How We Paid off $50,000 in Debt: How to Save on Groceries

I've mentioned many times about our debt free journey and how it changed our lives, but who doesn't love a list of how to ACTUALLY implement saving money?? This list is what worked for our family in a time that we really needed to cut back and pay off debt. Many of these items may not work for you, but if you get even one idea from this list, my job here is done.


1. Make a grocery list and stick to it.

2. Plan meals. (I am the worst at this. Boo.)

3. Shops the sales. Instead of buying 2 BOGO (buy one, get one free) items, buy 4.

4. I don't like planning a menu, so I cook Mexican one night, Italian another night, and so on. Always have certain items on hand, like tortillas and black beans to make this achievable. It gives so much flexibility. Don't chain me down!

5. I stay away from Wal-mart. There are too many "distracting" products that I think I need, like new PJ's, couch pillows, etc. This is my personal struggle, maybe you are stronger than me! haha

6. If I can't buy it at Publix (or a grocery store), then I go without.

7. Don't tighten the financial belt too much, it will get old and then I want to quit. We learned this the hard way.

8. Don't go out to eat. <insert crying face emoji here>

9. If I do go out to eat, find a place with coupons or a reward program. We ate at Subway every Friday for awhile and split with our kids.

10. Take a picnic meal to the beach/park/green area. It feels like a major outing. We take pics and make good memories.

11. Have fun trying new recipes.

12. I bake with my kids. It's actually really fun. Let them lick the spoon.

13. Watch YouTube videos for fun tutorials. I made a pie from scratch. We canned our own jam and now I'm a jam snob. I like to wing it when I cook, which doesn't always work out....

14. Cook once, eat 2...or 3...or 4 times.

15. Favorite cook once, eat twice recipes:
         shredded chicken = chicken quesadillas, tacos, BBQ chicken sandwiches, soups of all kinds
         meatballs (ground turkey) = spaghetti, meatball subs, meatball pizza, or just meatballs
         ground beef or turkey = tacos, taco salad, vegetable beef soup, burgers
         This is great if you are single! Make use of your freezer.

16. Buy a deep freezer and buy meat in bulk. Sam's Club is our best friend for meats. I studied a list of what items are freeze-able and pretty much everything is fair game.

17. Buy a new veggie and learn to cook it.

18. Don't make special meals just for your kids. They eat what we eat. (Obviously, this doesn't apply to kids with medical issues/allergies.)

19. I let my kids pick the meal periodically.

20. Give that crockpot a workout!!

21. Oh, yeah. Don't grocery shop with your spouse (if your spouse is spendy) or kids.

This is what worked for our family. We have been through very lean times and we have had easier times. Just do what works for you and your family. This list could easily be adjusted to a single person or a couple without kids. It's up to you.

What other ways do you save money with groceries?


P.S. Check out the rest of the series here if you missed it.

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