How I Keep Grocery Costs at $125 a Month
After many questions over the last few weeks about how I keep my grocery costs so low, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to fill you all in on how I manage to feed myself for so little each month.
I know there are lots of posts out there about how you can save money on groceries with various shopping techniques, coupons, etc. But this is how I keep my grocery spending under control and eat healthy, delicious, and nutritious (most of the time) meals for only $125 a month.
The first thing you need to know is that this is my budget for food from the grocery store only. Period. I do not use this money to buy other things like paper products, personal hygiene items, cleaning products, etc. FOOD ONLY!
Another variable to consider is that I’m single, so I don’t have to feed a family, and I’m not a huge eater. I’m not growing anymore, though I’d really love to be taller. 🙂
That said, I do feed my dad lunch, 2 or 3 times a week, but he’s not a big eater most of the time either.
With that said, here’s how I spend only $125 a month on groceries.
Keep it Simple
I also do really simple breakfasts for myself. I usually have a bowl of cereal out of a box that I paid between $.25 and $1.00 due to my extreme couponing phase.
I also keep things simple for a lot of my other meals too. Cooking for one isn’t the most fun thing in the world, so I do eat simple things like eggs, cereal, or a PB&J sandwich for supper a couple of times each week.
While I do utilize coupons, I don’t generally stockpile many food items because I usually can’t use them up before they expire.
In addition to doing some couponing, I also shop sales.
When I select my fresh fruits and veggies for the week, I only get whats on sale.
I plan my meals and snacks for the around the sale flyer from my local grocery store. We only have one grocery store in my rural town so I can’t shop around or take advantage of price matching, but if you have the opportunity to do so, take advantage of it! Just be careful to weigh the cost of your time and your gas if you plan to visit more than one store to get things on sale.
Shop Once a Week
I avoid spending on food temptation items by only going to the store once a week. If I forget something or run out of something early, I try to just tough it out until grocery store day the next weekend.
At first this was really hard, but once I got used to it, it got easier. I also found that I’m a much better planner when I know I can’t make another run to the grocery store if I forgot something the first time.
Limiting my trips means I only get tempted once a week to buy something that’s not on my grocery list, instead of being tempted and giving in to an impulse purchase several times each week.
Having Generous Family
My parents are also very generous. We are farmers and we also raise livestock, which we then harvest about once a year. This is how I get my beef and pork.
In exchange for helping on the farm, my parents provide these meats to my brother and I free of charge. The only meats I have to pay for out-of-pocket are chicken from Zaycon and seafood. This is why I don’t eat chicken or seafood as often as red meat.
I do have to supplement my meats occasionally by buying things like bacon. I save on bacon by only buying when it’s at its rock-bottom price at the grocery store or ordering it in bulk from Zaycon. When I get my chicken and bacon from Zaycon, I freeze the majority of it in vacuum sealed bags so it lasts a long time.
I’m very lucky to live in a low cost-of-living area. The midwest truly is one the of cheapest places to live.
I do have to admit that I will have to increase my grocery budget at some point. When I started this journey to get out of debt, I had a stocked pantry and freezer.
Since then, I’ve been on a very strict grocery budget and I’ve managed to stick to it while also slowly cleaning out my pantry and freezer. This clean out isn’t a bad thing. It is forcing me to eat the things I’ve passed over. But at some point I will have to re-stock some of these items.
What are some of the ways you eat on the cheap?
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