4 Minute Read
What’s the one thing that always seems to bust your budget each month?
If you answered groceries, you’re not alone.
Searching for ways to save on groceries can seem like a daunting task, especially during the rush of the Christmas season. It’s easy to waltz down the grocery store aisle and fill up your basket with things that aren’t on the list—or in the budget. You end up in the checkout line convinced someone has been following you around the store and dropping random items into your cart. There’s no way you were the one who put that massive Santa-shaped chocolate bar in there.
We get it. Shopping for groceries during the holiday season can bring out your crazy and festive side. Maybe it’s all the Christmas music, strategically placed seasonal products, or that squeaky wheel on the cart that messes with our sanity—and our budget. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
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We enlisted the help of Dave’s Facebook fans to share their best tips for saving money on groceries while keeping their budget on track at Christmas time.
Best Ways to Save Money on Groceries
1. Crunch some numbers.
"Stick to your list, and use a calculator as you shop to stay under budget. We’re under $50 a week for our family (two adults and a toddler). No junk food either. It’s doable!" — Amanda N.
2. Use items you have on hand.
"Don’t feel that you need to buy something just because you’re out of it. Shop your pantry and fridge for substitutes first. Make your meal plans around what you already have." — Carla A.
3. Start freezing and storing meals now.
"Cook big meals and divide leftovers into portions and freeze. Freeze as much as you can from your shopping. Nothing beats already having it." — Anthony R.
4. Round up your estimates.
"I use tally marks to keep track of what I’m spending, and I always round up every item. Even if the item is $1.29, it gets two tally marks. That way, by the time I check out, I’m both aware of approximately what to expect and surprised to still be under what I wanted to spend." — Jilian H.
5. Use the envelope system.
"Using the envelope system and putting unnecessary items at the end of the counter. I would tell the cashier I only had a certain amount of money to spend and to stop when I got to that point. Instead of it being an embarrassment, it was a bonding moment for me and the cashier when I made my goal, or even if it didn’t work out." — Jan B.
6. No surprises.
"Our grocery store offers 'scan it.' You can walk around with a scanner and scan your items as you shop. It keeps a total for you so you’re never surprised at the register and you can decide if you really need certain things." — Jamie M.
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7. Stick to a meal plan.
"Meal plan ahead of time with your favorite store’s ad in hand. Buy larger quantities of what’s on sale and freeze it. Stick to your list. And never grocery shop hungry!" — Nikki G.
8. Don’t buy more than you need.
"Just because something is marked two for $5, four for $10, etc., doesn’t mean you have to buy that many items. You get the same discounted price if you buy just one." — Stacy H.
9. Got a green thumb?
"Try growing a garden. There’s an initial investment, but it pays off in terms of produce for the year." — Ash B.
10. Shop online.
"I use online grocery pickup. I place my order from my meal planning list. It has drastically reduced the amount of unplanned spending." — Tanya G.
Try one of these grocery store hacks on your next trip down the grocery aisle, and you could be pleasantly surprised by how much cash might stay in your pocket this Christmas season!
Want more great grocery saving tips? We asked three top Nashville chefs to share some budget-friendly tips on eating great for less.