Do you ever stop to look at the receipt total at the end of your grocery shopping trip? If you’re like most Americans, your food and grocery expenditures can account for close to 20% of your total budget, and overspending can quickly take its toll on your wallet.
If you’re looking for ways to save more money and spend less while shopping for groceries, I’m here to help. Today, I’ve compiled a list of ways to save money on your grocery bill, and have a few tips for you on how to get a grocery budget in place.
How to Save Money on Groceries
1. Create a Budget– Although obvious, one of the first and most important steps before going shopping is creating a budget. The best way to understand how much you can spend on groceries is listing out all of your monthly expenditures and comparing it to your monthly income.
Once you have determined a specific number that you can spend, it is important to be mindful of that number and to stick to it.
2. Plan Your Trip– If there is one thing I’ve figured out over the years, it is that shopping without a plan and/or purpose is detrimental to your budget. Before I even dart the doors of a grocery store, I diligently plan out my trip to avoid overspending and purchasing unnecessary items.
The first thing I do is look at my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what items I already have and I meal plan for two weeks. Once I have all my meals planned out I make a list of any items I need to make those meals.
3. Look for Sales– After creating a draft grocery list, I look though all of the local store ads to see what is on sale for the week. My favorite way to do this is by visiting Sunday Saver to view all of the latest ads. I keep my list handy and notate any deals and also look for any pantry staple items that are on sale (canned foods, cereal, grains, etc.).
4. Check for Coupons– Once I have my grocery list completed, I make sure that I check both online and in the newspaper for coupons to further discount my shopping trip. There are several great websites online which have a ton of coupons for name brand items. By pairing coupons with a sale, you can get most of the items on your list at a discounted price, and sometimes even for free!
5. Price Match– Most stores, including Wal-mart and Target, now have price-matching policies which help you save even more money and make it convenient to shop for all your items in one place. If you find a lower price on an item in another store’s sale ad, the store will match the price for you.
If you plan to do this, make sure you take the sale ad with you or have your phone handy to show the sale item to the cashier. You may also want to print off the store’s price matching policy to avoid any confusion.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with price matching items, Wal-mart now has a Savings Catcher app which automatically compares prices of the items on your receipt to all of the stores in your area. If it locates a lower deal, you automatically get the difference added to your account, which you can cash out for a Wal-mart Gift Card at any time. Pretty neat, right?
6. Shop During Non-Busy Times– Once you are ready to grocery shop, I recommend going while it isn’t crowded, and if you have kids I suggest either going alone or going with reinforcements.
When the store is less crowded, you can take your time in carefully ensuring nothing is forgotten, and shopping alone ensures you do not have distractions or sweet faces riding along which might lure you into purchasing items not on the list.
7. Buy in Bulk– Meats, produce, freezer, and pantry items can often be cheaper to purchase at big box stores such as Sam’s Club and Costco depending on the time of year. I usually take a trip to Sam’s club once every 2 months and stock up on items that we frequently use.
I also purchase the large packs of ground beef and individually freeze them into 1 lb portions for easy cooking. Doing this saves a significant amount of money compared to buying smaller packs in local grocery stores. It is smart to always check the price per pound to ensure you are getting the best deal.
8. Use Loyalty Cards/Apps– When checking out, don’t forget to give the cashier your loyalty card, which will ensure you’re getting all of the latest sales prices in the store. If your store has a coupon center, make sure you also give your card a good scan prior to leaving, as you never know what savings you might get. Both Target and K-mart also have apps for in-store discounts including Cartwheel and Shop Your Way Rewards.
9. Use Cash Back Apps– After checking out, don’t chuck that receipt in the trashcan! There are several money saving apps out there now, which will give you cash back on staple items and name brand products.
Ibotta and Checkout51 are just a few of my favorites, and I almost always can get money back on items such as Milk, Juice, and Bread, which I typically get during most shopping trips. Although the amounts are small and range anywhere from 50 cents to $5.00, you’re basically getting free money for simply taking a picture of your receipt.
10. Subscribe to a Money Saving/Daily Deal Blog– One of my favorite ways to stay up to date on all of the latest deals/sales is by subscribing to a money saving or daily deal blog. These websites are amazing because they do all of the work for you, and provide deal lists each week for grocery ads, alert you when new coupons are released, and let you know when your favorite store is having a sale.
I’m currently subscribed to 3 money-saving websites, and they have significantly helped me save a ton of money not only on grocery purchases, but other purchases including clothing, shoes, makeup, toys, and home items.
My Favorite Money-Saving Websites & Apps
Cash Back Apps
I hope that today’s post was helpful in learning new ways to save money on groceries and I hope you will consider using some of my tips. If nothing else, please do consider using some of the new money-saving apps out there, as it’s an easy way to save money with very little effort.
Keeping a grocery budget in check can be difficult, but with a little planning and mindfulness, you can be well on your way to saving money for other fun things, like an exotic vacation! 😉
Thanks for Stopping By and Have a Great Monday!- Cara
Linking up on Inspiration Monday, Creative Mondays, Inspire Me Monday, Busy Monday, Merry Monday, Amaze Me Monday, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday, Turn it Up Tuesday and Tutorials & Tips !
