Supermarkets are full of amazing finds which make saving money on groceries a tough challenge to many of us. However, saving on groceries is not as hard as we think it is! You might think scavenging on coupons or compromising the quality of your goods is the only way to cut off our expenses but there are, in fact, a lot of tips and tricks that we can easily apply in our grocery shopping routine. With that, here are 50 best ways to save money on groceries that you can do if you are in a budget.
1. Make a shopping list
Even when you’re already doing the grocery for all of your life, you should still take a shopping list with you. Making a shopping list will help you know which items should be prioritized. This will keep you from buying things that you don’t really need. It can also help save time in the store.
2. Stick to your budget
In connection to making a shopping list, evaluating your finances will help you identify how much you can only spend on grocery items. This will give you cash to spend on other liabilities as well. Then when doing your grocery, stick to your budget.
3. Use coupons
We just have to admit it… coupons are a life-saver too. Just make sure to spend them on items that you really need so you’ll be using them wisely.
4. Sign up on loyalty cards
Loyalty cards could give you the best deals. You’ll get amazing discounts and custom shopping deals based on your shopping preference. If you’re frequently doing your grocery on a store which also offers amazing member perks, then go for it and sign up for a loyalty card.50 Ways To Save Money On Groceries #frugalliving #budgeting #moneysavingtips Click To Tweet
5. Consume what you have first
Foods in the fridge are usually forgotten easily until they go bad. So before making the next trip to the grocery store, make sure that you have consumed as much as you can to avoid wasting money.
6. Buy groceries in bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the smartest hacks that you can use when you’re trying to save money from your grocery expenses. Warehouses offer bulk items for cheap. Also, remember that it is not advisable to buy perishable items in bulk unless you can consume it in a timely manner.
7. Minimize trips to the store
Going to the grocery weekly is definitely not a good idea. It’s very time-consuming and it will cost you extra bucks. Consider doing your grocery every 2 weeks and use the previous tip (buying in bulk) to pull off this one.
8. Visit the farmers market
You can find fresh and cheap goods in the farmers market. Aside from saving a few bucks in your grocery, you’re also helping the local farmers earn a living.
9. Grow fruits and vegetables
If you have a spacious backyard, why not consider planting fruits and vegetables in it? It’s a nice hobby to start and in the long run, it can help you save on grocery too. You can also be sure that you’re eating fresh produce every time. If you don’t know which plants to grow, try planting salad leaves, radishes, onions, and tomatoes. These are easy to grow plants at home.
10. Bring the exact amount to the grocery
Bringing the exact amount when buying your grocery will help you stick to your budget and not overspend. You can practice placing your grocery budget in a separate envelope and avoid pulling out extra cash from your wallet when shopping.
11. Get a credit card with cash back perks
If you’re not a cash person, you can still save money by using your credit card. Just be sure you’re getting a card which has cash back perks every time you buy groceries on the supermarket.
12. Don’t shop while hungry
Shopping when hungry can lead you to a shopping cart filled with unnecessary items because of your cravings. To avoid this grave mistake, make sure you eat before going out for the groceries. With this, you can also prevent side-trips to a food stall which can take time.
13. Avoid shopping with kids
Kids are adorable but when it comes to shopping for groceries, it is best to keep them off the chore. They love pulling out random snacks from the shelves and they can also pull you off from your grocery list.
14. Buy seasonal goods
Fruits or vegetables that are in season are sold very cheap and in high quality. As much as possible, try to adjust your meal plan to include these in your recipe. With this trick, you will be able to save a lot compared to buying goods that are offseason.
15. Take advantage of sales
Be quick to know what are the available deals in the stores and plan your meals based on these sale items.
16. Make a meal plan
A meal plan helps you identify the items you need to buy in the grocery to avoid waste. This will also help you strategically plan which ingredients to buy in bulk too. You will also lessen trips to the grocery store once you have all your ingredients planned out.
