Feeding an entire family isn’t always easy, and it can get so pricey that food ends up being where a good portion of 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 grocery bill 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 nutritious meals with these tips.

And these grocery budget tips will help you to shop smarter with a frugal food budget.

Plus, these tips for grocery budgeting for families will help stretch your monthly grocery 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 by shopping in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.

This shopping trip to the pantry to start your meal planning can be quick and easy, plus keep your food costs lower.

Make a note of the canned items including canned beans, canned tomatoes, canned fish or chicken, and other various items in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Utilize those food items in your menu plan 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. There’s no need for food to spoil and get tossed when you’re trying to save money on your food costs.

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 spending low, you need to know what to make for your menu plan 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 menu 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 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals just for this reason. They are so easy to prepare and so easy to plop into the slow cooker when it’s time.

Meal Plan each week so that you use some of the same ingredients.

For example, if you plan spaghetti for one night, choose another meal that might use pasta sauce and another one that will use ground beef. This will allow you to reduce your shopping list and condense meals.

You could even plan to cook the hamburger all at once and divvy it up for the next meal.

This technique can also help you save time during your shopping trip.

grocery budget

Shop Strategically To Benefit Your Grocery Budget

It’s not just about buying food on your grocery list or finding the cheapest store to lower food costs. To truly save your hard-earned money is by grocery shopping strategically to get the best deals on what you need.

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

Here’s what I do:

Every week I shop at Aldi’s to get the items on my cheap grocery list like milk, eggs, cheese, produce, and other household essentials. This automatically lowers my food costs because Aldi is a great low-cost grocery store.

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 in one shopping trip. I’ll add these items to the freezer and meal plan list.

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 breast. I’ve also gotten good deals on ground beef and chicken thighs.

So as you can see, Sprouts is my go-to store for quality meat on my shopping list. 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 on my grocery bill.

grocery budget

Keep A Drink And A Granola Bar With You Always

Even the most frugal of ladies…me…can get hangry and thirsty when I 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.

The same goes for when you go grocery shopping. You’re hungry so you add extra items to your cart that look tasty and delicious and your grocery spending skyrockets.

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 food spending total and you didn’t even mean to.

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. These spending habits can quickly change your cheap grocery list to a large grocery bill.

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. Just that grocery cost 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 living recipes to your recipe rotation and menu plan.

While steak tastes great, it’s not the most frugal option and should be kept for special occasions. Chicken thighs and even chicken breast recipes can keep your food costs down.

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

Pull out those canned beans and rice recipes for even more meals to stretch your grocery budget. Even rice and frozen veggies can make nutritious meals to help lower your monthly grocery budget.

grocery budgeting for families

Just Eat It

Your grocery budget will only stay on track when you use all the items you buy to their fullest capacity.

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 all 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 or leftovers. There’s food in our pantries, fridges, and freezer. We are truly blessed even to go grocery shopping.


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 plastic containers as you put it in the fridge. This way you won’t forget about it and hopefully, you’ll give yourself a chance to add it to the freezer 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 your food budget if it goes into the trash. Save it by freezing it for another meal later when you can stomach having more leftovers.

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 save more at the grocery store when you can.

If you’re used to buying certain types of meat, try using cheaper options that taste the same. I often swap chicken breast recipes for chicken thighs. And they are really good in the slow cooker too! These Seven Cuts of Meat are cheaper.

Did you know there are substitutions that can save you money on your grocery bill? Check out these 10 shopping list substitutions to save more on your food budget!

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! Create better spending habits during each shopping trip.

There are some things you should stop buying like cereal and other processed foods. While it may be easy, these items are usually not the cheapest breakfast options. 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 grocery spending? Share with me below!

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