Thank you for sharing this post and it is useful for everyone that to save money.
Thank you for sharing this info! How to save money and It really useful to me.
I just downloaded Ibotta because I’ve heard such great things! Making a budget has been totally key for my fiance and I. If you get used to being on that budget, sooner or later you find yourself accidentally being right on the mark without even calculating as you shop!
Coming Up Roses
I think you are right, Erica! Ibotta is a great app, I think you’ll enjoy using it!
Great tips! Found you on the Tips & Tutorials link party! -Shari @ SincerelyJean.com
Thanks! Glad you stumbled upon my blog 🙂
I really need to remember to use the cash back apps. I have a few but forget about them. Oops!
I usually try to keep my receipts handy for when I get home to just go ahead and do rebates before I put away groceries. If not, I usually forget too!-haha
Really good strategies! I felt like when we lived in the USA, I’d figured out how to make the most of our grocery budget, but ever since moving overseas, it’s been a bit of an uphill climb to learn the new system, and adjust our diet too. Foods I’m used to thinking of as cheap (i.e. cans of kidney beans that were 40 cents at Aldi) are closer to the equivalent $3 a can here–readjusting my mind to a new system of which foods are practical staples and which are luxuries has taken me a little while!
Wow, that is crazy that there is such a difference in staple prices. I would say that has been a huge adjustment for you.
These are all great tips! I think planning your trip and making a list is crucial – I write everything on my notes app on my phone so I can simply delete it when I grab it rather than dealing with a paper and pen. I try to be in and out as quickly as possible, and save a lot of impulse buys by not just meandering through the aisles 🙂
Thank-you! That’s smart to put the list on your phone! My husband is really bad for impulse buying so I try to avoid going with him if I can-haha
Gahhhhh I’m going to have to use these tips 🙂
xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries
Hope they help! 🙂
I love that you did this post Cara. I’m literally always looking for ways to save on groceries, especially as they seem to always be raising prices! I’m so thrilled you shared the coupon sites with us as I’m always looking for coupons. I do use all those apps and I love them so I’m glad you mentioned them. Loved this! Hope you are having a wonderful week gorgeous! XO -Kim
Thanks Kim! You are definitely right prices just seem to keep going up, so it’s always nice to find new ways to save. Glad you use the apps and like them. Have a great evening! 🙂
These are great tips, lady! Always love saving some money!
Le Stylo Rouge
Thank-you! I agree 🙂
Great tips! I used to be so pro at couponing but then after the baby was born I’ve been slacking. I need to get back into it!
I will say that the one downside to coupons is that it is time-consuming. I usually try to set aside one evening during the week or Saturday morning to look through coupons and that helps in staying more proactive with it.
Thanks for the great tips! I always go grocery shopping with a list, and I never go when I’m hungry because that only encourages me to stray from my list 🙂 I love buying pantry items at a place like Target bc I can use Cartwheel and my Target card to get things at a much cheaper price. I have to say that I’m not big on coupons because I don’t buy/eat a lot of processed food, and I find that most coupons are for that type of food.
Target is a great place to stock up on pantry items. I do agree that most coupons are generally for packaged/processed foods, but I’m starting to see organic food companies jump on the bandwagon now and offering coupons for their items as well, which is great! 🙂
Great tips! Very useful 🙂
This is a great MASTER LIST of money-saving greatness!!! I love Checkout51 and Cartwheel! Also, I use the Walmart Savings Catcher app all the time!
Thank-you! The apps are so simple to use that it makes saving money easy 😉
Love how in depth you are, here! You hit all the possible avenues of saving money on grocery shopping. I always forget about the price matching policies and we always go over just enough to throw our budget off-kilter a little. Thank you for reminding me of some of these!
Thank-you, glad you enjoyed the tips! 🙂
Great tips! WE are all about saving money 🙂
This is super helpful. I love that you gathered all the money-saving resources together at the end of the post. I’m very similar to you–I have to have a plan and a well written grocery list before I go shopping. The list keeps me on track and keeps me focused on only getting what we need.
I also use Walmart’s savings catcher and it’s such a breeze! I love walking out of there knowing I got the best deal (without too much effort!)
Thank-you! I really didn’t think I would save that much using Wal-mart savings catcher considering I already price match, but there’s always a few other items I may have overlooked in the sales ads that this app catches, it’s great! 🙂
These are great tips. We have recently been using budget planner and meal planner. That has helped immensely with saving money and eating healthier.
Thank-you! That sounds like it would be very helpful!
As a food blogger, groceries are my biggest expense by far (besides the occasional conference). Any tips to save on this helps. Thanks!
Happy to help! 🙂
I’m definitely going to check out the list of sites and apps you have above! Thanks!!
Awesome, hope you like them! 🙂
Great tips!! Anytime I can save money on buying food,etc I am all for it. Every little bit helps. I love using coupons and money saving apps.
Thank-you! I agree!
