How To Hack Your Grocery Bill


As The Magic Bean Counter I am always trying to figure out ways to save money and since all of our debt is paid off (excluding the mortgage), our biggest monthly expense is groceries. Even in early retirement, it looks like groceries will be our biggest monthly expense. So I find it well worth my time to find savings whenever possible in regards to our monthly grocery bill. In doing so, I’d like to pass on one of the biggest money savers to date that I have come across. I estimate it can save you at least $25 per month and will make you, your family, and your home cleaner and healthier. But first things first, let’s go over my typical monthly grocery bill in a little more detail.

How much do we spend on groceries in a month?

I currently have us budgeted to spend about $350 per month on groceries for a family of 4. That’s not just food; it also includes cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper, etc… I think that’s a pretty good number for 4 people but as a personal challenge to myself I want to try to lower it even further by eliminating any unnecessary products.

How are we going to lower an already low grocery bill?

With the help of BAKING SODA! I’ve known for some time now about the powers of baking soda and this month I plan to put those powers to the test by using it for the following items/uses. I estimate these changes to save over $25 from our monthly grocery bill.

-Toothpaste (Savings of $2) – To use baking soda as toothpaste you can literally just dip your toothbrush in it and start brushing.

-Toilet Cleaner (Savings of $3.50) – To use baking soda as a toilet cleaner, sprinkle some around the inside of the bowl, put on some gloves, and clean the bowl with a rag.

-Laundry Detergent (Savings of $12) – To use baking soda as laundry detergent, I plan to have the washing machine fill up with water, and then add about 1 cup of baking soda before I put my clothes in.

-Face Cleaner (Savings of $5) – To use baking soda as a face cleaner, sprinkle some on a damp rag and scrub to your hearts content.

-Deodorant (Savings of $2.50 – I’m nervous about this one, I love my red zone!) – -To use baking soda as deodorant, simply sprinkle a little bit on both hands (preferably right after you step out of the shower so your hands are damp) and apply under each arm. I have to say I’m skeptical about this one, but I promise to give it a go. UPDATE-4/3/17! I am on day 3 of using baking soda as my deodorant and I am SOLD! My armpits feel free (if that’s a thing)!!

-Mouthwash (Savings of $3.50) – Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and gargle. Update-4/3/17! Also day 3 of using baking soda and water as mouthwash. IT WORKS! I continue to be amazed by the powers of this stuff.

-Body Soap (Savings of $3.50) – Add 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply with a rag.

-Shower/Bathtub Cleaner (Savings of $2) – Sprinkle baking soda in your shower or tub and scrub with a damp rag.

-Dish Cleaner (Savings of $3) – Add some baking soda to the bottom of your dish washer and let it run (this will also clean the inside of the dishwasher).

Total savings = $37 less the cost of a month’s supply of baking soda (maybe $10) = $27 savings to the monthly grocery budget.

So are you ready to take the baking soda challenge with me? What do you use baking soda for that I didn’t mention?

4 thoughts on “How To Hack Your Grocery Bill

    1. Hi Troy,

      Full disclosure, we eat a plant based diet, so instead of spending a lot on meat, cheese, eggs, etc. We spend on potatoes, rice, beans, etc.. This helps take the spending WAY down. Man for $700/ month you must be eating some good meals!

  1. I had no idea all of the different things that you could do with baking soda. These are great tips and I am definitely going to have to try these outs. Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. It truly is amazing. I’m on day 3 of the deodorant experiment, and I’ve gotta admit I’m sold! I had my doubts, but it really does work well. I even rode my bike in to work this morning, and no issues. Still smelling fresh as a daisy. haha. Thanks for the post MSM!

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