Grocery costs are expected to rise in 2022. Some food retailers and distributors say it might be up as much as 20%. (NewsNation)
In other words, if your average grocery bill accounts for a considerable proportion of your monthly paycheck, NOW you will pay more, regardless of dining out or cooking at home.
So, is there any good news about the food price increases?
Thankfully, there are clever ways to cut your grocery bill and save more money.
How To Save Money On Groceries Every Month
👉 Spoiler Alert: Here are 29 easy ways to save hundreds on groceries every single month. Get ready to reduce spending on groceries.
🌟 Feel free to pin this post to your favorite Pinterest board so you can come back anytime and review the easy ways to save money on groceries while eating healthy.
1. Have A Realistic Grocery Budget
It’d be hard to save money if you have no idea how much you spend on food per month.
That’s where a realistic food budget plays a role. It can tell you whether you are overspending on food or living below your means.
And most importantly, you can analyze your past spending decisions and plan your food category accordingly.
Once you are determined to reduce spending on groceries, be honest with your grocery budget and start slow to make it work.
For example, if you usually spend $600/month on food and aim to cut your grocery bill in half, consider shaving off $100 in the first month. Then keep reducing more when you see improvements.
How To Make A Budget In 6 Easy Steps
Should I Use The 50/30/20 Budgeting Method?
2. Create A Weekly Meal Plan And Stick To It
If you want to save money on groceries, meal planning is one of the best ways.
There are many benefits of meal planning.
- You can buy quality, healthy ingredients when they are on sale.
- You know what food you put into your stomach every week.
- It saves you money and time on grocery shopping.
- An actionable meal plan is a surefire way to reduce impulse buying.
- When you plan ahead, you will significantly reduce food waste.
🌟 Pro Tip: Make sure your weekly meal plan is simple to follow and start batch cooking using meal prep containers so that you are less likely to eat out or order delivery.
New to meal planning? Think it’s time-consuming and tedious? Not a big fan of food prep? Or, simply don’t have the time to plan?
Don’t worry; you are NOT alone.
Try the $5 Meal Plan, where every meal usually costs around $2 per person.
For just $5 a month, you will get your meal plan and grocery list delivered to your inbox every single week. So you don’t have to wonder what to buy on your next grocery trip.
You are welcome to start their 14-day trial for FREE here. If that’s not what you like, cancel it anytime, no questions asked.
3. Look Through Your Pantry And Fridge
Want to save more money on groceries? Check out your pantry and fridge.
If any forgotten ingredients are collecting dust in your kitchen, try to use up what you already have before heading to the grocery store.
You can also be creative with substituting ingredients in your kitchen to cut down on food waste and save a big chunk of your money.
Plus, knowing what you have on hand and what you are low on for the week could make your grocery runs more efficient.
4. Make A Grocery List
When was the last time you bought the extra chocolate bar and added the classic vanilla ice cream to your cart?
Do you often walk around the aisles mindlessly and wonder what to buy at the grocery store?
Well, if you have a shopping list that you can stick to, you will save big bucks on food and your precious time on your grocery runs.
5. Shop Online
Some people might think grocery shopping online could lead to excessive spending. That’s NOT always true.
If you are disciplined and stick to your shopping list, you can save more money on groceries and avoid impulse buys.
There are many benefits of buying your groceries online.
- The price is competitive. You can easily make price comparisons across stores within a few clicks and get the best deal.
- It saves you a ton of time and gas (if you drive).
- You won’t be stuck in traffic jams or wander around the food isles and end up picking up random items.
- You don’t have to carry all the stuff home by yourself.
- It’s less tempting to buy more when you can’t smell and touch the food.
- If you follow your grocery list, online shopping can help control emotional purchases.
💰 Budget Hack: Note that a delivery fee might occur, but if you meet the free shipping minimum, you won’t need to pay a delivery fee or tip. You can also choose curbside pickup.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of fast, free shipping by joining membership programs like Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime also offers a FREE 30-day trial for you to try out.
6. Crunch The Numbers
If you want to stay within your food budget, know how much you need to pay before heading to the checkout line. A calculator on your phone would be of great help.
Spare yourself a minute or two to do the simple math, so you can prevent the unpleasant surprise (being overbudget) at the checkout counter.
For example, if you plan to spend $70 on a grocery trip, calculate the total amount of food (fruits, veggies, and other items) in your cart to ensure the number is not over the budgeted amount.
That also means you will rethink the extra items that might blow your budget.
Do you really need the bag of classic potato chips ($3.34) and the tin of chocolate chip cookies ($27.97) that are not on your grocery list?
Besides, knowing how much you will pay beforehand helps avoid accidental overcharges.
Maybe a cashier accidentally presses the wrong key on the computer or perhaps there is a price scanner error.
The best way to avoid overspending is to know the price in advance and double-check your receipt before leaving the store.
7. Round-Up Your Food Expenses Estimates
You can play this mental trick on yourself by rounding up each item’s price.
