How TikTok star cut $800 from monthly grocery bill

A TikTok star with a family of four conducted an experiment and cut her grocery bill from $1,200 a month down to just $400.  

How did she do that? We asked her to share her secrets.

"Here we are now with half a million followers. People seem to really resonate with it," said Sarah Schweisthal.

Schweisthal runs social media for the money management app 'You Need A Budget.' Her TikTok views took off when she started an experiment to slash her grocery spending for her family of four.  

First, she says she made a list of everything that was already in her pantry and fridge.

"I realized I was going to go to the grocery store today, but I have a whole grocery store in my pantry in my fridge," she said.

She changed the way she organizes her fridge. Rather than putting produce in a drawer, she cuts it up, so it's ready to use.

"I made a little box called the 'Eat Me First' box, and I cleaned out the fridge. I would put the food that needed to be used up first, and I made sure to prioritize that when I was cooking," said Schweisthal.  

She started meal planning, particularly using foods she already had.

"I started what I call my three-purpose meals. I would cook a large batch of food all at once, and use them for dinner, some for lunch the next day, and we would freeze the rest to use at a different date," she explained.

That allows her to shop less often, only every two weeks, picking up just a few needed items in between. 

Her followers suggested she switch stores to shopping at Aldi for its low prices. She buys store brands when possible, and she sticks to her list, avoiding impulse buys.

"It’s the impulse purchases on the end caps, just grabbing those snacks that look good. Also single packaged items versus buying in bulk," said Schweisthal.

The result of her grocery experiment? 

"I was spending over $1,200 a month on groceries for my family of four. And the first month of the experiment I spent less than $400," she said.


She says high inflation has nudged that monthly average up closer to $600 now, but it's still half of what she was originally spending.

You can follow more of her money-saving tips on TikTok.