Great Tips! I have another on: Don’t shop hungry:)
Haha great advice! I definitely agree! 🙂
These are so practical and specific! I love that list of apps at the end. I’ve definitely found that planning my trip ahead of time makes a huge difference. Sometimes going to multiple stores can save me a lot of money too, even though I’m often too lazy to do it 😉
Glad you liked it! 🙂
Great list of resources! I do a few of the tips listed in this post. I need to work better with price matches. I will try it, let’s see how it goes. Great post!
Thank-you! Price matching has helped me save a lot of money, but I would suggest going when it is not crowded so you can really take your time with the cashier to avoid any mix-ups. 🙂
It is insanity how much groceries cost every week. I swear it has gone up about 60% over the last year and I can’t even figure out why?! I do a lot of the things you mentioned above but you shared a few tricks I didn’t know about so thank you!
I know, it’s crazy how much the prices have went up on food over the years. Happy to help! 🙂
Great post and tips! Thanks for sharing!
I love these! Awesome tips. Saving this!
Thank-you, glad you liked it!
Awesome tips, lady! Thank you so much for the research and for posting.
Love these tips! Just checking the sales and using the Ibotta app has made a huge difference for me!
Thanks! I really like using the Favado app when I haven’t had a chance to look through all the sales ads, and it’s helpful to know if an item is on sale and where it’s the cheapest at. 🙂
These are some great tips! I find it REALLY helps me to shop at quieter grocery times … I do so much better with budget conscious shopping then. Yes, too, about the deal sites. I love Southern Saver and check their Publix ads weekly.
I get really anxious and side-tracked when I shop in crowds. Instead of focusing on what’s on my list, I’m more focused on just getting in and out, which results in me forgetting items. Glad you like Southern Saver too! 🙂
Thanks for the helpful tips! I’ve gotten my grocery shopping down to a good routine, but one thing I need to remember to work on is price matching. Love all of the great grocery savings apps out now, and you mention some of my faves!
That’s great! I know a lot of people might see price matching as more of a hassle, but when I look at the amount of money I save in a year from price matching, it really adds up to a significant amount. Well worth it in my opinion! 🙂
Ever since I found out about Target’s cart app and their Target red card for 5% savings on your whole purchase, I’ve been saving SO much. It’s so easy to waste money when you don’t have a game plan when grocery shopping! I bow down to those super couponers though. Lol.
It really does add up, and if you shop there a lot it just makes sense to get the red card for extra savings. I used to coupon a lot more when I lived in a larger area where they doubled coupons, and was able to get a lot of items for really cheap/and sometimes free, which was awesome. Sometimes though I would find I would buy things just because I had a coupon, which really wasn’t conducive with saving, so I try to be more mindful now of just buying what our family needs.
I always do best at kroger. I shop their mega sales and stay on top of coupons. I use Ibotta and Checkout 51 when I can and always check Kroger Krazy.
That’s my favorite store as well! 🙂 You can get a lot of great deals shopping their mega sales with coupons.
Great tips! I meal plan the week with my husband and that has always saved us so much time and money once we got to the grocery store. We also shop at Trader Joe’s, which we know doesn’t carry everything so we’re not always bombarded with food/things we don’t need. Plus it’s healthier. These are great tips!
Meal planning is definitely helpful in staying on budget. We unfortunately don’t have a Trader Joe’s but I’ve heard really good things about it. 🙂
I need to learn more about grocery apps. Great ideas to save money.
Thank-you! The apps are really easy to use!
Awesome tips! I need to download a money saver app for Walmart and some others. That’s a great idea!
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you will start getting money back with the Savings Catcher App. It’s awesome!
Really great ideas. It is so easy to spend too much at the store if you don’t go in with a plan!
I agree Heather. Thank-you!
These are great tips – thank you for sharing!
Thank-you! Glad you liked them 🙂
I always use my cash back card and rewards programs, however I’m really bad at planning what I need to get. I often wander around and pick up extra stuff that I don’t need and it adds up so fast!
It really does! My husband is a really bad impulse shopper so I try to avoid going shopping with him-haha. We always end up coming home with tons of items we didn’t really need.
Great tips all in one place!
I actually save money by ordering groceries. I am an impulse shopper so I save at least $15-30 not setting foot in the store. Know your weaknesses! LOL
When I do go to supplement, I stick strictly to the list. And I try never to go hungry.
Thanks! That’s really smart too! We unfortunately don’t have grocery delivery here, but that would be amazing. Also, I agree going when you are hungry is bad news-haha.
I recently spoke about Ibotta on my blog too! I have been using it for a month and used the money to buy my wedding shoes. It is the best and I recommend it to everybody!
That’s awesome! There have been very few shopping trips that I haven’t been able to cash something out using the app, so it’s really nice!
Great tips! When My boys are little a lot of the grocery stores would triple coupons, I added up how much I had in coupon savings each year and one year it was over $3000! Now most will barely double them but you offer great advice for many more super savings tips! Have a wonderful day!!
Thanks! That sounds awesome! The savings really do add up when you’re mindful of your spending. 🙂
Great tips! These are super helpful!
i always go with a list and stick to it but i’m terrible at couponing. i used to use an app that was supposed to save $ but then it only started to give discounts on processed stuff so i stopped using it!
I can’t blame you there, I only use coupons on items we actually use, and not just because I have a coupon.