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Here’s the exact 7-step system I used to cut my grocery bill in half and save money on food

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  • I used to spend $800 to $1,000 a month on food for my family of four in Los Angeles, California.
  • But now that I'm more thoughtful about how I plan and buy groceries, I've cut my grocery spending in half. Now, I pay more like $400 a month for my family's food.
  • Reducing my spending comes down to a seven-step strategy, starting with stockpiling my staples, creating extra storage in my house so I'm never buying last-minute at high prices, and planning what the household will eat for the week.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Before I became mindful of my grocery budget, I used to spend between $800 and $1,000 per month for groceries to feed my family of four.

In recent years, I discovered that I could save over 50% of my grocery cost just by implementing a few simple tweaks to my shopping routine, and it made a world of a difference in my bottom line.

As I became more financially savvy and learned how to be more frugal, I continued to tweak my budget until I landed on a comfortable $100 per person per month budget, meaning I spend no more than $400 per month for groceries for my family of four.

I personally believe this budget is plentiful. It's worked well for us, even as we live in a house in Los Angeles, California, which is notorious for its high cost of living.

Here are a few tricks I used to reduce my grocery budget and save money on food every month.

1. Stockpile

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You may have heard of this strategy with extreme couponers and had doubts if this was for you. While you don't have to have an entire room or closet dedicated to storing your stockpile, keeping an extra supply of your staple items on hand can really cut costs in the long run.

Stockpiling helps you save money in a few different ways. First, you're saving on the minimizing additional purchases, since you'll stock up when the item is priced at its lowest. Second, it saves you from making extra shopping trips for your menu ingredients (we'll get into this part a little later). Third, you have enough stock to get you through to the next sale, at which point you can restock again. So, you're never stuck paying the high price when you need the item most.

My personal stockpile consists of flour, rice, breadcrumbs, breads that I freeze, cheeses, meats, and poultry. Basically anything that I can store long-term is fair game. I tend to keep at least a three-month stockpile inventory at all times, but if you're just starting out, keeping a one-month inventory will still make a big difference in your grocery budget.

2. Buy staples in bulk

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Buying meat, poultry, and staple items in bulk often translates into substantial savings. You'll find that bulk items often accompany lower unit prices. Test it out for yourself next time you're shopping: Calculate the unit price of a family pack of steaks versus a single steak. Chances are you'll find that the family pack is the better deal.

While this holds true most of the time, it's not always the case, so make sure you're calculating the unit price.

My favorite items to buy in bulk are meat, poultry, rice, and pasta. These staples help me whip up a simple meal with minimal ingredients at the drop of a hat. I can throw in a roast in the crockpot and make a side of pasta and dinner is ready.

3. Find or create extra storage at home

Iryna Tiumentseva/Shutterstock.com

Having a chest or standalone freezer is great for storing bulk meat, cheese, or even bread. It can help you stretch the gap between shopping trips, and fewer shopping trips usually means less money spent overall.

I converted a small coat closet in my hallway to act as a butler's pantry of sorts. Using four MDF boards cut down to size by the home improvement store staff and a couple of supporting materials, I made my own stockpile closet!

It has organized my stockpile and I didn't clutter my space.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

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  • I'm a money coach and mom of 2 who's paying off $179,000 of debt by 40. Here's what my family spends during a typical week.
  • Chase Offers can get you cash back at Casper, J. Crew and more just for having a card — here are some of the best deals available now.

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