For example, if an item costs $6.79, round the number up ($7). Or the $35.5 item becomes $40.
Rounding the prices of your items to the nearest dollar could create a pleasant shopping experience as it’s a surefire way to stay under budget.
8. Grocery Shop When You Will Save The Most
Many people tend to do grocery shopping after work or at weekends.
If you don’t want to be pushed by the crowds and wait in a long line, choose the right time to grocery shop.
Weekdays, especially Wednesdays, would be good days to save money for grocery shopping and avoid traffic.
You might ask, “Why Wednesdays?”
That’s because many stores will restock and change the deals on the mid-week day.
Notice that NOT all stores begin their weekly sales on Wednesday. It could also be Thursday or Friday.
Time of the day is also important when it comes to grocery shopping.
If you are an early bird, you can take advantage of the fullness of the shelves and fewer crowds.
However, if your schedule is not allowed, a late evening trip will make your groceries stretch as perishable items are most likely to be marked down.
9. Buy In Bulk When Needed
One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to buy your frequently eaten food (shelf-stable items) in bulk when on sale.
But don’t stock up items if you don’t use or need them.
For example, here is a list of long-shelf-life foods you can buy in bulk to save money.
- Nuts in the shell
- Canned food (such as meat and soup)
- Dried beans
- Dried fruits
You can also check the bulk bins to take your dollar further instead of buying expensive prepackaged foods.
Note that the older but not yet expired items are usually stocked front. So make sure to check the expiration dates when you are distracted by the attractive prices.
Another thing you want to pay close attention to is the price per unit, as bulk buys are NOT always the best deal.
Compare the unit price per ounce or pound among different sized packages and brands to stretch your food dollars.
You can usually find the unit price for the product in small print on the price label. If it’s not available, use your calculator to get the best buy.
10. Only Buy What You Need
Just because there is a ‘great’ deal at your favorite grocery store, it doesn’t mean you need to take it.
“Buying something you do not need is a waste of money, even if it is a bargain.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
You might want to put back the discounted buttered popcorn and take the fizzy sparkling lemonade out of your cart as they are unplanned expenses.
Lower your grocery bill by ignoring the food promotions you don’t need so you don’t have to throw away the extra food later.
11. Save Money By Knowing The Sales Cycles
It’s no secret that people can travel, plan a wedding, and do Christmas shopping at a much lower price in the off-season.
But did you know grocery store also has sales cycles that you can take advantage of?
Find out the sales cycles (such as a 12-week sales pattern) of your frequently bought items and stock up at rock bottom prices.
You can check the supermarket’s website and sales flyers or ask the grocery store manager about the information.
This hack alone could get the most bang for your buck.
12. Store Your Food Properly In The Fridge
There are many reasons our foods end up in the trash.
Improper storage is one of the main culprits.
According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, if you know how to manage wasted food, not only will you spend less on groceries, but you can also save money on trash pickup services and receive tax benefits by donating.
One smart way to keep your food as fresh as possible is using the vacuum sealer machine. It saves you space and prevents food wastage and spoilage.
Start saving money on groceries by learning how to store your food correctly.
13. Leave The Overspenders Home
How often have you fought with your partner over money because of unplanned purchases?
Or do your kids always put not-on-the-list items to your cart?
For the sake of peace and your wallet, leave them home.
This is one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries.
14. Shop Around
You might have a go-to grocery store because of convenience.
I get it.
But did you know grocery stores offer different prices and sales for the same or similar products?
You’ll be amazed that you can save a significant amount of money over time by heading out to different grocery stores.
When you get the time, google all the groceries stores near your neighborhood and find out when they release their weekly deals.
So you can be a savvy shopper by paying budget-friendly prices.
15. Do Prep Work Yourself
Pre-washed bagged veggies and precut food are convenient yet expensive (usually double or triple the prices).
On top of that, they are not always washed as clean as you expect, and the prepared food generally has a shorter shelf life.
Indeed, chopping fruits, washing veggies, and packaging your food are not fun, but you can put more money in your pocket by doing all the prep work yourself.
16. Do Grocery Shopping On A Full Stomach
Even for the strictest budgeters, it’s tempting to buy more than originally planned at a grocery store when hungry or hangry.
If you only take one tip from this post, take this one. Never go shopping on an empty stomach as it will make you pay more.
Your waistline won’t appreciate the extra food, nor does your grocery budget.
17. Use A Smaller Cart Or Basket
Wondering why shopping carts are getting larger and larger?
It is a marketing strategy to entice you to spend more. An experiment showed when the cart was doubled in size; customers would buy 40% more products (source).
If you get a smaller cart or basket, you can’t put more food than the capacity, which helps you spend less on food purchases.
Plus, you can move faster in the supermarket.
18. Return The Items If Necessary
It’s not uncommon that people end up buying a bunch of unnecessary produce after a grocery trip. Impulse purchases could happen to all of us.
So what can you do?
Go back to the store and return them if possible.
