66: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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A few years ago, Josh Elledge became obsessed with one line item in his family’s budget: the grocery bill. His family of 4 was spending $700-800 per month on groceries, and he already considered himself a fairly frugal shopper — it’s not like they were eating filet mignon every night!

So he set out on a mission to figure out how to feed his family for less, and ultimately cut his grocery bill in half.

The solution was “coupon stacking” — the art and science of combining high value coupons with in-store sales. I’ve never seen “Extreme Couponers” or whatever the show is called, but I was certainly intrigued by the idea of getting super cheap or free groceries.

I mean, everybody’s gotta eat, right?

The problem is, scouring for deals is time-consuming and nobody is getting excited about clipping coupons and saving $0.25. With a bit of tech background, Josh was able to build a software / database solution to this problem called SavingsAngel.com, which he says can earn people the equivalent of $30-50 per hour in grocery savings.

And since most of The Side Hustle Show episodes focus on earning more money, I thought it would be interesting to do a show about saving money. After all, whether you earn an extra $100 a month or save an extra $100 a month, the net result on your bank account is the same.

(Actually, saving is more efficient because you’ll have to pay income taxes on the $100 you earn. But naturally there’s a limit to how much any family can reasonably save.)

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Free PDF Download:

cut grocery bill in half

Click here to download Josh’s money-saving strategies and my full notes from the show.


  • How to save $200-300 per month or more on groceries.
  • How to maximize your efforts and earn a decent “hourly wage” while you’re at it.
  • The types of food you can get — not just the unhealthy stuff.
  • Why you should “never buy what you need.”
  • How Extreme Couponing is mostly made-for-TV fiction.
  • Why “couponing” has a certain stigma but being a smart shopper does not.
  • Why Costco and Sam’s Club are probably not your best bet for food savings.
  • How an extra hour a week could put a significant dent in your monthly grocery budget.
  • Josh’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


What do you think?

I do most of the grocery shopping for our house and never really gave it much thought. I usually just go to Trader Joe’s because I like their food and it’s on the same side of the freeway as my gym.

We spend a little less than $100 a week on groceries for our family of 2 … if we could cut that just 25%, that would be $1000 savings or more over the course of the year. That’s an international flight!

Free PDF Download:

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

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6 thoughts on “66: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half”

  1. Great tips. In my landlording maintenance, I always look for deals. 10% off at Lowes can be had on eBay for ~$2.00. Sherwin Williams will give deals, and Home Deport has a Paint rewards program. Even filling up the gas tank with .10 off coupons saves a bundle over time.

    A penny saved is a penny towards your FI date…

  2. My wife and I are both extreme savers… which played a big role in me being able to turn my side hustle into full time business (http://codeavengers.com) even though the business could only afford to pay me $200 per week… and my wife was a full-time mother working 1 day per week as optometrist.

    I’m based in New Zealand and unfortunately we don’t have the awesome coupons they have in the US. We have a family of 4 and managed to keep our grocery bill to $30 US per week (I’m sure that sounds insane).

    Our gas tank bill is only $20 per week.

    Here are a few of my tips.

    1. Fruit trees. One of our key criteria for buying a house was getting one with lots of fruit trees. We freeze what we can’t eat for smoothies, fruit pies etc.

    2. Grow a garden. Both of us love our veggies, and I am luck to have a wife that enjoys working in the garden. Her philosophy is if there is something in the garden that aint edible… replace it with something that is.

    3. Reduced to clear. Frozen ripe bananas made the BEST fruit smoothies. My wife knows the day and time the shops discount their old fruit and buys boxes for $1-2 which we eat, slice and freeze over the next day or 2.

    She also knows the time each week that they make left over salad bags half price. Good for winter when lettuce doesn’t grow so well in the garden.

    4. Vegetarian meals. We eat a lot of vegetarian meals. Once you get used to not eating meat everyday, you feel great… and save lots of money!

    5. Eat out once per quarter. Apart from being too busy to eat out… it saves us a ton. The restaurant we choose is based on what ever 50%+ coupons pop up during the quarter.

    6. Get a border. Our sister in law lives with us and buys more expensive stuff when she cooks.

    7. Have cute kids. The grandparents spoil our kids with all sorts of treats… which means we don’t have to buy any of that expensive junk food!

    Gas in NZ is heavily taxed, so way more expensive in the USA. We fill up ONCE per month. They always have 1 day a month where the stores drop their price by 10-20c per liter.

    We have 1 car… worth about $1000.

    I work from home. My wife enjoys walking and usually picks up the groceries when she walks. I love to run and cycle. If I have any errands to run, I combine it with my exercise.

    I could go on and on…

    When you do this sort of think for 20+ years it adds up big time!!

    Thanks to these sorts of spending habits, we were able to buy a house shortly after we got married, and pay it off in 2 years… before we had our first kid, and before I started working on my business full time.

    Note: prior to starting the business I was a full time student, and had never had a full time job.

  3. Nick, thanks for this episode. Even though I live alone, I’m sure I can save some serious pennies when grocery shopping from now on.
    I wish I listened to this show last week – I didn’t know you were coming to Podcast Movement. Hopefully, I’ll see you there next year.

  4. I tried the site Savings Angel today after listening to episode #66 and I found the free coupons section. I was able to go to most of the coupon links however there were many that were blocked by the library that I logged in to view the site. Thanks for the great work you do Nick! Love the show!

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