I Changed 3 Grocery Shopping Habits and Saved $4,800

This busy mom and business owner made three simple changes to the way she shopped for groceries and saved $400 each month—almost $5,000 per year.

grocery store scene with portrait of Sharita M HumphreyGetty Images, via sharitamhumphrey.com

Households across the country are feeling the financial squeeze of higher grocery prices. American families are dealing with food shortages and the highest inflation numbers at the grocery store that we’ve seen in 40 years. Everything from bacon and eggs to bread and juice costs a lot more than it did last year.

Rising grocery prices can put anyone’s budget—even a financial expert’s—under stress. Sharita M. Humphrey, Houston-based Certified Financial Educator and founder of Sharita M. Humphrey Consulting, knew it was time to take action when higher grocery bills threatened to stall her big financial goals.

Setting goals

As a financial educator, Humphrey has dedicated her life to helping women and small business owners reach their goals. But as much as she loves helping others conquer the financial stresses in their lives, there’s another area that this working mom is even more passionate about—her family.

Love for family has inspired Humphrey to shoot for the stars in many ways. Her most audacious goal is to retire early. “Financial and time freedom are important to me,” Humphrey says, “because I have a goal to retire by December 2029.”

If left unchecked, inflation could threaten to derail, or at least slow down, Humphrey’s financial goals. So this mom and business owner decided to take some actions to offset the damage that a higher grocery bill was doing to her budget.

(Psst: Learn more about the women-owned businesses we love.)

Saving money on groceries

These smart strategies helped Humphrey save $4,800 on groceries in one year.

Change #1: Buying in bulk

Monthly savings: $250

If you’re careful with your shopping choices, buying in bulk could save you both money and time. This savings potential is why wholesale warehouse clubs are so popular.

Humphrey decided to put this theory to the test and started buying staples, snack items, detergents, and more in bulk at her local Sam’s Club and Costco stores. The adjustment to her shopping habits saved her around $250 per month. Plus, buying strategically in bulk eliminated the need for multiple trips to the grocery store, saving Humphrey valuable time and gas money too.

Change #2: Embracing technology

Monthly savings: $50

Another adjustment that Humphrey made to save money on groceries was the decision to use technology to her advantage. By using two grocery shopping apps, she made some big changes in her food budget.

The Flipp app made it easy for the Houston-based mom to plan meals according to her local grocery deals. Fetch Rewards helped Humphrey earn gift-card bonuses on food purchases that she needed to make anyway. Using these two convenient tools on her mobile phone helped Humphrey rack up a monthly savings of at least $50 (often more). By the way, these are the things money experts tend to buy cheap.

Change #3: Shopping from the pantry

Monthly savings: $100

The final change Humphrey made to her grocery-buying habits was shopping from her own pantry first. This decision saved her around $100 per month. “I would use all or most of the items in my pantry before going to the grocery store.” The working mom watched YouTube videos for inspiration on making new meals from pantry ingredients.

Making the most of the savings

These changes helped Humphrey offset the negative impact inflation was having on her grocery budget. But the newfound grocery shopping habits helped her wind up with extra savings, as well. So Humphrey had the enjoyable task of figuring out how to use the extra money.

“I’ve committed to spending only a small percentage of the extra savings,” she says. “I treat myself to a monthly facial, an item on my shopping wish list, and a weekend road trip once a quarter.”

Starting your own savings plan

If you’re interested in cutting your food budget like Humphrey did, consider making these grocery shopping changes, as well. The financial coach also suggests doing a spending audit. “I would encourage you to review your bank statements for the last 30 to 60 days to see how much you’re eating out,” she says. “Reducing dining-out purchases can help put money back into your monthly grocery budget.” Humphrey also recommends using cash to avoid overspending on food purchases and planning meals around deals at your local grocery stores.

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Michelle L. Black
Michelle Lambright Black is a credit expert, finance writer, and travel writer with nearly 20 years of experience. She's also the founder of CreditWriter.com, a judgement-free personal finance community for busy moms like herself. When she's not writing about credit and money, Michelle loves to travel with her family of 5 — usually to somewhere sunny and warm.