14 Ways to Save on Groceries
Updated: May 9
Whether it's getting out of debt, living on a fixed income or simply sticking to a budget, here are fourteen ways to save on groceries:
Make a list: Before you go shopping, make a list of the items you need. The list will help you stick to your budget and avoid impulse purchases.
Hint: If you have a smartphone, use its built-in note-taking application to have your list handy when you shop.
Use coupons: Look for coupons in the newspaper or online, and use them when shopping to save money on your purchases.
Hint: Use a website like Flipp to review weekly flyers and see local coupons for stores near you: https://flipp.com/
Shop around: Don't be afraid to shop at multiple stores to find the best prices on the items you need. Produce may be the lowest cost and freshest at one store, while dairy and cereals are the lowest cost at another.
Hint: Weigh the trade offs of savings, with time and effort.
Bulk purchases: Buying in bulk can save money, especially on items that have a long shelf life and that you use frequently. Just be sure to consider whether you have the storage space and whether you'll use all of the items before you buy them.
Hints: One of the leading bulk grocery stores is Costco. Indian Groceries have bulk spices at good prices.
Buy store or generic brands: Generic or store-brand products are often just as good as brand-name products but cost less. Consumer Reports magazine recently reported that using store-branded items can save over 50% vs. nation-leading brands.
Hint: Costco, Aldi's, Walmart, and Target have top-quality store brands saving consumers the most money.
Plan your meals: Planning your meals can help you save money by reducing food waste and allowing you to take advantage of sales and discounts. Cooking large portions saves you time and money if you plan and freeze leftovers.
Shop sales and use discounts: Look for sales and discounts at your local grocery store, and take advantage of them to save money by stocking up during great deals. If it's not on sale, consider passing.
Hint: Use a deep freeze to store those great deals longer.
Grow your produce: Consider starting a garden or growing herbs on your windowsill to save money on fresh produce. Many vegetables grow vertically in planters taking up little room on a patio or deck.
Hint: Tomatoes are one of easiest to get started with.
Don't shop when you're hungry: It's easy to make impulsive purchases when you're hungry, so try to shop for groceries when you're full. Avoid food samples as they make you hungry and can lead to impulse buying groceries.
Hint: Shop Friday or Saturday nights after dinner as it's less busy.
Use cash or a debit card: Using cash or a debit card can help you stick to your budget and avoid overspending with a credit card.
Hint: Be prepared to put an item back if you go over your budget.
Use headphones and listen to music while shopping. This habit can help you stay focused on your list and speed up your shopping experience. It also cuts out audible in-store advertising and impulsive buying behaviors.
Hint: Upbeat music can make getting in and out of the store go faster.
When comparing shopping items, use unit costs to level the playing field. Fifteen cents per ounce for cereal is a worthy goal.
Hint: Oatmeal should hit this goal.
Eating less meat saves money: Replace 1 or 2 meals per week with beans, legumes, eggs, and seeds. These are cheap and nutritious sources of protein.
Hint: Start a new 'Meatless Monday' habit.
Shop produce in season: Local produce in season is generally cheaper, fresher, and more nutritious than out-of-season items. Produce not in season is flown, shipped, or trucked further, increasing costs to you.
Hint: Check the froze aisle as some frozen fruits and veggies will be cheaper.
We hope this list of 14 Ways to Save Money on Groceries had some new ideas for you. Please share your ideas by leaving a comment now.