Feeding an entire family isn’t always easy, and it can get so pricey that food ends up being where a good portion your monthly grocery budget goes.

It definitely doesn’t have to be this way.

You may not be eating like kings and queens if you reduce your meals to $500 a month, but it will allow you to live a more minimalist lifestyle.

Beyond that, you will be able to afford more and maybe even tackle some debt you’ve been wanting to get rid of.

Your family grocery budget, while it may be small, you can make some great meals with these tips.

And these grocery budget tips will help you to shop smarter.

Plus, these grocery budgeting for families tips will help stretch your budget and feed your family well.

Whatever your reasoning, here are a few ways to reduce that grocery bill to only $500.

grocery budget

Use Up What You Already Have

In order to keep your grocery budget low, you should start shopping in your pantry, fridge, and frezer.

Make a note of the canned items and various items in your pantry, fridge, and freezer and utilize those into your meals as often as possible.


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

There’s no reason to just have food sitting around unused. They become family grocery budget wasters.

Once, you’ve used up what you have, add some of these 25 Top Pantry Staples to your shopping list so you’ll have items on hand to make cheap meals.

Also, be sure that any food that might be close to expiration is put in a special bin in the fridge and is made a top priority. No need for food to spoil and get tossed.

grocery budget

Meal Plan EVERY Week

If you don’t already meal plan, you need to start meal planning now. In order to keep your grocery budget low, you need to know what to make for your meals so that you don’t eat out.

It can be really easy to get super busy during the week, and if you don’t have a plan for every meal, it becomes easier to opt for last-minute choices such as eating out.

Here’s one idea to get dinner on the table fast!

My grocery budget tips start by planning your meals ahead of time and have the meal plan visible.

Meal plan for EVERY meal: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then you’ll know what you need to make, buy and prepare.

If you get extra time, you can make it and freeze it for later. I love Crock-Pot Freezer Meals just for this reason. They are so easy to prepare and so easy to plop into the Crock-Pot when it’s time.

Plan meals each week that use some of the same ingredients. For example, if you plan spaghetti for one night, choose another meal that might use spaghetti noodles and another one that will use ground hamburger. This will allow you to reduce your grocery list and condense meals. You could even plan to cook the hamburger all at once and divvy it up for the next meal.

grocery budget

Shop Strategically To Benefit Your Grocery Budget

It’s not just about buying food or find the cheapest store to buy your groceries at. To truly save your hard-earned money is by shopping strategically to get the best deals on what you need.

No one wants to make multiple trips or go to several stores, but if it means that you could be saving an extra $100-$200 a month on your family grocery budget, then, of course, you need to do it.

Here’s what I do:

Every week I shop at Aldi’s to get my necessities like milk, eggs, cheese, produce and other household essentials.

Then, I check the Sprouts weekly ad to check to see what the meat deal is for the week. If it’s a great deal, I’ll go and stock up for the month or even two months. As I’m writing this, they have their Grass-Fed Ground Beef for only $3.99/lb. Last time it was $1.99/lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

So as you can see, Sprouts is my go-to store for quality meat. I wish I could just go to one store like Sprouts for everything. But in order to keep my grocery budget in check, I have to go to multiple stores in order to save money.

grocery budget

Keep A Drink And A Granola Bar With You Always

Even the most frugal of ladies…me…gets hangry and thirsty when you do the running around and being the taxi for the family.

Although it’s so convenient to stop by Starbucks and get a drink and a snack, it quickly adds up and can ruin my budget.

Same for the grocery store. You’re hungry so you add extra items to your cart that look tasty and delicious.

Oh, and you’re thirsty so you grab a drink to go right as you get to the checkout lane. Next thing you know, you’ve added an extra $10-$20 to your total and you didn’t even mean too.

If you had a drink and a granola bar with you, you wouldn’t be tempted to stop or add extra items to your cart and therefore add them to your grocery budget.

Another grocery budgeting for families tip is to include having snacks in the car for the kids if you have to take them to the store with you. That way you can say that they can have a drink or a snack when they get back to the car. That has saved me loads of money too.

grocery budgeting for families

Find Frugal Meals

If your grocery budget is tight, then you’re going to need to add frugal recipes to your recipe rotation and meal plans.

While steak tastes great, it’s not the most frugal option and should be kept for special occasions.

Start your list of $5 dinners to get your meal planning started.

Pull out those beans and rice recipes for even more meals to stretch your grocery budget.

grocery budgeting for families

Just Eat It

Your grocery budget will only stay on track when you use all the itmes you bought to thier fullest capactiy.

By mid-week or even the end of the week, there are often a few containers holding the leftovers of various meals you’ve had that week.

Pull out the leftovers and let people pick what they want. I learned this from the movie “The Incredibles.”

Although leftovers aren’t a new concept, I like the way they did it as it makes for a buffet of food while saving money and cleaning out the fridge. My grandmother used to pull out all of her leftovers on Friday night when we would go to visit her. Even though we had eaten already, you couldn’t pass up a sampling of her dishes since she was such a good cook.

Sometimes my husband will get in one of his moods of “I just don’t know what I want” or “I don’t know what I’m in the mood for”. I’ve told him a couple of times, it’s food and it needs to be eaten…so just eat it! Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves how blessed and grateful we should just be to have food. There’s food in our pantries, fridges, and freezers. We are truly blessed.


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

Need more reminders to use them up?

Add a sticky note with an “Eat By” date to the front of the fridge or onto the meal container as you put it in the fridge. This way you won’t forget about it and hopefully, you’ll give yourself a chance to freeze it if you can’t eat it.

Or even add a reminder to the calendar on your phone. Help yourself help your grocery budget and not to be wasteful!

Or Freeze It…

Have you made so much of a meal you can’t finish it? Then even after eating off it for several days you just can’t eat anymore of it?

Freeze it! You’ll be wasting money if it goes into the trash. Save it by freezing it for another meal later when you can stomach having more.

grocery budgeting for families

Trim The Costs When You Can For Your Grocery Budget

When it’s time to stay on top of the grocery budget, you’re also going to have to trim and find ways to cut costs when you can.

If your’e used to buying certain types of meat, try using cheaper options that taste the same. These Seven Cuts of Meat are cheaper.

Did you know there are substitutions that can save you money? Check out these 10 substitutions to save more!

Since we are all used to buying our favorite items, check to see if there is a comparable item that is cheaper. You could save up to $500 this year just buy doing this!

There are some things you should stop buying like cereal. While it may be easy, it’s usually not the cheapest breakfast option. Try oatmeal and eggs to cut costs on your breakfast foods.

As you can see, while your family grocery budget may be small, you can make some great meals with these tips.

And these grocery budget tips will help you to shop smarter.

Plus, these grocery budgeting for families tips will help stretch your budget and feed your family well.


YOUR TURN: What actions are you going to implement to reduce your grocery budget? How are you already reducing it? Share with me below!

grocery budget
How To Make Your $500 Grocery Budget Feed Your Family