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How to Instantly Lower the Grocery Budget

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Need to cut your grocery budget quickly? Find out how to cut your grocery budget instantly!

We all know that we need to shop the sales, use coupons, and eat from the pantry and freezer to save money on groceries. But even being faithful to do all of these, you still may need to cut your grocery bill. You can cut your bill instantly by simply DIYing several of the items you buy prepackaged.

One day, while shopping for groceries, I was reaching for a can of enchilada sauce, when the thought came to me, “I bet I could make this for way cheaper!” I put the can back on the shelf.

As I continued through the store, each time I would reach for an item, I would think to myself, “Could I make this from scratch?” It almost became a game of sorts. Over the last year, I have come up with a list of items that I no longer buy from the store, but instead make from scratch.

That may sound daunting, especially if you are not very gifted in the kitchen. But honestly, I’m not a super talented chef, nor do I think cooking is fun. But I like to eat, and I like to save money!

If you can follow a recipe, and can invest a few extra minutes into food preparation, making food from scratch will instantly lower your grocery budget!


Think about what your family eats on a regular basis, can any of it be made from scratch? As you reach for an item at the grocery store, think to yourself, “Could I make this from scratch?”

If the answer is yes, put the item back, make it yourself, and save money at the store!

Give yourself time, start small, and add one or two items at a time.

The items that I make from scratch gradually grew over a span of several months. I’m still finding new things that I can make myself. This year I have been making muffins, pancakes and bread from scratch instead of buying prepackaged cereal, bagels, or English muffins.

I also made my own pumpkin puree that I put in freezer bags and store in our freezer. Last month, I cooked my own pinto beans from dried beans. I was able to freeze the beans and now, I use them as a side dish, re-fried beans, and in chili.

Make your own “lunch meat.”  

I like to buy pork roast and whole chickens when they go on sale, and cook them in the crock pot. When the meat is done and cooled, I shredded it and use it on sandwiches instead of lunch meat. There is always a ton of meat that I am able to freeze and use up later.

Shred your own cheese.

When you shred an 8 oz block of cheese yourself, you will get more cheese than an 8oz bag of already shredded cheese. Buy your cheese when it goes on sale, and stock up so that you have enough until the next sale!

Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies.

I love using vinegar in my home, and I’ve even made my own laundry and dish washing detergent. If you are interested in learning more cheap laundry recipes, check out this eBook Never Buy Laundry Detergent Again!*

Peel and cut vegetables and fruit yourself.

I can get 2 pounds of carrots for half the price of one pound of baby carrots. Likewise, cutting my own melons yields 4-5 as much fruit than the already cut melons for the same price.

Make your own drinks buy using powdered drink mixes or frozen from concentrate.

My husband likes to drink a Gatorade at work. I buy the Gatorade powder and mix it up with water in a reusable bottle.


Here is a list of foods that I used to buy but now have started making from scratch. Sometimes I will make a big batch of the food item, divide it among plastic bags, and freeze for later use. 

  • spaghetti sauce
  • cookies 
  •  cake, muffin, and brownie mixes
  • oatmeal packets
  • dips (guacamole, hummus, ect.)
  • granola bars
  • pizza dough
  • waffles, pancakes
  • tea, cocoa
  • biscuits and rolls 
  • gravy
  • french fries
  • bread crumbs
  • onion soup mix 
  • beans
  • pumpkin puree 
  • lemon juice (from our lemon tree)


P.S. Looking for more ways to save money on your grocery budget? Check out this online course, Grocery University*.

It is an audio course that covers everything you need to know about cutting that grocery budget. Plus there are 40 pages of helpful printables with extra tips and a list of rock bottom prices!


Other Posts You Will Enjoy:

10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Coupons

How I Stopped Spending

Prepare for a Successful Spending Freeze









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2 thoughts on “How to Instantly Lower the Grocery Budget

  1. I love your idea to make it a game! I make a fair amount from scratch but am always open to making more. Would you believe I have yet to make my own enchilada sauce? I'm going to give that a try. I second the tip about grating cheese. And when I bring home a bag of carrots, I peel them and cut them into sticks and store them in a jar in water in the fridge. Then, I have a healthy and quick snack whenever I need them. It's cheaper than buying baby carrots and I think they actually taste better, too!

    1. We love the enchilada sauce that I linked in this post, and it last about 3-4 meals for the two of us. I'm going to have to remember to put my carrot sticks in water. My mom used to do that, but I had forgotten about it!

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