15 Easy Ways To Save Massive Money On Groceries

Have you been looking for ways to save money on groceries? I know I have! I can't believe how many times I've spent a hundred dollars on groceries that only fill three small bags. If you want more food for your money, you'll love today's guest post by Val Breit over at  TheCommonCentsClub.com

couple shopping most grocery stores

If you’ve never inspected your spending, you might be surprised to learn how much money you spend on groceries. In fact, the average American family spends around $1005 per month on food.

Some families get by only spending $200 or $400 per month on food. How do these families save so much money on their groceries?

As someone who learned how to cut our grocery bill nearly in half when we got serious about saving for a beautiful yet inexpensive wedding and paying off our debt from college, I’ll share with you the best and easiest ways to save money on groceries and spend less of your hard-earned money.

The Best Ways To Save Money On Groceries

First, anytime you’re making changes with your money, the best first step is to figure out exactly where you are right now. Then you can track your progress and see if you’re headed in the right direction.

You can do this by looking at your monthly budget for groceries and eating out. There are budgeting apps like mint.com or spreadsheets that can help you categorize your monthly spending so you can quickly figure out exactly how much you tend to spend on food every month.

If you’re unsure how to set up a budget, you can check out this simple guide on making a monthly budget to complete this first step.

1. Take Inventory

Now that you’ve taken inventory of how much you spend on groceries, the next step is to take stock of the food you already have in your house. This means you’ll check the freezer, the pantry, fridge, and kitchen cupboards to figure out what you already have on hand.

2. Get Creative With Your Pantry

You guessed it! Saving money on groceries starts by eating the food you already have! This might mean you’ll have some pretty interesting concoctions at your place over the next few weeks, but when you think about it, why do you go to the store and fill up a cart full of food when you already have a bunch of food sitting at home?

Have a can of beans in the cupboard? Add that to your tacos instead of buying more ground beef. Find frozen corn in the freezer. It might be corn dip this weekend instead of a taco dip.

Have a box of rice in the pantry? Time to check out Pinterest for some yummy rice recipes. When you get creative with using the food you already have, you can get by buying a lot less at the grocery store.

3. Clipping Coupons

Ask a customer service rep at your local stores to find out if there are any special coupon days. Many stores will have a dedicated day of the week when coupons are worth twice the face value.

You can also double down by using coupons to lower the price you pay in the store, then use a money-saving app that will give you cashback on purchases afterward.

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4. Meal Planning

Meal planning is a great way to save money on groceries, but it can be so time-consuming!

We’ve solved that problem for you – our meal planner will have you assembling 20 delicious dinners in under 3 hours, and they’ll all be stored in the freezer, so you don’t have to worry about last-minute dinner stress. Using our meal planner, you can save over 50% on your grocery bill.

Imagine coming home from a long day at work and being able to put a delicious, home-cooked meal on the table without having to spend any extra time in the kitchen. Stick the meals in your freezer when you are done putting them together, then put them in the slow cooker the morning you want to eat them.

Try our Meal Planner today and start saving money on groceries! New to meal planning? Try our freezer meal tips for beginners.

5. Sales Cycles

One of the most effective ways to use a coupon is to learn about sale cycles and watch for the proper times to stock up. Sales cycles repeat like clockwork and rarely disappoint, by shopping when items are at their lowest, you save the most.

For example, exercise equipment and health foods go on sale in January because of all the New Year’s resolutions, and TVs go on sale around then because of the Superbowl the following month.

Natural cleaning supplies are sold in April due to spring cleaning and Earth Day.

Cereal and sandwich foods go on sale in August because school starts. When holidays get close, you can expect turkey, ham, and processed foods like canned items and boxed stuffing.

woman using app to help with grocery budget

6. Save Money On Groceries With Apps

There are lots of coupon and rebate apps out there, and here are a few you need to try if you haven’t yet:

Here’s an example of how using these apps can cut your grocery bill: I recently found a bag of frozen fruits and veggies for smoothies that is usually $9 at Walmart. It was on sale for $2 off, Ibotta had a $2 rebate, plus I had a $.50 coupon…making that $9 bag only $4.50! The best part is these apps are easy to use if you have a smartphone to scan your receipt. Using rebate apps like these can be another excellent way to get money back for the food you buy anyway.

7. Pay With A Grocery Rewards Card

Grocery stores often offer rewards cards that give shoppers discounts on their purchases. For example, a grocery store may offer a card that gives the cardholder a 10% discount on all grocery purchases.

To get the discount, the cardholder simply shows the card at the time of purchase. The discount is then automatically applied to the total amount of the purchase. Grocery stores typically offer cardholders other benefits, such as special deals and coupons.

Rewards cards are usually free to sign up for, and there is no annual fee. Therefore, there is no reason not to take advantage of this savings opportunity.

