It’s no secret that grocery prices (just like everything else) have gone up tremendously in the past few years. Cutting costs at the grocery store can be tricky, especially when you have multiple mouths to feed; however, it is a flexible part of our budget. With the right planning and grocery choices, I’ve been able to save hundreds on our grocery bill. I’ve made a list of 10 of my best money-saving grocery shopping tips to share with you.
How to Save Money at the Grocery Store
1. Make a Meal Plan & Stick to It!
Have you ever heard the saying “fail to plan, plan to fail?” This is absolutely true when it comes to grocery shopping. The best way to save money is to plan out all of your meals and snacks, then add all necessary foods and ingredients to the list. Try to plan your meals so that nothing you buy goes to waste (see tip #8).
2. Use Grocery Pick Up
Isn’t grocery pick up a godsend? Not only does it save time (and in my case, prevent toddler meltdowns in the store), but it’s also a great way to save money by enabling you to stick to a set budget and prevent impulse purchases.
3. Buy the Store Brand
This might be obvious, but I feel like it’s worth mentioning. A lot of times, the store brands are made in the same factories with the exact same ingredients. I love to shop at stores like Aldi and Trader Joe’s because they carry mostly their store brand, which is usually cheaper.
4. Shop Less Frequently
If possible, try buying groceries every two weeks instead of every week. You can use meal planning to use the items that will go bad quicker in the first week. We also do what I call “filler” meals that are very inexpensive (and easy to make), such as soup and sandwiches or breakfast for dinner.
5. Buy Staples In Bulk
I’m certainly not saying to buy everything in bulk. Places like Costco can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare when it comes to saving money. Only buy things in bulk that you are absolutely 100% sure that you are going to use or items that have a very long shelf life. Some examples of items we like to buy in bulk include:
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- trash bags
- granola bars
- dog food
- diapers & wipes
6. Buy What’s on Sale
Looking through the grocery sale ads is not a thing of the past, at least not if you want to save money. Plenty of grocery stores run specials on items, especially meat. If you plan your meals around the sale items, or buy them and freeze for later, you can save a lot of money.
7. Stay Away From Individually Packaged Items
Sure, individually packaged snacks are convenient, but you also pay for the extra packaging. Instead of buying individually wrapped snacks, buy a large box and dispense as needed. Not only does staying away from snack-wrapped items save money, but it’s also better for the environment.
8. Only Buy What Your Family Actually Eats
I used to buy a box of salad mix every time I went to the store. Half the time, it didn’t get eaten and we had to throw it away. If it’s not in the meal plan for the week, don’t buy it. And vice versa: If it is in the meal plan, use it in several meals so it doesn’t go to waste.
9. Prepare Snacks & Meals That Go a Long Way
Making inexpensive snacks that can last all week is a great way to save money. For instance, my kids love muffins, and it only costs a few dollars to make enough for a whole week. I also like making soups or casseroles that can easily be reheated or taken for lunch the next day.
10. Calculate Spending As You Grocery Shop
This can sound really tedious, but it’s the best way to keep track of your spending, especially if you’re a beginner when it comes to budgeting at the grocery store. When you do this, you really pay attention to how much items cost. If an item isn’t in the budget, look for a cheaper alternative.
Cutting costs on your grocery bill can seem impossible, but with a little planning, it can be done. I hope these tips help you save money on groceries. What did I miss?