17. Cook your own meal
This means making a dish from scratch and not just relying on pre-made or processed foods. Aside from the fact that these foods are not healthy, pre-made foods will also cost you more than cooking your own. There are a lot of recipes online that you can follow.
This book from Amazon is also a good investment for starters. Check it out here.
18. Use a price book to track prices
A price book will give you information which store has the lowest price on the item, what is the highest price for an item, and when the item will be on sale. This is one of the most effective and popular ways to track prices for budget shoppers.
19. Have breakfast for dinner at least once a week
Dinners don’t always have to be fancy with steak and wine. Sometimes, having pancakes or eggs for dinner is also a good idea. Aside from that, they’re easy to prepare. There are a lot of breakfast recipes out there that you can dig in on a lazy Thursday night.
20. Be creative on your leftovers
Instead of throwing them away immediately, place your leftovers in a food container and label it with the date. Then, make sure to utilize them the next day by reheating or creating a new dish out of it.
21. Bring your own bag
There are stores that charge for a plastic bag. Bringing your own reusable bag will save you from these additional costs and it could also help save the environment. Check out this reusable shopping bag from Amazon.
22. Minimize meat
At least consider a few meatless dishes in your monthly meal plan. We all know that meat is the most expensive item in every grocery list so save by using substitutes for meat once in a while like tofu or other vegetables.
23. Keep an eye on clearance items
Clearance items are always in every store. These are items that the store has to dispose of quickly but are still in good condition. Keep an eye on these and check if an item that you need is for disposal.
24. Avoid impulse buying
Impulse buying will always lead to unwise purchases. This is why making a shopping list and a meal plan are great ideas before hitting the store.
25. Familiarize your store
One of the benefits of shopping in the same store is that you can already familiarize where you can find the items in your list. Knowing where to go in and out will keep you from bumping into unnecessary purchases along the way. This also helps save time.
26. Stock up on sale items
Stock up on sale items only when you’re using it regularly. Also, consider whether the item will easily perish or not. Buying sale items in bulk will save you a lot of cash.
27. Don’t be afraid to try something new
Most especially when the item is on sale, consider switching your regular brand to the one on sale. You don’t always have to stick to the usual product. Be a wise shopper and take advantage of sales.
28. Buy generic
Generic items are cheaper but they are just the same as the branded ones. Don’t be afraid to try generic products. In the end, they will give you more savings than what you expected.
29. Be creative in the kitchen
Ran out of an ingredient? Search your entire kitchen for a substitute instead of going to the store to purchase. Be creative and swap ingredients like margarine instead of butter, light cream instead of evaporated milk, and mayonnaise instead of sour cream.
30. Discover new stores
There might be a new store around the corner which offers cheaper grocery items than your usual store so be open to try new stores. Try looking at their ads or learn about it from colleagues or friends if you don’t have time to visit.
31. Shop for meat early in the morning
There are stores that sell cheaper meat early in the morning. These are meat from the previous day (and doesn’t mean it has gone bad already) that the store wants to sell quickly before displaying fresh meats.
32. Be vigilant during checkout
During checkout, double check if the sale items are reflected correctly in the receipt. Sometimes, there are errors in the system where sale items are not discounted. Do a mental note on these sale items and inform the cashier for any errors. It may be a bit of a hassle but this extra step will save you big time.
33. Save your receipts
Don’t throw your receipts immediately. Sometimes, you can find a coupon at the back of a receipt and it would be a waste if you don’t check it first.
34. Always check the top and bottom shelves
Probably not known to all, stores usually place the most expensive items at eye level. Outsmart this smart trick by constantly checking the bottom and top shelves so you won’t fall for the priciest items.
35. Choose reusables over disposables
Disposable plates, cups, spoon, and fork will only cost you more. Buy the reusable version instead so you can still use it for the next time. You will not only save money but also the environment.
For example, this reusable food wrap in Amazon will save you from constantly buying paper wraps for your sandwich and snacks.
