First Person: Summer Will Help Us Save on Our Grocery Bill

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Our grocery bill is one of the highest monthly bills we have. Since moving in with family, we have been spending roughly between $200 and $300 a week feeding nine people. This year the grocery costs are expected to rise 4% on average, but some items are seeing individual spikes of 6% or more. With the summer coming up, these are some ways we are planning to save on our grocery bill. This is what we will save and how we will accomplish our task.

Planting a garden

When we were in an apartment, having a garden was not doable. Now that we have a huge backyard, my husband is eager to get the garden growing. We will be planting many vegetables including green peppers, green beans, broccoli, and various other things. We have already purchased all the needed seeds, starter pots, and soil. Our total came to $40, but we will easily make that back when the garden starts producing. Instead of paying the projected $1.50 a pound for bell peppers, we will have them homegrown! My calculations estimate that we will save nearly $60 this summer by growing our own garden, and that is after subtracting the start up cost of $40.

Eat lighter

In the winter we like to eat heartier foods. This summer I plan to keep it lighter. With the rising cost of all meat, I plan to use the least amount possible. There are various dishes where the meat can be omitted or substituted. Using things like salads as the main meal will help to shave off $20 a month from our bill, while only changing one meal a week. It is a lot cheaper to buy two dozen eggs for $4 than to buy steaks at nearly $4 a pound. Egg salad will be a staple in this house this summer.

Switching to generic items

There are some things that won't be switched, like soda that the family drinks and the Greek yogurt we buy, but most other things will be moved to the "off-brand" version. Our milk, bread, and canned veggies are already generic and we have no issues using those. The switch will not hurt the quality, and it will help us save nearly $20 a month.

In order to beat the rising food costs, we have a plan that will go in to place this summer. Growing our own vegetables, cutting back, and switching brands will not only help us save, but we will be eating better in the long run as well. The garden will pay for itself, without a doubt. This year we won't have to sacrifice quality for quantity!

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