We all need groceries. There’s no way around it. But the food bill can really add up, especially if you’re not careful about what and how much you buy.
That’s why we’ve started planning our meals ahead of time, sticking to a shopping list, and cooking more from scratch. When we do all those things, we save thousands of pesos a month on groceries!
Meal planning is a great tool for saving money on food, but it’s also an invaluable tool for improving your health and helping you feel less stressed about what’s for dinner. Meal planning allows you to plan out your meals in advance so that you don’t have to worry about what to cook each night. It can take some time upfront, but I promise that once it becomes a habit, meal planning will save you time and money!
The first step in meal planning is deciding what kind of foods you want to eat. For example: if your family loves meat but doesn’t eat much dairy or vegetables, try incorporating more beans into their diet so they get the protein they need without eating too much meat (this goes both ways—if one person wants more vegetables in their diet while another person wants more meat).
Stick to a list
A shopping list is your friend. It will keep you from buying things you don’t need, and keep you from overspending because of impulse purchases. Stick to the list!
Make sure that every item on your list has its own spot in the fridge/pantry/freezer/whatever where it can be easily stored without taking up too much space. Don’t buy more than one of something unless there’s a good reason (like if it’s an ingredient for dinner).
Look out for special bundles, deals, and sales
It’s easy to save money on food when you keep an eye out for special bundles, deals, and sales. When you check carefully in a special discounted section in supermarkets, you can save a lot of money on groceries. Here are a few things to watch for:
- Meat and Produce: These two items tend to be expensive regardless of where you shop. Look around your local grocery store and see if they have any “bundled” deals on these items that will save you some cash.
- Frozen Foods: Frozen foods can be just as nutritious as fresh produce, but tend to cost less depending on what it is. Many frozen foods are discounted. If possible try buying frozen vegetables or fruit instead of fresh ones since they last longer.
- Frozen Vegetables: Frozen vegetables make a perfect addition to any dish without having to worry about spoilage. They are also perfect if you want something quick but don’t have time to cook fresh vegetables from scratch (which sometimes happens).
Don’t be afraid to buy store brands
While the most well-known brands may be pricey, they’re not necessarily better or healthier than their cheaper alternatives. Most store brand products are just as good, if not identical in quality and nutrition to their name brand counterparts—and some are even better!
In fact, many store brands have been found to be more ethically sourced and environmentally friendly than their premium counterparts. The same goes for nutritional value: many store brand versions of common food items actually contain more nutrients per serving than the name brands they compete with on price.
I frequently shop at SM Markets and Robinsons Supermarkets for their good deals on store-branded goods and products.
Consider buying groceries online
Online grocery shopping has been a convenient and affordable way for me to stock up on groceries since the COVID pandemic, and there are so many ways to find deals and coupons to save money. You don’t have to pay for taxi fares, or be stressed out when riding a PUJ. Even though you have to pay shopping fees, it’s still a bargain compared to the stress and money you’ll spend on fares, or especially gas now that it’s so expensive.
Try ordering groceries online if you haven’t yet! Here are some apps I use frequesntly:
MetroMart whenever I need stuff from SNR
GoCart whenever I want something from Robinsons Supermarket
ShopSM if I want to purchase from SM Markets.
Cook from scratch.
Cooking is cheaper than buying pre-made meals. Also, cooking your own food ensures that you’re eating healthier, more natural foods instead of processed, packaged foods that have been chemically treated and preserved to last longer before spoiling. Plus, when you cook at home you don’t need to worry about what’s going into your meal or whether it has been properly cooked (like when trying to determine if a restaurant meal has been sitting out for too long). You can also choose exactly how much salt and other ingredients go into the dish to fit your needs and preferences!
It’s important not just for saving money but also for spending quality time together as a family when everyone pitches in by helping prepare dinner together. It feels good after working hard all day at work/school just knowing that soon there will be something warm waiting for us at home with lots of love behind it 😍
Overall, I think we’ve done a pretty good job at saving money on our grocery bill and also improving our shopping experience. Hopefully, you can use some of the tips in this article to do the same!