Ever get that sinking feeling at the supermarket checkout as your weekly groceries are being rung up? Before you know it, the number on the register blows past your weekly budget — even though you have a ton of groceries still left on the conveyor belt.
Who hasn’t had that feeling, right?!?
But what if we told you it’s possible to cut what you spend at the supermarket in half? If you follow these ways to save on groceries, you can do it today!
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Fortunately, saving money on groceries can be easy. This grocery shopping guide will help you with ideas to save more, spend less and keep your grocery budget on track!
Best ways to save on groceries:
1.Change where you shop
2. Buy store brands
3. Make a shopping list & stick to it.
4. Plan your meals for the week based on sales
5. Know the stores sale cycles & stock up when things are on sale.
6. Use coupons
7. Check unit prices on things you use frequently.
8. Download some cash back apps.
9. Know how to save money on organic produce.
10. Buy in bulk when it makes sense.
11. Check your receipt for wrong prices.
12. Get a cash back credit card.
13. Check the clearance rack.
14. Shop during senior discount days.
15. Break packages at the meat counter to save money.
16. Shop at salvage stores.
17. Be wary of sneaky product placement.
18. Check out drug stores for deals on certain items.
19. Use the store pickup option to avoid impulse buys.
20. Buy previously owned supermarket gift cards.
21. Leave your kids with a sitter at home.
22. Never shop on an empty stomach.
1. Change where you shop
You can save between 30% and 50% on groceries right off the bat simply by changing your routine.
Warehouse clubs, dollar stores, hard discounters and big-box stores are all options for saving on groceries if you’re willing to shop outside of a traditional standalone supermarket.
Bulk items: Warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s
Discount deals: Check dollar stores like Dollar Tree and Dollar General for weekly specials
2. Buy store brands
If you’re not willing to change where you shop, try changing what goes into your shopping cart. It’s one of the easiest ways to save on groceries. Buying the store brand will typically allow you save up to 30% without clipping coupons.
Iyou don’t like it, go back to the national brand. Just about every store will give you a refund or exchange the store brand for the national brand.
3. Make a shopping list and stick to it
Impulse buys are the enemy of your wallet when you’re grocery shopping. All those extra splurge items you grab on the way to checkout are like small leaks that can sink your financial ship.
The remedy? Make a shopping list and stick to it.
4. Plan your meals for the week based on what’s on sale
When you’re looking for ways to save on groceries, starting with the weekly sales circular should be your first stop.
For instance, “If ground beef, bread crumbs, crushed tomatoes and cheese are on sale that week…Boom! You’ve got spaghetti and meatballs waiting to happen, probably a meatloaf, and most of the items you need to make homemade pizza.”
Using a recipe ingredient matching site like supercook.com is also a great strategy as you look for ways to save on groceries. These kinds of sites help you with meal ideas based on what you have at home and what items are on sale in a given week.
5. Know the sales cycle and stock up when things are on sale
Be sure you always know the regular prices of the 10 most common items you buy at the grocery store. That can help you identify sales cycles.
6. Check unit prices
Paying attention to unit pricing in the supermarket can be your ally at a time when food manufacturers are trying to sneak by reductions in the amount of product they’re selling you.
Not sure what unit pricing is? Take a look at this example:
Not so fast. Look at the small unit price numbers, not the actual price.
The 500-count package (top illustration) has a unit price of 0.70¢ per napkin, while you the 250-count package below it has a unit price of 0.67¢. So the smaller package actually offers more value for your dollar.
8. Find coupons before you go to the store
It used to be that you had to buy copies of the Sunday newspaper to get your grocery coupons. But now the Sunday coupon circulars routinely come free in your mailbox.
Just check those bulk mail circulars that you may be throwing away right now.
9. Download some cash back apps.
You can have great success with cash back apps, earning more than $2,000 when you download grocery rebate app Ibotta.
Here’s what you need to know to get started:
Download, navigate around to see what you can get cash back on, which stores etc.
Of course, Ibotta isn’t the only grocery rebate app out there. You may also want to give these ones a try and use them along with Ibotta, your grocery store’s app and paper coupons:
10. Know how to save money on organic produce
organic is important to you, it’s even more important to know what doesn’t have to be bought organic.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, a reliable scientific measure of the amount of pesticide residue left behind on conventionally grown produce.
