16 Quick Ways to Lower Your Grocery Budget

*This is the 5th day of the One Month Spending Freeze Challenge. Please click here to see all of the posts in this series.*

Before we started our spending freeze last year, I was spending about $100 a week on groceries. Each week when I would get to the checkout and hear the cashier say how much money all this food was costing, I cringed inside. It was the first time in our marriage that I was spending so much. I would do everything I could to try and lower it, but somehow it was always going higher than I wanted.

If you find yourself in a tight spot and need to lower the amount of money you spend on food, these 16 ways to save on groceries can help you out right now!© BillionPhotos.com / Dollar Photo Club

When we started the spending freeze last summer, there was no way I could continue spending $100 a week, so I had to evaluate what the problem was. It took some trial and error, but I finally discovered several reasons why I was spending more than I wanted.

Not All Groceries Are Needs

One of the biggest reasons I was spending too much money was that I was buying foods that really were non-essential to our diets. If you desire to lower your grocery bill, you must remember that not ALL groceries are a NEED.

Some foods provide little to no nutritional value and can easily be replaced with other healthier alternatives. Need some examples?

  • Ice cream – Make smoothies at home instead
  • Fruit snacks – Fresh or dried fruit is a great snack for kids
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese – Use cheaper cheese
  • Diet Pepsi – Water is a great replacement

When I stopped buying the gummy bears, breakfast cereal, and freshly grated parmesan cheese nearly every single time I went shopping, I started to see a drop in how much we were spending.

To take it a step further, I started waiting to go shopping until I really needed to. We always had food in our pantry, fridge, and freezer that we could eat for a day or a few days before I absolutely had to return to the grocery store.

Anyone Can Spend Less on Groceries

There is one very large reason why I want to address this topic early on in the challenge. A lot of families spend far too much on groceries, and it is VERY possible to lower the amount they spend.

Before we tackle our grocery budgets today, I need you to read 6 Steps to Determine Your Family’s Unique Grocery Budget. This post will help you understand all the factors that go into a grocery budget and why you spend what you do on them.

Did you read it?


The fifth step to determine your grocery budget is all about the amount of work you put into it. Because we are trying to spend as little as possible this month, and only on our needs, it’s imperative that you work on lowering the amount of money you spend on groceries this month.

16 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Budget…and FAST!

As my family has continued this long spending freeze journey, we have done better and better at lowering our grocery budget. Here are just a few ideas we have used that you can use to help lower yours…and fast! I have included links if you want to know more about a certain topic.

I am positive that there is at least one tip above that you could start working on right now to lower your family’s grocery budget. Use these tips throughout the month as you do the spending freeze challenge, and don’t forget about them later when it’s over.

Now that we have been working on our grocery budget and implementing all these different ideas, we sometimes spend as little as $40 a week on groceries. The highest it usually goes is about $70. I don’t have to cringe anymore, and we’re being as diligent with our food as we can be.

How do you save money on groceries?

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I'm a mom of 3 on a journey to feed my family nourishing foods. Personally, I believe that you can feed your family healthy, delicious meals without spending a fortune or slaving away in the kitchen.


  1. Great post! I love how much having a freezer is helping me to save more food! That is definitely not something to underestimate. I had only a fridge freezer until a couple months ago.
    Alyssa recently posted…Why I’m Committing to a Month of No SpendingMy Profile

  2. Zaira says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I like the one about using what you have at home before going to buy more at the grocery. For example I always have rice and beans and vegetables . There’s always something I can make if I just put a little more effort.

    • You’re right, Zaira. It does take effort, which is why I think most people would rather fork over some money for convenience so they don’t have to do anything. But when you really need to save money, it’s so important to start working more so you can use up the food you already have. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I love these tips! It’s always such a blessing to find ways to save money, especially on things you need. I have been working on using what I have, so I haven’t been grocery shopping in about 2 weeks. It can be such a fun challenge to see what you can make out of what you have. I had a family member shoot a deer for me, so I have a freezer full of meat and I expanded my garden this year and froze and canned a lot of produce. It’s amazing how much you can save when you set your mind to it. I want to start making my own seasoning mixes this year so I don’t have to buy those either. It’s always disappointing when you want to make tacos, only to find you ran out of the seasoning packets.
    Thank you for sharing these, it’s an encouragement for me to do better.
    Cara @ Fashionably Frugal recently posted…How to budget like a bossMy Profile

    • Those are all awesome ways to save even more money on groceries, Cara. Thanks for sharing! We hosted Thanksgiving dinner, so we lived off those leftovers for several days, and then I was able to use what I had in the freezer and in my pantry and fridge to make even more meals to last us longer. I hate seeing good food go to waste!


  1. […] We used to spend nearly $400 a month on food when we first started living on a very slim income, but I realized that I had to take matters into my own hands and cut that down to at least $300 or less. I was able to do that by first cutting out anything that wasn’t really essential to our health. We also cut back on food waste, meal planned around cheap and simple meals, and much more. Find out all the things we did in this post. […]

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