Hi. I’m the mom with the really high, make you pass out, grocery bill. There are about zero things I can do about it, what with all my awesome kids in the house, so we’re continually thankful that God keeps providing.
Ways our family saves money so we can afford our high grocery bill
Today I decided to make a list of non-food ways we cut spending so we can make our monthly grocery budget bigger. I’d love to hear about some of the ways you save too! I’d also love to hear what some of your splurges are. (Every family has different events and items they consider priorities or treats, right?)
Here are a few ways our family cuts back so we can buy the amount of food it takes to keep our family full and healthy.
1. We make coffee at home.
Sound silly? What I mean is – we very rarely buy coffee and specialty drinks at a coffee shop. If I want to enjoy coffee with a friend, typically I invite her to my home to drink coffee at my table. (I can make a pretty mean cup of coffee for around $.035/cup!) At $5ish per cup for specialty coffees at shops, and with 10 people in our household to feed currently, going to a coffee shop for a treat is exactly that – a treat. It’s very rare and it’s a splurge. (If our older boys want to meet friends at the coffee shop, they use their own money.)
2. We pack food when we travel.
We do eat out occasionally when we’re on the road, but even “cheap” fast food costs $40-$60 for our family. If it’s possible, we load up a cooler instead. When we do eat out, it’s with a purpose. (For instance, if several of the families on our basketball team are eating together after a game, we join them if we can. Relationships with these families = priceless.)
3. We have high deductible, low monthly premium healthcare coverage.
I can’t say enough good about this. We are grateful to pay only $255/month for healthcare coverage for our family. It’s perfect for us since we typically go to natural doctors not covered by insurance. Saving hundreds every month on our monthly healthcare premium helps us afford groceries to keep us healthy. I am so thankful for this for so many reasons.
4. My husband’s truck is rusty.
What I mean is, we don’t have the nicest vehicles on the block. They run great, they do the job, and they are paid for. Our older sons drive “grandpa cars” that they bought themselves after years of hard work and saving.
5. When we want a treat at home, we buy it at the store.
Say we want to enjoy a special family movie night or game night – something fun for the family and a break from cooking. Instead of going out to eat or getting takeout, we’ll get something fun from the store. While it seems that buying bags of prepared chicken nuggets or boxes of frozen pizza at the store is a splurge, it’s wonderfully cheaper than the $40-$60+ it costs to eat out. (I can feed our whole family chicken nuggets and fries at home for a total of only $10.16!) If we want ice cream, we’ll buy a container at the store for $3.50, which feeds us all, instead of paying that much per person at the ice cream shop.
6. Redbox all the way.
It’s got to be a really exciting, really great movie if we’re actually going to pay to see it in the theater. Sometimes the boys pay their own way if they want to see a movie with their friends. But usually, we all wait until a few weeks after a movie comes out, and save at least $50 by getting the movie from Redbox for $1.50.
7. We don’t have cable.
Sometimes, we really, really wish we did (like when it’s time for the Olympics or the World Cup). But every time we check into the options and do the math, we just can’t justify the added expense every month. It’s worth a mention that we’re thankful for friends who are happy to have us join them in their living room for big games. ;)
8. Our kids don’t get a cell phone until they get their driver’s license.
We’ve decided that our kids don’t really need a phone until they are driving. (They have had hand-me-down ipods before they’re 16 so they can text and keep up with their friends as long as there is wifi available.) That we’ve avoided adding our kids to our phone plan until they are 16 has saved a lot of money through the years. Though we do have a small heart attack each time we add a new driver to the household – adding him to our car insurance and cell phone bill. Yowza.
Ways we don’t hold back on spending money
As much as we spend frugally for most everything, there are a few ways we have found it’s not worth it to hold back.
1. Quality food
But we’ve been through all of this already.
That comes off the top of our monthly budget, without compromise. I’d rather cut back on food spending and eat beans all day than give less than we feel God calling us to give. This is saying something because well, just think what it would be like at our house if we ate beans all day.
3. Good coffee
Look at me – beginning and ending my post by talking about coffee. While we rarely buy coffee at a shop, I really do love good quality coffee at home. Folgers just doesn’t cut it, bless its heart. I simply buy higher-quality coffee in bulk at Sam’s or Costco and as I shared above, cost is still super low per cup!
Want more detail?! Specific food compromises I make so I can stay within budget (plus ways I will never compromise).
I’d love to hear ways you save and ways you splurge. Share your ideas and what works for your family!
More money-saving posts you might enjoy!
- How to Save Money on Coffee
- How to Save Money on Meat
- Ten Easy Food Items You Can Make at Home to Save Money
- What to Add to Meat to Make it Stretch
- How Eating Fruits and Vegetables Isn’t Expensive
- Four Inexpensive Meals I Made from Costco Groceries
- Why Did I Spend $8 on a Watermelon?
- More Ways to Save on Groceries – Maybe??