Saving money on groceries can seem overwhelming. To make life a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen simple tips to help you save money every time you go to the grocery store. With this guide, you will learn how to create budget-friendly meals, use coupons the right way, and shop smarter.
Tip #1: Set a Grocery Budget and Stick to It
Setting and sticking to a grocery budget is the first step in saving on groceries. After all, if you have no idea how much money you can spend, it’s hard to plan accordingly.
Start by determining how much you can realistically afford to spend on groceries each week. Then, keep track of your spending as you go to make sure you stay within your budget. You can use an app or a spreadsheet to make the process easier.
It can also be helpful to break down your budget into categories like produce, proteins, canned goods, pantry staples, etc. This will help you see exactly where your money is going, so you can make adjustments if needed.
Tip #2: Make a Detailed Grocery List and Check It Twice
Creating a detailed grocery list might sound like a pain, but it can help you save money in the long run. Before going to the store, sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Take into account the snacks and other items you need that might not necessarily be food, such as coffee filters or toothpaste. After writing your meals down and taking inventory of what you need, create a shopping list with all items you need, and make sure to prioritize items that are on sale.
It’s also helpful to keep an eye out while in the store to see if there are any items you might have forgotten — even if it may be unplanned. However, don’t go overboard and purchase items you don’t need just because it’s there. Having an organized list and only buying what you need will help you stay on budget.
Before checking out, quickly go over your groceries again to make sure you haven’t missed anything. If you’ve gone over budget, look for non-essential items that you can take out.
Tip #3: Buy in Bulk to Save Money
Buying groceries in bulk is a great way to save money. When it comes to food items like canned goods, cereals, and other non-perishable items, buying in bulk can cost significantly less than buying individual items. Plus, if you have the space to store larger quantities of items, it can also help you save time when it comes to shopping, as you won’t need to buy these items as often.
When it comes to perishable items like produce, dairy, and meat, consider splitting these purchases with family or friends to get the most bang for your buck. You may also be able to find discounts if you purchase larger quantities at certain stores.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of Coupons
Coupons can be a great way to save money on groceries each week. Many stores now offer digital coupons that can be added right to your loyalty card, saving you even more time. To make sure you’re always getting the best savings, seek out weekly flyers from your local grocery store and check for coupons, too. With a little bit of effort, clipping coupons and adding them to your loyalty card can help you save a significant amount of money over the course of a month.
Tip #5: Avoid Unhealthy Foods and Pre-Made Meals
When grocery shopping, it can be easy to get distracted by unhealthy convenience foods like pre-made pies, cookies, and bags of chips. Although they may seem like a good deal, purchasing these items won’t help you save money in the long run. Instead, focus on healthier options that will not only save you money, but will also benefit your health. Opt for unprocessed foods like whole grains, fresh vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Not only are these more nutritious, but they’ll also be more cost effective in the long run.
Along with unhealthy foods, another big budget breaker is buying pre-made meals. These items are convenient, but they tend to be more expensive than buying the ingredients separately. This is because these meals have already been prepared and often come with extra added fees. In order to save money, avoid the pre-made aisle and instead opt for buying the plants and spices you need to make these dishes from scratch. The time you put in will be worth it when you see how much you’re saving in your pocket.
Tip #6: Shop the Perimeter of Your Supermarket
If you want to save money on groceries, it pays to shop the perimeter of your supermarket. This is where you will find the freshest produce, dairy, and meats. You can also find things like frozen fruits and vegetables, which are typically healthier than pre-packaged foods and much cheaper. Buying fresh ingredients and making meals from scratch is a great way to save money and eat healthily.
When shopping the perimeter of your supermarket, look for items that are in season, as they usually cost less. Also, be sure to compare prices and always check for expiration dates.
Tip #7: Compare Store Prices and Make Price Books
It’s important to compare prices between stores when you go grocery shopping. Taking the time to research which stores offer the best deals on certain items can save you a lot of money in the long run. To make this process easier, create a “price book” to track the prices of groceries at different stores.
A price book can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You can keep it in a spreadsheet, an app on your phone, or even a basic pen-and-paper notebook. Just note down the items that you frequently buy, and the prices that each store offers. That way, you’ll know exactly where the best deals are.
If you’re feeling really organized, you can even break down your price book into categories, such as “produce,” “canned goods,” and “frozen foods.” That way, you can quickly locate the stores with the cheapest prices for the items that you need.
Tip #8: Don’t Ignore the Frozen Aisle
The frozen aisle at your local grocery store can be a great way to save money – and it’s not just for convenience foods! Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked and frozen at their peak ripeness, so they can last longer than fresh produce and usually cost less. Plus, buying frozen foods can help you cut down on food waste since you can purchase just what you need.
When you’re looking for bargains in the frozen aisle, look out for special deals and labels like “buy one get one free” or “50% off”. Another way to save money in the frozen aisle is to look for value packs – these often contain several items for a cheaper price than if you were to buy them individually.
To make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, take a quick look at the labels before you make your purchase. Doing so will help you compare prices, confirm serving size, and read the ingredient list.
