16 Ways to Save Money on Groceries!
Cost-cutting grocery shopping tips to help you save money.
With the price of food on the rise, you may be looking for ways to cut costs on your next grocery run. It’s not always easy to keep you and your family fed without going over budget, but there are plenty of ways to save money the next time you shop for groceries.
Plan ahead and check sale ads:
Planning for your next visit to the grocery store starts in your kitchen.
Before you decide what to cook for the week, check for promotions or coupons to see what is on sale. Grocery stores are always running sales and update them frequently. When you know what’s on sale, you’ll have an easier time meal planning
Once you’ve decided on your meals for the week, go through your well-organized fridge and pantry and assess what you have and what you need so you don’t overbuy.
Write down what you need and stick to your list when you get to the store! Having a well-planned list and sticking to it means you’ll save money by not making impulse purchases. Plus, you’ll save time because you won’t be wandering through the aisles trying to think of what to make for the week.
Quick tip: Avoid overspending at the grocery store by not shopping on an empty stomach. Your eyes will be much bigger than your stomach when hungry, which could be bad news for your wallet.
Make use of grocery websites and apps:
If you’re tech savvy, make sure you browse your grocery store chain’s website to see what’s on sale for the week. There are a few grocery apps available that can be a great alternative to clipping coupons. Check out Flipp, MealBoard, and GroceryPal. The apps let you save up points and rewards you can use for future purchases.
Try saving up all your points for big meals during the holidays as a way to stay within your grocery budget even during big purchases.
Sign up for your grocery store’s loyalty program:
Your favorite grocery store will likely have a loyalty program that is free to join. Signing up allows you to get members-only discounts and deductions from your bill without having to clip coupons.
Certain credit cards also give additional cash back rewards on grocery purchases.
Buy what’s in season:
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with seasonal produce in your area and buy accordingly. Not only will seasonal items likely be listed at a good price, but they’ll also be the freshest. If you have a large freezer at home, you can buy what’s in season and freeze it for later.
You can save even more money when you buy local food from a farmer’s market. Click HERE to find the nearest one.
Note, when buying produce, make sure it has a good shape, texture, color, and smells fresh. If you can, buy only what you need for the next few days to make sure nothing goes to waste.
Join a wholesale club:
If you’ve got the storage for bulk items, then wholesale clubs are a great option. Note, you will likely have to pay a membership fee upfront, but overall the savings outweigh the yearly cost if you frequent your wholesale club enough.
Store whatever bulk dry food you buy in large plastic containers in your pantry. Be sure to label and date your containers so you know what you have enough of and how long your food is good for.
You can also cook what you buy wholesale right away, then freeze it for future meals.
Avoid pre-packaged items:
Stores will charge more for the convenience of pre-cut fruits, veggies, and cheeses. Opt for whole items and cut them up when you get home.
Pre-packaged meals will cost more and are more likely to have preservatives or other unhealthy ingredients you should avoid when eating healthy. GOLO recommends eating as many whole foods as you can.
Quick tip: Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store! The perimeter is generally where you’ll find the unprocessed, whole foods, including fresh produce and protein, that make up the majority of the GOLO for Life plan.
Be sure to check the unit price, not just the listed price:
Before you buy the cheapest item, check the price per weight listed on the price tag to make sure you’re getting more per dollar spent.
For example, if you have two or more products with different weights, you’ll want to look at the unit pricing to get the best deal.
With these two labels, the 8 oz. item costs $2.48 while the 10 oz. item costs $2.70. Using unit pricing, you can see that, while the10 oz. item is technically more expensive, it is actually cheaper per oz., which makes it the better deal.
Buy generic brands:
Like anything else, prices can inflate dramatically depending on the brand. If you go with a grocery store’s own brand, it may be cheaper and will taste just as good.
Quick tip: most supermarkets put the name brands you recognize on the middle shelves at eye level. So be sure to check the top or bottom shelves when looking for generic or store-brand items.
Compare prices between stores:
If you live close enough to multiple supermarkets, check each one regularly for sales or weekly specials. Once you get a feel for which stores have regular discounts for specific items, you'll know where to go for the best deals.
Look for specific cuts of meat:
Buying specific cuts of meat can save you extra money. Low-cost meats that can feed the whole family include:
- Ground beef
- Flank steak
- Pork shoulder
- Whole chicken
- Chicken quarters (legs and thighs)
Reduce your meat intake:
You can also lessen your grocery bill by reducing your meat intake or eliminating meat from your diet altogether. In fact, diets with low amounts of meat can reduce grocery costs by 14%.
The next time you shop, check the aisles for thrifty, meat-alternative proteins like tofu, beans, quinoa, and lentils. Plant-based diets are healthy and a great way to save money!
Quick tip: Tip – make sure to avoid fake “meats”, these items have inundated the market lately but are technically a processed food item and are not that healthy.
Eat your leftovers:
Don’t let food go to waste! If you’ve put in all the work to meal plan and store extra meals, make sure you eat what you cook or freeze your leftovers for future meals.
Grow a garden:
Nothing is cheaper than ‘free’, and the best way to make sure you’ve got healthy, free food in your kitchen is to grow a garden!
If you grow too much, you can always freeze your crops after they’re picked and eat them off-season.
Invest in a Brita:
Don’t waste money buying overpriced bottled water; get a Brita filter instead. You'll cut down on your grocery bill and reduce your plastic use.
Shop for groceries online:
Shopping for groceries online will help you stay on budget and stick to your grocery list by avoiding aisles with unhealthy food. Buy your items and then pick them up at the store. You will be in and out in no time and the savings will be significant!
Shop grocery stores that specialize in international food:
If you enjoy making recipes from different cultures, you may want to check out a local grocery store specializing in international cuisine. You’ll find more variety and cheaper prices!
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