How To Keep Your Grocery Spending Under Control

Now, more than ever, people are watching their budgets. People are tightening their belts and watching what they spend. One area that can be controlled is your grocery spending. There are many creative ways to keep this budget line item tight and still eat well. Some are rather obvious, others not so much.

Hopefully, you'll find some ideas below that will help you save time and money on your grocery bill.

Top Ways To Keep Your Grocery Spending Under Control

Make a list and stick with it: Using a grocery list is a great way to save money. It keeps you from wandering the store and spending extra on impulse purchases. And, if you stick to that list, it helps ensure you get what you need without wasting food or money. Make sure to plan your meals for the week before making this list to get everything you need and nothing that you don't.

Make A Grocery Budget: Having a budget for your grocery shopping  Track your grocery spending for a few weeks. Next, you need to come up with a weekly or monthly budget. Don't go over that limit when you allocate that money to groceries.

The next thing you need to do is to reduce your budget by $20 each month. Do not stop until you reach the lowest point. You can accomplish that without feeling deprived by following the remaining tips.

Learn how to create a budget

Buy generic when possible: While there are some great brand names out there, most of them can be found at a much lower price in the generic section of your favorite grocery store. For those premium brands that you absolutely can't live without, if you must buy them, sign up for their shoppers' clubs and get coupons or special offers from their websites.

Buy fresh on sale: Keep an eye on sales to stock up on the items that are best bought fresh such as meat, dairy products, and produce. And remember to check out other stores around town for better prices on these types of groceries. Keep an eye out for local farmers' markets where you can get farm-fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the source at a better price.

Consider frozen vegetables: Frozen veggies are just as healthy for you as fresh ones (sometimes even more so because they are picked when ripe), and many times cheaper! Look for sales at the grocery store or freeze them yourself when they are in season, so you have them when they're more expensive.

Buy overripe fruits and vegetables that need to be used immediately: If you see a great price on overripe fruits or vegetables, get to the produce section and pick up a few! They are often considered waste products by grocery stores as soon as they are ripe enough to eat. Grab them and use them or freeze them for later!

Shop Around: Prices change from store to store, sometimes by enormous margins! Check out ads for different stores in your area and use them to compare pricing. The difference between what something costs at one store vs. another may surprise you! Get in the habit of comparing prices on items you regularly buy at different stores. You may be surprised at the disparity and how much extra cash it might net you.

Many grocery stores offer specials to entice you to shop with them. Look carefully at the fine print on these specials and make sure they're as good as they seem.

Don't Shop Hungry or Annoyed: A trip to the store can be an enjoyable experience, but if you're irritable and stressed out, that's where most people go wrong! Before heading out for groceries, sit down and think about what you need and what you don't need. Please do this at home, not while shopping, because once you get started, it's too late!

Do you want to splurge on a lot of “comfort” food items because you've had a terrible day? No? Then don't go shopping when you are angry, hungry, or feeling stressed out. A calm state of mind will help prevent unnecessary purchases that can add up quickly and throw your budget off track. And while we're at it.

Shop Alone: Do not shop with friends or family members who may end up tempting you into making purchases you don't need. If it's not on your list, you don't need it! If you go with the company, don't give in to these suggestions, and don't feel guilty if you say “no.”

Simplify your meals- Stick to simple recipes that require only a few ingredients that are easy to find. Make sure they are reasonably quick to make as well! Keep it as simple as possible, and you will save time and money.

Plan your meals: This means more than just making a list of what you're going to make for dinner that night. Make sure to plan some freezer meals ahead of time and at least 2 weeks' worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinners so that you can use up leftovers from the previous day's meal in them. Meal planning prevents waste and ensures that you have nutritious food on hand whenever you need it!

Shop your fridge/pantry: Make sure to use up what you have before purchasing more. Plan for the items you already have in your meals so that you only need to buy anything missing to complete the recipe.


These tips are great ways to save money while still enjoying nutritious food. Don't feel guilty about buying a little wilted or bruised produce- use it up! The same goes for those “imperfect” fruits and veggies that are cheaper but may have a cosmetic imperfection here or there.

Grocery shopping doesn't have to mean breaking the bank! Try these tips when planning your next shopping trip and see how much money you can save while staying healthy and satisfied!

How do you keep your grocery spending under control? Let us know in the comment section.

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Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.