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
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