Groceries can be a huge expense, but it doesn’t have to be. And this doesn’t even include eating out! These small tips and tricks can help you cut down your grocery costs more than you ever would have thought.
Cutting your grocery bill is a very effective way to start saving you some serious money. Use that extra money your saving on your groceries to start seriously paying off some debt or make yourself a cushy savings account.
How To Save Money on Your Groceries
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01. Eat food you already have first
Before you buy a single thing, go through what you have first. This way you are only buying what you actually need and you avoid letting food expire before you get a chance to eat it.
02. Pull Old Food Forward
Groceries stores do this too! And for good reason. Pull forward food that needs to be eaten soon and put food with a longer expiry date further back. This will help you eat the food that needs to be eaten before food with a longer shelf life.
03. Meal Plan
Plan you meals at least one week in advance. Don’t forget to keep in mind your schedule when planning your meals. If you only have 30 minutes to get supper on the table, this is not the day where you are cooking a five course meal!
04. Make a List
Once you have you meal plan, make a list! Go through each ingredient you need and add it to the list if you need it. Don’t buy things that aren’t on your list. It either wont get eaten or something else wont.
05. Buy Snacks
Buying snacks in bulk is much more affordable than a last minute run to the convenience store. Not only are you paying a marked up convenience price, you are also more likely to impulse buy more than you need.
06. Check Local flyers
Plan you meals around food that’s on sale in your area. Keep in mind, not everything in a flyer is on sale!
07. Get a Flyer App
Flyer apps make sale shopping so much easier. Most come equipped with a handy search tool – that allow you to search over all your local flyers. Find any sale on any item from all the stores in your area within seconds!
08. Know your food prices
Knowing your food prices will let you know if an item is on actually on sale. Not all deals are that great of a deal. (This is one of those things that do take time – but you’ll get there if you’re paying attention)
09. Buy in Bulk
Most items are usually cheaper when you buy in bulk. Only buy as much as you could eat before it goes bad though – wasting food will end up costing you more than you will save. Don’t forget to use your freezer. Sale prices may fall below bulk buying prices so make sure you always check!
10. Stock up
This works great especially if you are buying bulk. Grab yourself a few freezer bags and load up your freezer when you can. Don’t forget to date it! You can go one step ahead and add an eat buy date. If you don’t know how long it will last – google is a great resource!
11. Buy Store Brands or no name brands
Generic is usually less expensive than the name brand. I don’t recommend buying everything generic if you won’t eat it – you aren’t saving any money. Many things though taste almost exactly the same – some are even made in the same place!
12. Use Coupons
As time consuming as finding and cutting coupons are, they can end up saving you a ton of money. Be careful though, just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you need that item – or that much of an item!
13. Use Coupon apps
Coupon apps are a huge time saver! And most of them come with a search bar so you can find exactly what you are looking for. If you can try to find coupons for items that are already on sale (if your store allows it.)
Don’t know where to start with coupon apps, check out this list of Top Coupon Apps to get you started.
14. Use Cashback apps
A cashback apps are a similar idea to coupons, except they pay you out after the purchase rather than before.
A couple popular ones include:
Looking for more cashback apps, check out my post on Cashback Apps.
15. Use Reward Cards
Many stores will have a rewards or loyalty card with various types of programs. It’s pretty easy to find out if your store has them – they usually ask you about them every time you visit. Most are free.
16. Know your Store’s Rules
Some stores have limits and you should know what your store limit allows. There are a few ways to get around these limits. My favorite is to send my husband to buy more. Or go a few days later. Every store’s rules are different, so find out your favorite store’s rules because you may have to plan your shopping trip around it.
17. Price Match
This goes back to knowing your stores rules. Some stores will have a policy that they will match other local store’s prices. Price matching saves you time and gives your that one-stop shop!
18. Compare prices by unit size
This is the best way to find out if a sale is really a sale! Take the price of the item and divide it buy it’s unit (oz, item, g, ml, etc). Compare it’s price per unit to give you the better price. (Obviously, this isn’t needed for items that are the same size.)
19. Check the reduced section
Many grocery stores have a reduced section – especially on produce. These are great for baking ingredients or food that your planning on freezing or eating right way.
20. Avoid Convenience Items
Those precut fruit and veggies do make life so much easier but it doesn’t come free. Usually, these come at an extremely marked up price. Spend the extra five minutes to cut those yourself and save yourself the money.
21. Avoid Convenience stores
Convenience stores make their money on impulse buys and last minute shops. Most will mark up their prices accordingly.
22. Avoid extra shopping trips
Every time you walk into the grocery store, your going to spend money. A few extra things here and there might not seem like a big deal at the time. But over the course of a month, or even a year, these here-and-there purchases add up quickly. Avoid extra trips as much as possible. BUT if you have to go to a grocery store over a convenience store!
23. Don’t buy out of season
Out of season produce costs a fortune compared to its in season price. It make sense, someone has to pay to ship everything from farther and farther away. But this can leave a huge dent in your wallet.
24. Buy frozen
If you really want items out of season, consider buying frozen. These tend to much more affordable that the fresh (out of season) produce anyway. Buying frozen also helps to reduce waste for in season food. Thaw out what you need and the rest can be put back in the freezer. Also if you don’t live near the ocean, fish is a good product to buy frozen too!
25. Avoid Organic
I’m not debating whether or not organic is better for you, but it isn’t better for your wallet. Organic foods are significantly more expense than non-organics across almost all the boards!
Summing It Up
Start off small. Even just making a few of these small changes, you’ll begin to see a difference on your receipt. Start with a meal plan and a list and you will be surprised at how much extra purchases you would normally make!
Want to Save More Money on Groceries?
Looking for more tips on how to Save Money on your groceries? Check out my post on How to Meal Plan – The Right Way and learn some great tips & tricks to plan your meals more effectively.
Looking to get some deals?
What are your favorite grocery saving tips?
PS: I have this awesome freebie library that you should check out & yes – it’s all free!