Why You Need a Grocery Freeze

Do you feel like your grocery budget is out of control? If you are spending hundreds each month on groceries and still having to run out weekly for ingredients then something has to change. It can be hard to get your spending on track and reign in your food budget. In the post Creating Your Future: January 2017 Goals I mentioned that this month we are doing a grocery freeze this month. It is a huge part of my finance goals because of how much money it saves my family. Keep reading to find out what it is and why you need a grocery freeze to get your budget under control.

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Are you ready to get your grocery budget under control and your spending back on track? Find out why you need a grocery freeze to make it happen.

What is a Grocery Freeze?

A grocery freeze is a specialized no-spend challenge. For an entire month you don’t spend one penny on food of any kind. It helps you reset your grocery budget and also prevents food waste. When I do it, I don’t spend any money at all on food. I don’t buy coffees, slip through a drive-thru, and no popping by the store for milk. If you want to adjust it, you can make exceptions for basics like milk, eggs, and bread. The perk of not allowing exceptions is that it forces you to get creative with your meals and, in some cases, learn alternative ways to prepare them.

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Why Do You Need a Grocery Freeze?

I don’t quite know how it happens but we always end up with things in our pantry and freezer that keep getting shoved aside each month. Canned goods sit unused and vegetables in steam packs never get eaten. A grocery freeze is the way to fix that. It forces you to use up those lonely items because you simply don’t have anything else. It can also force you to eat more vegetables is you run out of meat to prepare. (I admit that in all my years of doing grocery freezes, I have only run out of meat once.)

Grocery Freeze Steps

Now that you know why you need a grocery freeze, it’s time to get started. These easy steps will walk you through the basics. It may seem intuitive but without preparation you can stumble (or give up) when you hit road blocks. I want you to be successful reigning in your grocery budget.

Step 1

Pick you month. Don’t pick a month too far away. The closer the date is the better. That will keep you from padding your pantry with extra items before the freeze.

Step 2

Start on the first of the month and create an inventory of everything in your freezer, fridge, and pantry. If you need help, I’ve got tips and a free printable for your at You Can’t Meal Plan without Knowing What You Have.

Step 3

Take a look at your list and come up with a meal plan.

Step 4

Make and freeze the meals you can in batches. If it’s not easy on you then you will be more likely to give up as the month goes on.


Are you ready to get your grocery budget under control and your spending back on track? Find out why you need a grocery freeze to make it happen.

Are you ready to get your grocery budget under control and your spending back on track? Now you know why you need a grocery freeze to make it happen. Clean out your inventory and stop wasting food (and money) each month. I like to do these twice a year. Doing one in January sets the tone for my grocery budget the rest of the year. A second grocery freeze during the summer resets my pantry/freezer before the new school year. Come back next week for Grocery Freeze Tips to be successful and stretch your groceries.

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I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.

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  • I SO want to do this. Even after moving and getting rid of a lot of stuff, I feel like we still have so many pantry items. My issue is that my husband insists on fresh fruit each morning with yogurt and granola. Those items I purchase each week so I wouldn’t be able to stop going to the store. And I know that if I’m at the store, I’ll buy other things too lol. But I guess it would be better than nothing!

    • Maybe try to do it in the fall when you can go to a farmer’s market each week. Then the items you can purchase are limited while still letting you pick up fresh fruit. 🙂

  • Charlotte Burkholder

    Do you find you spend alot though after the freeze is over? I can see how it helps use up those odd things in the pantry.

    • We do spend a little bit more but our grocery budget is $200 a month and we might spend $250. That is usually on staples like rice, dry beans, and flour which tend to run low after a grocery freeze.

      • Charlotte Burkholder

        That’s an impressive monthly budget.