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When you’re sticking to a budget like our family is, it’s essential to know ways to save money on groceries. And really, who has time to spend cutting and sorting coupons every week? I sure don’t.
Many of these grocery savings tips seem small from one week to the next, but if you implement them consistently, you’ll notice substantial savings at the end of the year.
12 Smart Ways to Save Money on Groceries
1. Plan Your Meals for the Week Ahead of Time
Plan meals around any meat or produce you already have in your fridge or freezer so nothing goes to waste (which would waste money).
Then take a peek in the weekly sales flyer for your grocery store so you can plan some more meals based on the meat and produce that’s on sale.
2. Shop the Sales
When you do find a really good deal on something you normally purchase that can be stored on the shelf or in the freezer, buy extra to stock up to avoid paying full price next time.
Avoid buying sale items you don’t really need or won’t use up just because of a sale, though, because then you really won’t be saving any money in the long run.
3. Grocery Shop Only Once Per Week
Once you have your meals planned and your grocery list made, pick a time to buy all your groceries in one shot.
Stick to a budget that you’ve predetermined.
If you only go once a week and shop according to your plans, you’ll likely avoid impulse buying those extra desserts, drinks, and snacks that you don’t need.
4. Buy Generic Store Brands
Whenever possible, buy the generic store brand of the goods you need.
Get into the habit of checking the price per ounce on different brands of the same item to find the best deal.
5. Buy in Bulk
Buy in bulk if it’s an item you use frequently and will be able to use up before it expires. Usually the price per ounce will be a lot less for a bigger container than for a smaller one.
Even buying 18-count eggs instead of a dozen at a time will save you money in the long run.
6. Buy Marked-Down Bread and Meat (Freeze Extra)
Ask a grocery store clerk where your store keeps marked-down meat, bakery items, and produce that are close to reaching their sell-by date.
Oftentimes you can purchase these items for half price.
Stick discounted meat or bakery items straight into your freezer until you can use them, or cook them for dinner the same day.
7. Use Apps to Save Money on Groceries
You can scan your grocery receipts into apps like Fetch Rewards App to earn points that you can redeem for rewards like Amazon gift cards.
You can use the gift cards to purchase more food or household items later!
You can use my referral code V5X2G to get 2,000 bonus points when you sign up and scan your first receipt!
8. Avoid Cooking Meals with Obscure Ingredients
You may have star anise, fish sauce, and sriracha on your grocery list for a new Pho recipe you found on Pinterest…
But unless you are going to make Pho or other dishes with those ingredients often, avoid purchasing them in the first place.
The cost can really add up, and whatever you don’t use in the recipe may be sitting in your pantry or fridge until it expires.
9. Do the Prep Work Yourself & Cook From Scratch
You will pay for convenience (“time is money”), so if pre-cut and prepackaged foods aren’t in your budget, do the prep work yourself, and cook from scratch.
- Wash and cut your own fruits and vegetables instead of paying for snack trays or salad kits.
- Avoid buying single-serve packs of chips, snacks, applesauce, yogurt, pouches, etc. but buy bigger packages and divvy up portions yourself.
- Avoid pre-cooked meals..
10. Make Money-Saving Meals
Choose cheaper cuts of meat to prepare and make the meat stretch in a pasta dish or soup.
Build your meal around food that’s cheap like oatmeal, pasta, potatoes, beans, or rice.
11. Make Your Own Baby Food
Pre-made baby food is convenient, but all those little jars and packages can really add up!
You can easily blend your own purees after steaming vegetables until they are very soft, and feed your baby real bananas and applesauce instead of the jarred baby food versions.
Let your baby snack on suitable crackers/cereal instead of paying extra for baby crackers, bars, and puffed snacks.
Try baby-led weaning to help your baby eat what you are cooking for the rest of the family.
12. Cook More Than One Meal’s Worth of Food at a Time
A great time and money saving tip is to cook enough to last for more than one meal.
Eat the other half of the lasagna you made a couple nights later with a different vegetable on the side, or eat that soup you made for a couple of lunches throughout the week.
You could also just make enough protein that you can re-purpose it for another meal.
For example, we like to eat pot roast with potatoes and carrots one night, then use the leftover meat to make French Dip sandwiches a couple nights later.
Hopefully these tips will help you save money at the grocery store and stick to your budget. How do you save money on food in your household?