Tip #9: Purchase Store Brands for Great Savings
Making the switch to store brand items can help you save money on groceries without sacrificing quality. Many popular store brands have the same ingredients as name brands, but cost much less. So next time you’re in the supermarket, check the list of ingredients and compare prices to see if you can find an equally good quality product at a cheaper rate.
When considering store brands, take a look at the private label store brands as well. These are often made just for particular stores and may have an even bigger savings than regular store brands. Pay attention to the expiration dates on any items, as store brands sometimes have a shorter shelf life than name brands.
Keep these points in mind when buying store brands:
- Check the list of ingredients to make sure you’re getting the same quality.
- Compare prices with name brand items to determine if you’re getting a good deal.
- Take a look at the private label store brands as they may have more savings.
- Pay attention to the expiration dates as they may be shorter than name brands.
Tip #10: Grow Your Own Produce
Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money on groceries. Growing your own food eliminates the costs associated with buying them from the store, such as transportation, storage, and packaging. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you grew it yourself!
When choosing what to grow, consider what you normally buy at the store. Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and onions are all relatively easy to grow, even for novice gardeners. With just a few seeds, soil, and pots or plots of land, you can reap a bounty of organic, delicious produce.
Gardening also provides you with healthy outdoor exercise. You’ll get the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine while tending to your plants. It’s a great way to relax after a stressful day, while also saving money and eating healthier.
Tip #11: Limit Unnecessary Grocery Trips
One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to limit unnecessary trips to the store. Before you head out, take the time to inventory items in your pantry and refrigerator. Make a list based on what you already have and what you need to get. This way you won’t be tempted by items you don’t need or impulse purchases.
If you do find yourself heading to the store more often than necessary, make sure you are prepared with a grocery list and budget. That way you can stay focused and avoid purchasing items that aren’t in your budget.
Limiting trips to the grocery store can also help you resist unhealthy snacks and pre-made meals, saving you even more money!
Tip #12: Shop Discount Stores
If you’re looking for even more ways to save on groceries, another great tip is to shop at discount stores. Many of these stores offer food items at discounted prices, and most of them carry both fresh produce and necessary ingredients. These stores are also a great place to find pantry staples, snacks, canned goods, and sometimes even health and beauty products at lower prices.
Discount stores don’t always have the same selection as traditional grocery stores, so it’s best to check the store regularly to find the best deals. Also, be sure to check expiration dates on all products to make sure they won’t spoil before you can use them. Shopping at discount stores can help you stay within budget while stocking up on all of your favorite groceries.
Tip #13: Take Advantage of Weekly Sales
An easy way to save money on groceries is to take advantage of weekly sales. Many supermarkets release a new flyer each week with discounted prices on select items for that week only. Look through the flyers and make a list of the items you need that are on sale.
You can also check the store’s website or download their app for additional discounts and savings. By focusing on purchasing items when they are on sale, you’ll be able to maximize your savings potential. You can also use loyalty programs or discount cards to earn rewards or cash back on purchases.
Tip #14: Use Apps To Find Discounts
Apps can be a great way to save money on groceries. By downloading the right apps, you can easily find discounts and special offers for your favorite products. Many apps are free to download and can give you access to exclusive promotions, coupon codes, and even loyalty points. Some even offer cashback rewards when you shop with certain retailers.
When it comes to using apps, take the time to research what is available and what kinds of deals or discounts they offer. While some apps will require you to make a purchase before you gain access to the discounts, others may only require you to sign up and create an account. By doing your research, you’ll be able to find apps that offer the best value for your money.
You should also consider signing up for loyalty programs, where you can accumulate points or rewards for shopping at particular stores or using particular products. Loyalty programs are another great way to get discounts on groceries and other items.
Tip #15: Buy Ugly Produce to Save Money
Ugly produce, or produce with cosmetic blemishes, can save you a lot of money at the grocery store. It’s often discarded or overlooked by shoppers because it’s not considered to be as aesthetically pleasing. However, ugly produce is just as nutritious and delicious as normal-looking produce. Many stores offer discounted prices on these items, so it pays to be on the lookout for them.
When shopping for produce, inspect the items carefully and look out for any minor imperfections. Ask the produce staff if they have any ugly produce items and if they’re offering discounts for them. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by purchasing these discounted items.
All of us want to save as much money as possible on groceries. It can be difficult to achieve, but with a few simple tips it can be done. By following these fifteen tips, you can make sure that you are able to save money on groceries without sacrificing the quality or quantity of your food.
Start by setting a grocery budget and sticking to it. Create a grocery list and take advantage of coupons and weekly sales. Compare store prices and take advantage of price books. Focusing on the perimeter of the supermarket, store brands, and frozen items can also help you save cash. Use apps to find discounts and don’t forget about ugly produce! Home gardeners can even save a little extra with their own produce. Finally, limit your trips to the grocery store for maximum savings!
By being mindful of your grocery budget and using these simple tips, you can confidently save money on groceries at the supermarket.