According to EWG research, it isn’t necessary to buy these fruits and veggies organic because they have very low levels of pesticide residue to begin with:
11. Buy in bulk when it makes sense
Warehouse clubs can be a great place to do your shopping because of the value they offer. And there are certain items you can buy at a warehouse club and store almost indefinitely for later use.
Products like honey, dried beans, maple syrup and rice are just a few things that are so shelf stable that they never really expire. So those are no-brainers to buy in bulk when they’re on sale and then use as needed.
Here’s our list of 9 foods that never really expire.
12. Check your receipt for wrong prices
You work hard for your money. Don’t let wrong prices at the register steal it from you!
If you notice an error, take your receipt and your purchase to the customer service desk and let them know. They’ll return your money if you were wrongfully overcharged.
13. Get a good cash back credit card on groceries
Did you know you can put hundreds of dollars back in your wallet every year just by changing the plastic you use at the supermarket register?
The American Express Blue Cash Card gives 6% back on groceries up to $6,000 each year, though there is a $95 annual fee. Any spending past the annual $6,000 threshold earns just 1% cash back.
Of course, this tip is only for those who pay off their bill in full each month. If you don’t, you’ll pay more interest than you’ll get back in rewards.
14. Check the clearance rack
Talk to your store’s manager and find out where they keep the clearance items. Many stores will have a dedicated rack or shelf. It’s also helpful to know when new stock is added to the clearance rack or aisle. If you’re first to find it, you can score some real deals!
15. Shop during senior discount days
Senior discounts are a dying breed of savings, but some grocery chains still offer them. Ask your local grocery stores if they give seniors a discount — typically 5% or 10% off the bill — for shopping on a certain day of the week.
TheSeniorList.com maintains an updated database of all the senior discounts they’re aware of and you only have to be 55 to get some of them!
But the best advice is this: Call ahead and confirm before showing up and expecting a discount.
16. Break packages at the meat counter to save money
Here’s how this works: Say you see a package of Italian sausages that contains six large links and is sold by the pound. But you’re a single person and maybe you only need two or three of those links.
Maybe you don’t want to buy too much because you’re a little tight on money this week. Just go to the window at the meat department and ask them to break the package for you.
That means they’ll open it up, take out the three links you want and repackage it for you on a new tray. Then they’ll shrink-wrap it, stick the new price tag on it and hand it back to you.
You’ll have a smaller package that you’ll pay less for versus the original package!
17. Shop at salvage stores
Salvage stores are a unique category of retail that sells canned food and other goods that are past expiration date.
That might sound gross, but many foods have longer lifespans than you’d think and they sell at a steep discount after the official expiration date printed on the package. Find the salvage store nearest you in this directory.
18. Be wary of sneaky product placement
Retailers often put items with high profit margins front and center right at eye level on supermarket shelving. That’s because they know “eye level is buy level,” as the saying goes in the industry.
So if you really want to be a savvy shopper, you’ve got to look up, down and all around as you’re walking the aisles.
That’s sometimes where you’ll find the store brand or just second-tier brands that deliver acceptable quality for a lower price than the big name brands.
19. Check out drugstores for deals on certain items
Drugstores are great for their sales — offering big discounts on both grocery and non-grocery items — ranging from $1 to a few bucks off what you’d pay for the same items at the grocery store.
But the deal is, you have to wait for the sales!
Most stores offer an email newsletter that will alert you to sales that week, and you probably already receive the mailers that highlight various promotions — so look through it before you throw it in the trash.
Here are some items you can often find on sale at various drugstores:
personal care items
You should also sign up for each store’s rewards program and always add in a manufacturer’s coupon to save even more.
20. Use pickup to avoid impulse buys
Another way to prevent impulse buys is to stay out of the store altogether!
Grocery pickup services — offered by mainstream retailers like Kroger, Target and Walmart, to name a few — allow you to order your groceries online and then have them brought out to you while you wait in your vehicle.
If something you order isn’t available, the store will make a substitution and tell you about it before you drive off.
21. Buy previously owned supermarket gift cards at a discount
Did you know you can get discounted gift cards for a variety of popular grocery stores online?
Sites like CardPool.com and GiftCardGranny.comare in the business of buying unwanted gift cards and reselling them at a discount from their face value. The sellers are people who have the gift cards but don’t want them.
22. Do NOT bring your kids!!!
Not only will they not help carry anything lol but they ask for random junk.
Now this helps you save so you can start investing in yourself and your future.
Ask ya how to start your very own investment portfolio today!
The Mommy The Mogul