Cutting Your Grocery Bill Like Crazy – Episode 034

August 29, 2018

Cutting Your Grocery Bill Like Crazy

Americans spend WAY too much on groceries! After housing and transportation, we spend more money on food than anything else- close to 15% of our expenses. On a recent episode Matt mentioned how his family eats on $1 per person per meal, and so we figured it was time to spend an entire episode discussing how you can cut your grocery bill like crazy! If you’re not really into cooking we give some very easy and helpful tips that you can start trying out today, but we also talk about some more advanced and cost savings ways of putting meals together if you’re ready to take it to the next level.

Surly Brewing Company DarknessAnd at the beginning of this episode we enjoyed a Darkness by Surly Brewing Company which you can find and learn all about on Untappd. A huge thanks to listener Mike in Minnesota for donating this beer and supporting the show! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe and review us in Apple Podcasts, Castbox, or wherever you get your podcasts!


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13 comments on “Cutting Your Grocery Bill Like Crazy – Episode 034

  1. Nathan Byrd Sep 8, 2018

    Just found your podcast, Matt. Love it! Can’t wait to listen to more.

    • Hey Nathan- so glad you found it and are enjoying it, thanks for the support!!!

  2. Jenny Sep 8, 2018

    I listened to your grocery podcast and the conversation about making your own bread got me to write you guys. I just bought this book based on a few recommendations. I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but there are so many raves I’m going to share the link. Basically you make the dough, and it can be stored for a couple of weeks in your refrigerator. The basic recipe is good for multiple loaves, rolls, etc. Everyday Cheapskate just published a post about the recipe, also. Your readers might be interested in this book so here’s a link. FYI I bought a used copy, but the book is also available on Amazon.

    • Mmm, if it’s possible to make bread that looks as good as the loaf on the cover of that book then sign me up- I’ll definitely be sharing this with Kate since she’s the baker at out house.

      Thanks Jenny!

      • There is also one that focuses on whole grain breads for a healthier option.

  3. Hi Guys!

    Found your podcast yesterday, listening to this episode now. Thanks for all the great tips! Do you guys have a sample week meal plan? We are a family of 4, we hover 400-600 a month. We are making a decision to change all 4 of our diets and moving to no prepackaged foods. Thanks guys!

    • Hey Ken! I’ll mention it to Kate my wife and see if she can chime in. I could give a general idea, but she’d be able to respond with some more detail and specifics.

  4. Matthew Jan 7, 2019

    I’m a born and raised Floridian so Publix is in my blood. I’m loyal to it probably to the detriment of our grocery bill. Switching would feel like a form of betrayal haha. Thanks for the tips!

    • Thanks for listening Matthew! Publix does have some sweet bogos, plus free antibiotics from the pharmacy but I can’t ignore how much we save by hitting up Aldi. It’s worth trying if you haven’t already!

  5. I just started listening to your podcast and it’s been interesting so far. We just froze my family’s credit and we’re getting started on a will next. However, I really need some follow up info from Kate on grocery shopping/meal planning! Please have her post something about her methods and tips. What’s her bread recipe? What are her favorite meals in regular rotation? She’s the person I need to hear from ASAP!

    • Hi M, so glad you’ve found HTM interesting so far! I wish I’d seen your comment sooner- but hopefully a reply now is still helpful. As for shopping/planning- the biggest element that has helped me use what we have efficiently and shop most efficiently has been keeping that ongoing inventory list on our refrigerator. I look for ingredients that may go bad fastest and plan to eat those first and then scan the carbs list for what would go well with the first ingredient i’ve chosen. I write out a loose weekly meal plan using this strategy and make a grocery list as i go so that i’m only buying the things we need to complete the meals we’ve decided on based on what we already have. I write out the plan and the list each sunday- some weeks a quick aldi run is all that’s needed, usually once a month I go to a big farmers market and stock up on more interesting vegetables to integrate into our meals over the month- we build meals around these veggies by looking at the list and determining what will go bad fastest. I hope this makes sense and is helpful! Also, I posted the bread recipe on the HTM FB page, just use the search bar to find it!

  6. Erin France Jun 16, 2019

    Hello How to Money!

    I’d love to hear from Kate! As the household’s main meal planner, grocery shopper and cook, I’d love to know more details about what she cooks and how she plans it. Does the grocery budget include things like laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc.,? What are the exotic grains she buys from the Dekalb Farmer’s Market? What cookbooks does she go to for inspiration? When buying in bulk, do you have a system for how to keep track what was bought when so there’s a smaller chance of food waste?

    Cooking projects seem to get pretty expensive pretty quickly — ingredients for making and canning blueberry jam is one I took on this weekend that ate up some cash. Any tips from her on how to hit that balance between a fun project that could save money and money pit?

    • Hi Erin! Our grocery budget does include cleaning supplies, diapers, toilet paper- even shampoo, soap, toiletries, vitamins and most medicines. I buy a lot of dried goods at YDFM- our favorites are japonica black rice, farro, barley, couscous, oats, lentils, flaxmeal and seeds, grits, a variety of regular and gf flours- the list goes on! I keep track of it all by keeping a running inventory list written with dry erase marker on our refrigerator door. I have a column for vegetables (i use this to loosely plan our dinners for the week each sunday as it helps me determine what will likely go bad fastest), a column for proteins/meats, a column for carbs, and a column for random ingredients like pesto, yogurt or nuts that i often like to use in dinners. I do love to look at cookbooks but rarely do it- I get Bon Appetit monthly and read it cover to cover for inspiration- I rarely follow their recipes (or any recipe) to the letter, but it gets me excited about what is in season and helps us not get into a meal rut. I also follow several health focused home cooks on instagram and find some ideas there. I totally agree that cooking projects can get really expensive- especially if they are fruit or meat based or require specialty ingredients. I plan my fun cooking projects around what’s in season so the ingredients will be cheaper, and i often sub out expensive ingredients for more affordable options. Flexibility is the name of the whole game for me- strict meal plans or following specific recipes to the letter can really kill a budget. Making choices based on the prices in front of you, and the quality of the options, keeps meals affordable and much more delicious. If I go to the store for asparagus and it’s a little rubbery and $3.99/lb but broccoli is vibrant and crisp and $1.49/lb, we’re obviously having broccoli regardless of what’s written on the refrigerator at home. On that same trip I may notice meyer lemons (my favorite!) are in season, so I may buy a few bags for a fun project of making preserved lemons with the girls later that week. I hope this helps and I wish you the very best in figuring out what works best for you!