8. Shop At Big Box Stores

Anyone who's ever grocery shopped at a big box store knows they can save a lot of money by shopping there. But what many people don't realize is that there are a few strategies that can help you save even more:

  1. Always make a list before you go grocery shopping. This will help you stay focused and avoid buying things you don't need.
  2. Take advantage of sales and special deals. Big box stores often have great sales on specific items, so it pays to be aware of these deals.
  3. Don't be afraid to use coupons.

Many big box stores offer coupons that can be used for specific items or even for your entire purchase. Following these tips can save significant money on your grocery bill.

9. Save Money By Ordering Online

While Aldi is my go-to store for cheap groceries, sometimes the best deals can be found online. This can be especially true if you have certain health restrictions or diets to follow, as I do.

While I haven’t had much luck buying cheap groceries on Amazon, I have found some excellent deals on healthy foods from Brandless, where everything is just $3.

I did a complete Brandless review to show you how Brandless prices and quality compare to similar items you can find at Aldi or Amazon so you can easily see which one is the best deal.

10. Compare Prices

Grocery shopping can be daunting, especially if you're trying to stick to a grocery budget. One way to save money is to compare prices before heading to the store. Check the weekly ads for your local grocery stores and see which store has the best deals on the items you need.

You can also use a price comparison app like Flipp to see which store has the lowest prices. Take a few extra minutes at the store to compare similar items' prices. Check the per-unit price (e.g., price per ounce) by using the scan code feature on your phone.

By comparing prices, you can ensure you get the best deal possible on your grocery shopping.

11. Grow Your Food

Over the years, my husband and I have learned much about how to be frugal to meet our goals. Regarding food, we’ve gone from two tomato plants in a pot outside our apartment to a giant garden in our backyard.

Although this is a time commitment, growing our food can be a tremendous way to save money on groceries. Even if you only grow lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this could be a salad right in your backyard!

Plus, those are some of the easiest vegetables to grow, so you can cut costs on pre-packaged salads from the store or expensive restaurant salads by growing your veggies.

12. Shop Your Local Farmers Market

One way to save money on groceries is to shop at a farmer's market. Farmer's markets offer a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, often at lower prices than the grocery store.

Furthermore, many farmer's markets offer discounts for customers who pay with cash. This is because merchants avoid paying credit card fees by only accepting cash. As a result, shoppers can save even more money by being strategic about how they pay for their purchases.

In addition to saving money, shopping at a farmers market also supports local farmers and helps to boost the local economy.

13. Never Grocery Shop On An Empty Stomach

Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is never a good idea. Not only will you be more likely to make impulse purchases, but you'll also end up spending more money overall.

When you're hungry, your blood sugar levels are low, leading to decision fatigue. This means you're more likely to resist temptation and buy unhealthy or unnecessary items. Grocery shopping while hungry can also cause you to purchase more food than you need.

So next time you're heading to the grocery store, grab a quick bite to eat first. Your wallet (and your waistline) will thank you.

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14. Use A Grocery List

Grocery stores are designed to get you to spend money. From the carefully designed layout to the strategically placed displays, grocery stores are full of temptation. However, you can save money at the grocery store by following a few simple tips:

  1. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Impulse purchases are one of the biggest ways people spend more than they need at the grocery store. By planning your meals and making a list, you can avoid buying things you don't need.
  2. Try to shop alone if possible. It's easy to be swayed by peer pressure when you're at the grocery store, but you're less likely to make impulse purchases if you're on your own.
  3. Take advantage of sales and specials.

If you know that you'll use an item and it's on sale, stock up! Following these tips can save money next time you're at the grocery store.

15. Buy Generic Brands

Grocery stores offer a variety of private label or store brands, also known as generics. The products are usually cheaper than national brands and often just as good in terms of quality.

The grocery store themselves produces generic brands, or they contract out the production to another company. The products usually have no nationally advertised brand names or iconic packaging associated with them.

Private-label products often have a reputation for being lower quality, but this is not always the case. Many store brands are now seen as equal to or better than the national brands in terms of quality. Store brands are often a great way to save money on groceries without sacrificing quality.

What grocery store saves you the most money?

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to shop at a discount store like Aldi or Lidl. These stores offer a limited selection of items but are typically much cheaper than traditional grocery stores.

Another way to save money is by buying bulk at a warehouse club like Costco or Sam's Club. Membership fees can be expensive, but if you buy enough groceries, you can easily recoup the cost.

Finally, don't forget about online grocery delivery services like Amazon Prime Pantry and Instacart. These services charge a small delivery fee, but they can be a great convenience if you're short on time.

Conclusion

If you want to save money on groceries, start by implementing some tips we've shared. Even if you only use a few of them, you should see a decrease in your grocery bill over time.

And don't forget, these are just basic tips – there are plenty of other ways to save money on food that we didn't cover here. So get creative and have fun with it!

How do you save money on groceries? Share your favorite tips in the comments below.