Grocery shopping can be pretty expensive if you are buying for yourself or even the whole family. A few items can simply take a good chunk out of your wallet more than you thought it would. Since we need to all eat, there’s really no way around avoiding buying food despite overprice costs for some food items.
We spoke with a couple moms and found some tips they use to save money when going grocery shopping. No – it’s not coupons at all! These tips and tricks when used together might add up to big savings the next time you go shopping at the grocery store.
Shop smart with these 21 ways to save at the grocery store!
- Make a menu plan. Menu plans help ensure you buy the items you need for your weekly meals and anything else you might need or snack on during the week.
- Do an inventory. Take a look at your pantry and freezer once a week. This helps you get an idea of what items you need to buy and stock up on too.
- Shop with a list. Never ever go into the store without a list. I know I have a huge habit of buying items I don’t need when I shop without a list.
- Don’t shop hungry. You are more likely to buy items to eat when you are hungry. Definitely eat before you go and to stick to the items that you need.
- Limit your trips. The less you visit the less money you will spend. Try to go at least once a week if you can.
- Leave the kids at home when possible. As much as this might be hard to do, bringing the kids adds more time at the store and even costs more. So try your best to go alone whenever you can.
At the store
- Shop the perimeter. Most grocery stores have the processed food in the center of the store. Try to stick to just the produce, meat, and diary items that you need.
- Don’t be tempted by brand names. Try getting the generic options as they are usually cheaper and taste just about the same. Make sure you check the ingredients just to ensure you are getting something similar.
- Look up and down the shelves. Items usually on the top and bottom shelves are different in price. Try comparing prices and you might find something similar that is cheaper and still is the same.
- Skip prepared foods. As much as it seems quicker and easier to buy prepared food, it can cost a lot more on your grocery bill at the end of your trip. Plus, it will taste way better when you do it yourself at home.
- Try to eat with the seasons. Eating within the season not only tastes better but you will save a lot more money than buying out-of-season produce.
- Buy frozen produce. If you’re looking for out-of-season produce, check out the frozen section. Frozen produce is still tasty and within budget.
- Price match. Some stores will now price match with their competitors. Check with your store to learn more about this and use it!
- Get rain checks. When an item is on sale it might sell out before you can buy it. Visit customer service to get a rain check on the item.
Use your phone
- Use the Ibotta app. This app will pay you back for buying items at the store. Find what you want to buy and follow the instructions to get the amount of cash back you can get. Keep your receipt because you will need to scan it and the rebate will be deposited to your account.
- Use store savings. Some stores offer their own digital offers to their customers. Many offer their own digital coupons right on your phone too.
- Use Checkout51. This app works just the same way as Ibotta does.
Things not to buy
- Soda pop. It’s tempting to buy this for your family on the regular, but try buying a liter and only pour what you need when you feel like having soda pop.
- Bottled water. These might be easy to use but cost so much. Buy reusable water bottles and you’ll get your money’s worth right away.
- Paper plates and napkins. Use regular dishes and cloth napkins at home. You’ll save more money. Only buy these when you might be going out for a camping trip, party gathering for easy clean up, etc.