grocery store tips

15 Simple Ways To Save Money on Groceries

Have you ever gotten to the cash register at the grocery store and gone bug-eyed at the amount of money you just spent?  Do you just wish you could save money on your groceries?

Since we have been saving for the adoption one of the biggest ways we have curbed our spending is by eating out less and sticking to our grocery budget.

I have learned a few simple tips along the way that have helped me save money on groceries, I thought I would share them with you.  Sharing is caring after all!

 

15 Ways to Save Money on Groceries –

1. Set a Budget

First things first, you have to know how much you want to spend so that you have a target to shoot for.  On average, your food bill including eating out and groceries should be 11% of your monthly salary (source).  Take into consideration the diet you have and location you live as those factor into the total cost.

When you start making a food budget, look back over the last 2 months and get a baseline of what you have spent.  You might be surprised.

2. Don’t Go To The Store Hungry

Seriously, this is so simple but have you ever gone to the store hungry?  Suddenly everything looks really good.  Grab a quick snack or a big glass of water before you go so that your stomach doesn’t tempt you into spending more.

3.  Stop Going to the Grocery Store So Often

The more often you go to the grocery store, the higher the chance of buying more items you don’t need.  Meal plan weekly, make a grocery list that matches and only go to the store once per week.  If something comes up and you find you need an item, put it on the grocery list for next week.

 

4. Make a Meal Plan

Avoid the urge to make an aspirational meal plan.  It might look good in print but it might not fit your budget, match your food preferences or your schedule.  Read more about how to successfully meal plan here.

5. Stick to Your Grocery List

After you make a meal plan, create a grocery list that matches it.  Not only will you save money by sticking to a list, but you will also waste less food.

6. Buy Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables are a fraction of the cost and they last a whole lot longer.  Did you know on average 50% produce is thrown away in the United States which amounts to $160 billion dollars of money wasted annually? (source)

 

 

7. Shop at an Actual Grocery Store

I love places like Target and Wal-mart but I have blown my budget because I am tempted by a pair of cute shoes or a new fun nail color and they hop into my cart.  If you struggle with adding things to your cart, forego these types of stores in favor of places like Aldi and local grocery stores.

8. Try Online Ordering

If you have a budget in mind and you want to make sure you only spend so much but struggle to do that, try online grocery shopping.  Places like Wal-mart offer it. The app totals your groceries as you go so you can stay on budget.

9. Shop the Bottom Shelf & Buy Generic

I have my favorite name-brand items but by and large, we buy generic brand for many items from cereal to canned soups and frozen produce.  Most of the time grocery stores place more expensive name brand items at eye level so shop the bottom shelf for generic brands and items that cost less.

10.  Shop Alone

We used to shop after church on Sunday, not only were we hungry which I already told you was a no, no but I brought the whole family.  Even if every person picks one thing that’s not on the list, it can add up in a hurry.

Instead of inviting your family along which can be stressful in and of itself, ask them if there’s anything they would like from the store before you go!

11. Calculate the Cost As You Go

If you don’t want to online shop, take a calculator with you and keep a tally of how much you are spending as you shop.  Knowing how much you are spending will keep you accountable for what you are putting in your cart.  It’s always fun to see how close you were when you get to the cash register!

12. Buy In-Season & Sale Produce

Out of season produce is not only expensive but also not as tasty.  Save the berries for berry season and peaches for peach season.  Bananas, apples, and grapes are always good options year round but check the local store ads and buy produce that’s on special. This way you get more variety in your diet too!

13.  Use Coupons

They don’t just to be the kind your mom cut out of the newspaper.  Many stores now have apps that you can pick coupons that work for you and then scan at the end!  Just take a few minutes after your list is made to see if there are any coupons.  A few dollars here and there really adds up!

 

14. Skip Pre-packaged Snacks.

Instead of the pre-packaged Goldfish crackers, I buy a big container for 7.99 and can get more servings and make the servings be what I want.  Get in the habit of packing up snacks after you go to the store or have your kids help you.

15.  Shop Your Pantry & Freezer

I’ll add an item to my grocery list and then open my pantry only to realize I already have it on hand.  You can save yourself lots of money by checking your pantry and freezer to see what you already have on hand.

You can even start there and make your meal plan around what you already have and save even more money!

You Can Save Money at the Grocery Store

Buying groceries is a fact of life for most of us but there are ways to save your hard-earned money!  Apply these simple tips and save yourself hundreds of dollars at the store.  I don’t know about you but there are always things we are saving for and every dollar saved adds up!

How do you save money at the grocery store?

You might also like…
12 Items I Stopped Buying at the Grocery Store
7 Steps to Create a Weekly Meal Plan
Aldi 7-Day Meal Plan + Grocery List
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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