full time and live 30-60 min from big chain stores. It isn’t worth the time/energy to me to save a little more

  • 🦋
    May 17

    Don’t know if this helps but I try to focus on not throwing food away because so much goes to waste. Also vegetables, fruits and legumes cost less than meat so we buy less meat ( chicken, fish, hamburgers).

  • JEaton
    May 17

    I also switched to primarily grocery shopping at Aldi and that has helped shave off about $100 a month from what we were spending. Also download the Ibotta app. You select items you're going to buy, scan your receipt after your shopping trip, and you can get some money back in the form of PayPal or select giftcards. There's a similar app called Getupside for gas.

  • Anonymous
    May 17

    Thanks!! I guess I really need to see what Aldi is all about. It’s fairly new to our area and I have yet to stop in there because it isn’t very conveniently located to my house.

  • Lauren
    May 17

    I love Aldi!

  • Natalie
    May 18

    I second the Ibotta app- just a little extra savings but I get gift cards all the time.

  • Shannon
    May 19

    Believe it or not the .99 stores and Dollar stores have good looking produce .. they have most staple foods also.

  • Purvi
    May 20

    We bought luxe bidet for $30- about 3 yrs ago for all 3 bathrooms. save bunch on toilet paper. We use microfiber clothes and steam vacuum for cleaning up. Less on paper towels. We dont have Aldi, but we plan 1 week or 2 weeks meals. We use Ebates, BeFrugal, and Ibotta. Getting those cash back do add up plus double coupons in ibotta helps too. If fruits about to go bad, i wash cut and freeze it right away for smoothies. No waste policy. Shop in international market if you have some. Fruits n vegetables are cheaper in those stores including spices. We dont buy cookies, candies, chocalate, chips, sodas, etc. we have frozen cookie dough. If Craving hits, We make fresh 4 warm cookies. We really focus on what we need and not we want. Hope it help.

  • Erica
    May 23

    I have found meal planning to be key. That’s made the biggest difference in our food budget. We have a spreadsheet of all our meals and pick for the week, when the sale flyers come out, then shop the sales. We’re also incorporating more vegetarian meals to cut costs. I don’t love leftovers, but it’s helpful for lunch for the hubby.

  • Lauren
    May 23

    Honestly I only go to ALDI’s & Costco. ALDI has completely changed and offer many affordable organic and healthy foods to choose from!! I love ALDI. I buy things in bulk from Costco that we go through pretty fast.

  • Angie
    May 23

    I save $100 every time i shop at Aldi! Every 3-4th trip i will go to kroger for variety and i will spend double then back to Aldi.

  • heather
    May 23

    I’ve been using Brandless diapers ($9 for 50 organic diapers) and wipes ($4 for packs of 100) https://brandless.com/category/baby to save money. They also have sustainable paper products for $3 among other staple items for between $3 and $9 each. I used to shop at Aldi when I lived overseas and based upon the reviews above will have to try it again.

  • Cork
    May 23

    Agree with a lot of other recommendations on here, but here are two more: About once every 1-2 months we have a week where we don't buy groceries. Instead we go through the fridge/freezer/pantry and eat whatever is available. Sometimes the meals have to get a bit creative, but there are always things we bought and have been sitting there for weeks/months, or leftover ingredients from another recipe, or even things we just forgot about. You'll be amazed at how many meals are just sitting there. The other thing I do is I work from home and I feed my two children dinner fairly soon after school, like 4:00 or 4:30. It has been a long time since they ate lunch and when they get home they are hungry. So instead of letting them snack for a couple of hours and then barely touching their dinner (snacks are expensive and uneaten dinner is often thrown out), they eat a full meal right after school. And then, if they are hungry later, then they can snack. But I have found they snack a LOT less if dinner is earlier.

  • Sarah
    May 23

    Another family of 4 here with a $500 monthly grocery budget! Biggest way I've cut costs is by meal planning. I've tried couponing but we just end up with stuff that won't get eaten. Instead we buy exactly what we like and will eat whether or not it is on sale! I would rather pay more for what we like than see it go to waste. I don't know if you have a Dollar Tree in your area but I have found it is a great resource for snacks. Once a month we go over there and stock out the kids snack shelf, our also has lots of individually wrapped things that are great for lunches like pretzels and crackers. We only buy paper products and the occasional fruit (looking at you cotton candy grapes) at Costco because its usually in such a large quantity that the kids are sick of it buy the time we go through it. We have Smith's here and using their card program they will send you coupons based on frequent purchases, those are the bomb! Also we avoid Target if possible! Too much temptation to buy junk we don't need!

  • Brittany
    Jun 03

    When I go grocery shopping I have a two step process, first I make a list and make sure I stick to it. Next, I try to only shop on the outside of the store. This helps to avoid processed junk food and ensures that you're buying nutrient dense foods. People always think it's expensive to eat healthy, but really, it's not.