Looking for ways to cut expenses (especially how to save money on groceries) is one of my favorite topics to write about. So of course I was thrilled to be invited to join the Financially Savvy Fridays bloggers in their monthly series featuring smart money tips.
This month’s topic couldn’t be more perfect for my introductory Financially Savvy Friday post. For February each of us was tasked with sharing how we reduced spending on a different line item of our budget. How to save money on groceries is a pretty broad subject (I actually wrote an entire book about it!), so for this post I decided to focus on one way my husband and I have found to lower the cost of pricier food items, like proteins.
If you’re like us, meat is usually what you plan your meals around. Once we decide what the protein will be for a particular meal, then we figure out what sides to cook.
However, meat can be expensive! UNLESS you shop smarter by using what I’ve dubbed the “Rock Bottom Price.”
At our store, I’ve noticed that many items generally are on month-long price cycles. For example, we have “Salmon Mondays” at our house, so it is a protein that we always like to have on hand. The standard price lately is $6.99/pound — I avoid paying this if at all possible and will never pay more than the standard price.
However, one week of the month, salmon will be marked down to $4.99/lb. This is a great price for salmon, which is the most costly protein we purchase outside of special occasions. Salmon is healthy and we LOVE it, so to us this is worth the expense. However, because it is almost double the cost of the other proteins we routinely cook, I am extra careful to wait to buy until it is marked down as low as it can go.
When I see salmon at the “rock bottom price,” I will buy enough to last until the next big sale, usually about a month later. I will keep out the portion we will be eating that week and freeze the rest (dividing it up into portions that can be thawed individually).
Because I am buying a month’s worth of salmon at a time, this will be a big-ticket item on our grocery bill that particular week due to the large quantity. However, I won’t have to buy salmon on the next few shopping trips and I am paying a lower price overall, so in the long-run I am saving a good chunk of cash.
Here’s an example of how you can save money on groceries by buying at the Rock Bottom Price:
By purchasing enough salmon to freeze and use throughout the rest of the month, you pay $7.52 less for the same quantity — that’s a savings of 20%! Imagine if you use this strategy for ALL of your premium purchases — the impact on your grocery spending would be substantial!
If you pair up the Rock Bottom Price with cash rebates from Ibotta (my favorite money-saving app!), you can save even more!
This post was adapted from my ebook Secrets to a Successful Single Income Budget which shares ALL of my other tricks to save money on groceries (over $1000 a month!)