4 Easy Tricks to Save Money on your Grocery Bill Every Month

The price of food seems to be rising constantly and most of us feel like our supermarket shop is ever so slightly out of control.  All those offers seem overwhelming and even if you try menu planning it never seems to pan out like it should.

If you're anything like us, one month is great, the next you seem to have run out of everything and spend twice as much.  Here's how to get your supermarket spend under control and save money on your grocery bill each month.

Plan a Weekly Menu

Yep, that old chestnut.  Tried it before and failed?  The key is to find a way of doing it that works for your family.

If you eat the same things often, plan those into a revolving menu and plan for 3 or 4 weeks at a time.

If you like to try new recipes all the time, work on themed days or have a 'cookbook of the week' you work through.

If you don't have time every week, write a monthly plan.  Work out exactly how your family or household eats and plan around that.

Meal planning may seem like yet another thing to add to your to do list, but it really is a case of spending time to save time.  No more 5pm panic, no more scrambling to the local shop for over-priced ingredients.  Just check your plan, open your fridge and cupboard and go.

Write a Shopping List

If you turn up to the supermarket with no idea of what you already have at home, or what you are going to eat that week, you will either panic buy random collections of ingredients or grab ready meals and other convenience foods.  Either way you'll end up with things you don’t need, or not enough of what you do need.

Check your fridge and cupboards, then sit down with your menu plan and write a comprehensive shopping list.  The more specific you can be on your list the better.  So don't just write vegetables, but exactly what you need for what you're going to cook, including quantities.  That way you won't be throwing half of it away because you bought a huge packet when you needed two, or fell for the BOGOF when you saw it.

When you get to the supermarket, stick to your list.  If it isn't on your list you probably don't need it!

The exception to this is if something you use a lot is on offer, then it pays to stock up - as long as you have the money and the means to store it until you need it.  I find it helps to have a Stock List of things we use often, and to keep those stocked up at all times - great for store cupboard meals at the end of the month too!

Related post: How to Save Money at the Supermarket

Cook from Scratch

Forget the packets, jars, ready meals and take-aways, the easiest way to save money on your food bill is to cook real food from scratch.

Even with minimal cooking skills, you can rustle up a wide range of dishes.  And if you lack confidence, just get in the kitchen and start.  We all make mistakes, but learn plenty on the way, and there are a plethora of cooking shows and how to videos out there on TV and YouTube.  (You could even try easy recipes from your favourite blogs - we have loads!)

Planning your weekly menu, you can factor in those days where you have less time to cook and make friends with your freezer or prepare ahead of time.  The MamaBake Cookbook is a great tool as it has weekly plans based around batch cooking on one day of the week when you have more time.

Taking the time to learn some new dishes or to cook some old favourites from scratch will save you £££.  Add packed lunches to your menu rather than buying a daily take out and you'll pocket even more cash.

If you learn to bake and make your own cakes and sweet treats too you will not only save even more money, but be healthier too - you know exactly what goes into your own baking after all!  If you're not sure where to start, try our easy step by step baking recipes.

Related post: How to Eat Healthily on a Limited Budget

Forget the Weekly Shop

Doing one big shop every 7 days doesn't work for most people.  You either run out of stuff, get fed up with what you had planned and reach for the take away menu, or have to throw fresh food away because it has gone off.

Try doing a fortnightly or even monthly dry goods shop where you stock up on everything with a long shelf life.  That cupboard stock list comes in very handy here too.

Then do a smaller fresh food shop every 4-5 days.  Buy all your fruit, vegetables and bakery goods this way - even using local shops if possible - and you will buy less, save money, and not end up throwing loads away.

Related post: 3 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money

If you face a skyrocketing grocery bill each month, just follow these tips to see your expenditure slashed by a quarter or more.  Whether you want to save money so you can stay at home after maternity leave, want to save for a new car or house move, or simply want to cut costs, these 10 tips will help you save money every month.  Let us know how you get on!

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