It doesn’t hurt to ask for a full refund. Depending on the grocery stores’ policies, you might put more cash in your pocket.
19. Join The Club
If you are a regular at your favorite grocery store, it’s worth joining the loyalty program.
There are many benefits of doing this.
- earn rewards or points for future visits
- enjoy special discounts or digital coupons (frequently purchased items and new items) that are exclusive to members
- get cash back and save more money on food
🌟 Important: Don’t get tempted by the flashy product labels in your inbox and don’t buy unnecessary items.
20. Shop Seasonal Food
If you want to save money on groceries, buy fruits and vegetables in season.
Not only are they fresher and tastier, but they are also more budget-friendly.
By contrast, out-of-season produce requires a long distance for transport. And the expensive shipping fees are shared in the food costs.
Meaning: You are paying for the additional costs.
21. Try Frozen Veggies
Frozen vegetables are time-saving and wallet-friendly. Plus, it has a longer shelf life.
That doesn’t mean it’s less nutritious and fresher than the fresh ones. Nutritionists point out frozen veggies are pretty comparable to fresh vegetables as they are usually frozen at their prime time (source).
On the other hand, fresh vegetables typically travel a long distance to different grocery stores after being picked, reducing the nutritional value.
If you grocery shop on a budget and can’t access quality raw greens, consider frozen veggies.
22. Give The Private Label A Try
There is no surprise that buying premium brands makes your grocery bill skyrocket.
Try store brands if you are not a loyal fan of a specific name-brand product.
Some generic brands can be as quality as name brands.
In other words, you could have quality food at a fantastic price with non-branded products.
If you don’t like them after trying, switch back at any time. But if you do, you can keep your food costs down by not paying extra for a name.
💰 Budget Hack: Check the ingredients list and compare the price with the name-brand items before purchasing.
When the big names are on sale, they could be cheaper than the store brands.
23. Be Aware Of Product Placement
Ever heard of “eye level is buy level?”
That’s why you often find the priciest name brands right at eye level. This common supermarket trick will cost you more money without realizing it.
So if you want to get cheaper groceries, look up and down to locate the store brands or other more affordable alternatives.
This small move could probably save you $15-$50 per grocery trip.
By doing this, you will see a significant reduction in your food bill while having delicious food.
24. Save Money On Groceries With Coupons
Wondering how to reduce spending on groceries?
Take advantage of coupons.
Whether using physical coupons or digital forms from apps or websites, you can check what’s available for the week and make a meal plan accordingly.
Check the stores’ coupon policies when you start couponing, as they vary greatly. You want to know where, when, and how to use the coupons for your benefit.
For example, some stores might limit the number of coupons you can use within a day. Other grocery stores would allow you to use more than one coupon along with regular manufacturer coupons in a single transaction (i.e., coupon stacking).
25. Shop Clearance Racks
The price of clearance items at the grocery store is often at a steep discount as retailers are trying to get rid of those products fast and leave room for new items.
Don’t forget to check the clearance section for some fantastic deals (like steeply discounted grass-fed beef).
You can visit the clearance racks first to save you big at checkout when you hit the supermarket.
💡 Note: When you buy food that is almost at the end of its saleable life, consume them ASAP.
26. Bring Your Own Bag
When you’re grocery shopping on a budget, every cent counts.
Don’t forget to take a few reusable grocery bags with you for your next grocery trip.
It is the easiest way to keep the extra money in your wallet.
27. Shop Your Local Farmers’ Market
Note that not all items are cheaper at your local farmers’ market.
But in general, you can get a better deal, especially if you go there before the closing time.
Another bonus is that you can bargain for a better price. If you think you are more likely to get a discount on certain products, don’t be afraid to ask.
28. Grocery Shop Less Often
How can you save money on groceries?
Have fewer grocery store trips each month.
Fewer visits, less spending. It’s as simple as that.
Instead of going there four times a month, try once a month grocery shopping to extend your food dollar.
That means you need to do meal planning and create a shopping list (see tips #1 and #2), so you won’t grocery shop for the extra stuff and forget to buy the needed items.
29. Try Cash
Are you looking for easy ways to save money on groceries?
Use cash payment to avoid impulse buys.
Since you can’t spend more than the cash you have, you must stay within your grocery budget.
Related post: Which Payment Type Can Help You Stick To Your Food Budget?
Is Cutting Down On Your Grocery Bill The Best Way To Save Money?
If you spend 10% or more of your income on groceries, it’s best to reduce your grocery expenses to save money.
Food costs are unavoidable yet controllable. Even just making a few tweaks can significantly cut your grocery bill.
Final Thoughts On How To Save Money On Groceries Every Month
Now you know the best grocery shopping tips. Go ahead and pick one or more of these grocery budget hacks.
Imagine what you will do with the extra money after trimming your monthly grocery bill. Pay off your debt, build an emergency fund, or buy things that bring you joy, you name it.
So, are you ready to score big sales on your next grocery run with the tips mentioned in the post?
What are your genius ways to save money on groceries?
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