Are you looking to cut your grocery bill significantly? Going to the grocery store can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Learn how to save money on groceries with our 11 easy tips. Whether you are shopping for your whole family or just yourself, you can save money at the grocery store.
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UPDATED: March 27, 2023
1. How to save money on groceries by using the sale ad
One easy way to save money on your groceries is to make your weekly menu around what’s on sale that week.
When you look at the weekly sale paper of your local grocery store, you can build a menu for the whole week based on what’s on sale.
We keep a list of all our favorite meal ideas. You can print out our lists for free from our resource library.
We plan out a menu for a week because we go to the grocery store once a week.
Our family picks each day which meal we will have for that day depending on how much time we have available to cook and what food we feel like eating.
If we are busy, it will be simple—more time allows for meals with more preparation.
When you look at the sale ad, see which items are on sale that are the more expensive parts of your meal. For example, the meat in a meal is often times one of the most expensive ingredients. If a certain type of meat is on sale, then it might be a good time to have a meal with that meat.
2. How to save money on groceries by stocking up on items
Sales are also good for stocking up on items that you will use.
Our local grocery store runs different types of sales such as buy 1 / get 1 free, buy 1 / get 1 50% off, and buy ten items for $1 each and get the 11th item free.
Sometimes they have a store brand sale where almost all the “store brand” items are on sale. It’s a really good time to buy canned vegetables and fruit.
If you see sales for a lot of items that you know for sure that you will use, then it is a good idea to take advantage of them even if you don’t need that item that week.
3. How to save money on groceries by using coupons
Coupons are a way to save money at the grocery store without a lot of effort.
There are coupon sites online, or if you don’t want to give out any of your information, you can also find coupons in Sunday newspapers.
We usually get enough coupons out of the newspaper to pay for the price of the newspaper itself.
We also receive coupons in the mail sometimes.
One website that has printable coupons is coupons.com.
4. How to save money on groceries by buying store brand items
A lot of store brands are similar to name brand items, but they cost a lot less.
Look for the cheapest price for each item you are purchasing, and it usually is a store brand item.
It is important to note that not all store brand items taste as good as name brand items. This is something you are going to have to figure out as you shop.
Some store brand items that we regularly buy are:
- canned fruit & vegetables
- certain condiments like mustard & mayonnaise
- tortillas, hamburger buns, & hot dog buns
- milk, eggs, & cheese
- frozen fruit & vegetables, frozen chicken, and ice cream
You will have to decide which items are worth spending more money on. There are certain store brand items that we never buy because they don’t taste as good as the name brand items. Some of these include:
- lunch meat
- frozen pizza
5. How to save money on groceries by using rewards
Some of our local grocery stores have reward programs.
When you get to the checkout, you scan a card or use an app on your phone to get discounts on your items.
We shop at Meijer, and they have an app for their mPerks rewards program. Through this program we can clip digital coupons to use at the checkout, and we can earn rewards after we spend so much money or after we purchase so many of an item over the course of a month.
In 11 weeks time, we saved almost $50 just by using mPerks. It is so easy to do, so we definitely suggest that you check to see if your grocery store offers a rewards program.
You can also look at getting a store credit card if you are good at using credit cards without going into debt. One of our local grocery stores has their own credit card which gives you 5% off your total purchase once a month. That is a pretty easy way to save money without spending any extra money.
6. How to save money on groceries by using your phone
Besides the mPerks app, we use a couple money saving apps and a website to save money every week.
Our current favorite app to use after shopping, is Fetch Rewards!
It is free and simple to use, and it allows you to earn money from ANY receipt (not just grocery stores). You can even earn money from e-receipts by connecting your email account.
Every receipt you submit will earn you 25 points automatically. If you are grocery shopping, you have the potential to earn a lot more points. Every point is the equivalent to a penny, so you are earning at least 25 cents for every receipt.
When you grocery shop, you can often earn extra points based on what products you buy. We’ve had receipts from the grocery store earn us thousands of points because of the products we bought and bonuses that were going on at the time.
Your points can be redeemed for a variety of different gift cards. In the last year, we have earned $45 worth of gift cards. In the time that we’ve used this app, there have been major improvements that have allowed us to earn even more points.
If you’re interested in using this app, use the code 46NDN to get an extra 2000 points when you submit your first receipt!
If you haven’t used Ibotta yet, you are missing out!
Ibotta is an easy-to-use app that you put on your phone that allows you to upload your receipts and earn money.
We’ve earned $135+ by using the Ibotta app for items that we were already going to purchase.
To use the app, you select the store you visited and add items that you purchased. Then, you take a picture of your receipt and upload it.
You can redeem your money through Paypal or by getting gift cards.
Another part of Ibotta is the bonuses. You can earn bonuses by purchasing certain products.
Ibotta can also be used at other stores besides grocery stores.
There is also the option to connect your account to Facebook and earn more rewards with friends.
If you want to sign up for Ibotta and get $10 FREE just for joining, we would love for you to use our link or referral code: asljnam
7. How to save money on groceries by comparing prices per ounce
When you look at the price of the item, it usually tells you how much you are paying per ounce.
Just because an item is smaller or has less ounces than the larger size, doesn’t make it cheaper.
Several weeks ago, a gallon of apple cider was $2.99 compared to a 1/2 gallon for $3.99. The gallon was on sale, so it was a far better deal even if you didn’t want that much cider.
Some packaging makes items look bigger or smaller than another when they really aren’t. Make sure you look at the quantity of the item not just the packaging.
Sometimes sale items are still not a better deal when you look at the price per ounce.
8. How to save money on groceries by making a list
We always make out a grocery list before we go to the store.
Our list is a magnetic list that we keep on our refrigerator. When we run out of something during the week, we write it on the list.
The list has the items that we wrote during the week as well as the items needed for each of the meals for the week.
We don’t usually write things that we buy every week like milk, but if that helps you stick to your budget, then feel free to write every single thing you want to buy.
Making a list will keep you from impulse buys and save you money.
9. How to save money on groceries with special store deals
One of our local grocery stores has some items that are only on sale on Thursday and Friday.
We try to shop on one of those days to take advantage of those special sales.
Another thing they do is offer “Santa Bucks” close to Christmas.
These special coupons will say “save $5 on an item that is $24.99 or higher.”
We don’t necessarily use them for gifts, but for something we need that costs around $24.99.
Check out your local stores and see if they offer special sales.
10. How to save money on groceries by shopping at discount stores
In our area, Aldi and Save-A-Lot are two discount grocery stores.
They have brands that are usually not name brands.
They don’t have the variety that a store like Walmart has, but they will save you more money.
Their prices are typically very cheap.
For example, in this week’s ad, Aldi has avocados on sale for 59¢ each and mangoes for 49¢ each. Whereas, Meijer has avocados on sale for 3 for $5, which is still about $1.67 each. Their mangoes are 2 for $3 ($1.50 each). Obviously, Aldi has much better deals.
It really just depends on how much food you need to get and whether or not you mind shopping at more than one store to get all your groceries.
11. How to save money on groceries by purchasing clearance/damaged items
Sometimes stores have a clearance or damaged item section.
These are usually items that will expire soon.
If you are going to eat them right away, this can be a way to get something for half the price.
At Meijer, they have a misfits section in the produce department that has mini versions of fruit that you can get for a lot cheaper.
Also, bread outlets usually have day old bread and pastries that you can purchase for a lot less.
These may not be quite as fresh, but can still be good.
What are some ways that you like to save money on groceries?
Do you do any of these things? Do you have anything to add to our list? Comment down below!