36. Roll with small carts
Always make sure that you only have enough space in your shopping cart for everything on your grocery list. Getting a bigger cart will only tempt you to fill the cart with extra items.
You can also get this foldable grocery cart and roll it with you when you shop. If you live close by, you won’t also need to take a car or cab as carrying your groceries won’t be a problem. Therefore, saving you more money on gas or cab fare.
37. Avail double couponing
Some stores allow double couponing while some don’t so be sure to ask around if double couponing is allowed. This will already give you twice the expected savings.
38. Don’t buy pre-sliced foods
Pre-sliced foods are more expensive than buying whole. Instead of spending extra on this, why not slice your own food instead? This goes for almost anything like fruits, cheese, chicken, pork, etc.
Amazon has this ultimate vegetable slicer that will surely make your life in the kitchen easier. Get it here!
39. Be updated through social media
If your store has a social media account– Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, be sure to follow them to be updated of any surprise deals.
40. Eat less cheese
Who doesn’t love cheese? Almost everyone loves cheese. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive items in the grocery so as much as possible, try to minimize your cheese intake. Do this a few times a week and you’ll be able to save some bucks.
41. Be mindful of expiration dates
Don’t buy goods that are about to expire! Check the expiration date first before checking out the item. This is one of the biggest mistakes we are not usually aware of that has to be corrected. It will be such a waste if you’re planning to consume it for the entire week but it’s already expiring in 2 days.
42. Understand the limits of expiration dates
A little research goes a long way. If you already have an expired good, check how long will it really take before it is no longer safe to consume. Sometimes, expiration dates only indicate a product’s peak freshness and is still safe to consume within a few days. Don’t immediately throw expired goods until you have verified if it’s already bad or not.
43. Store your foods properly
Be sure that you know how to store your foods properly. For example, raw meat should be kept in a clean, sealed container at the bottom part of the fridge. Leftovers should be refrigerated as quickly as possible and must be consumed within 2-3 days. Foods inside tin cans must not be placed inside the fridge to avoid making it taste like metal. If you must, transfer it into a clean, sealed container like this Rubbermaid food storage container in Amazon. You can check the set here.
44. Take advantage of pantry foods at work
If you have this benefit at work, you might want to include this in your budget planning. Free meals are such a great perk since it can help you save a lot in the groceries. If you’re working 5 times a day every week and you have free lunch in the office, then you wouldn’t have to worry about making a meal plan for lunch on these days.
45. Shop with a calculator
Be prepared for any last minute adjustments. Bringing a calculator while shopping will help keep you within the budget. You can let your kids help by asking them to add up the prices. Hopefully, this will be enough to keep them distracted while you focus on your list.
46. Download a grocery app
There are a lot of free grocery apps that can help you list down your groceries, manage your budget and offer cash back. Some of the best apps in the market are Ibotta, Shopkick, Checkout 51, Grocery IQ, and GrocerEaze. Go ahead and check them out!
47. Do the rain check
If the sale item that you are looking for is already out of stock, don’t hesitate to ask for a rain check at the customer service. They’ll be happy to suggest a comparable item at the same sale price. If not, you can also come back when the item is already back in stock and still get the item at the sale price.
48. Buy frozen goods
If you’re still itching to buy offseason goods, getting them from the frozen section is a cheaper way. You’ll be surprised to see that some of these frozen goods are cheaper than their high-season price.
49. Keep foods within eyesight
Hiding foods is usually not a good idea because you’ll tend to forget that they exist until they expire. When storing foods, make sure that you store them in a safe location but still visible to everyone at home.
50. First-in/ First-out your stock
When stocking foods, make sure that you’re consuming old stocks first. One way to practice this is to rotate your pantry. Every time you stock up food, be sure to keep the new ones at the back of the pile and move the old ones out– so you can use them.
Want to find more ideas on how to save money on other stuff besides groceries? Check out our 50 Practical Money Saving Hacks.
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