30 Best Ways to Save Money on Groceries
According to Dave Ramsey, the percentage we should spend on food from our monthly wage should only be 10-15%. Groceries or food, entirely, is essential for our living, but it can be very expensive. There is no way out of it. However, it is always best to opt for this and make homemade meals than to eat out, because it is much more costly.
If we eat 3 meals a day and have snacks in between, that is indeed a lot of money. But there is always a way for us to cut back on our expenses! Follow these 30 best ways for grocery-saving, and I hundred percent guarantee that you will be able to shop smarter and thrifty next time:
- Ban overspenders to come to grocery shopping.
Yes, we know that this might hurt and is actually hard, especially if the overspenders are our little mini-me and our spouse, but let’s get real: they actually sometimes are the culprits of this matter. As we travel down the aisle of our favorite grocery store, they might see lots of things that are not included in our list, and it is very difficult for us to resist them, hence leading to overspending. So it’s best to just leave them at home for a while.
- Grow your own spices and herbs.
Our favorite rosemary, mint, and chives can be very expensive. To overcome but still enjoy it, try growing them in your garden (if you have) or in little pots. This will save you a lot of money.
- Shop on the outer edges of the store instead of on the inner.
The inner aisle can be very distracting. It will derail you and make you want to put things in your shopping cart that you do not really need, plus it has the most processed foods. Try going out and shopping on the outer edges, they have the fresh produce and the more nutritious and cheap ones.
- Visit the farmers’ market at the end of the day.
Items at farmers’ market closing time can be very cheap. They most likely do not want to go home with their produce, especially because they are perishables, so what they do, they sell the remaining items at a much lower price. Not only are they less costly, but also very healthy too!
- Go for generic.
If you are sticking with your grocery store, then buy the generic especially for milks, juices, and condiments. A group of Consumer Reports taste testers report that most chain brands are just the same as named brands in taste and quality, and they are usually 15 to 30% lower in price! Also, the National Bureau of Economic Research tells that chefs, the food experts, buy more generic items than everyone. Choosing to buy generic can save us billions of dollars!
- Try meatless meals from time to time.
Meat is very expensive, especially if they are not on sale. Cut back on your meat meals and explore meatless recipes! Claim the Monday to be a Meatless Monday or whatever two days in the week you would like to choose.
- Grocery online.
Learn about curbside grocery pickup, it is a grocery-saving hack. The thing is, prices are most likely to be the same compared to the physical store, but shopping groceries online will make you stop from impulsively buying or unwantedly paying for items you thought were on sale. It is very convenient too! Shop online, pay for it, then pick it up at your most free time.
- Do not buy more than what you need.
I will say this and I will say it again: do not buy more than what you need. Someone said, if an item is on sale but you do not need it, it is still expensive. It will just get wasted.
- Do not shop when you are hungry.
We can be a totally different person when we are hungry. We, too, can pick or buy a lot of things we realize later on we cannot finish anymore, just because we are hungry on time we bought them. Eat something before you enter the grocery chain, so you do not come home with an empty wallet and a lot of regrets.
- Observe then learn the sales cycles.
You cannot easily do this for all items, but you can prioritize learning the sales cycles of your most favorite and most needed things. Get a notebook and jot it down when it is on sale and how much it went down so next time, you can hit on it perfectly!
- Stop picking the eye-level items.
It is a known marketing strategy that eye-level items are also the most expensive and attractive ones. Stop looking at it. Step back and look over the shelf. There are other similar great items that are offered at a much lower price.
- Stick to your grocery list.
NEVER buy groceries without a grocery list. This is the first rule to save money. A grocery list will keep things under control, and you will have a guide to what you need and what you don’t. Plan meals with your kids so all in the house are in favor, and there will be no unnecessary add-ups at the end.
- Start making freezer meals.
Save both time and money by making freezer meals. There are various recipes online that you can learn from. Cook big meals, divide them into portions, freeze them, and only take them out to eat whenever you will do so.
- Look through your pantry or fridge.
Before going to the store first, raid your pantry or fridge. It will surprise you that there are a lot of ingredients that you can mix to make up a meal. You will save a lot of money and space with this.
- Round up the grocery prices.
Prices in stores are all estimates. For example, $1.59 and $12.75. To get a grip on your spending, round them up. This will help you be under budget.
- Use a calculator and add up your spending while you shop.
With your rounded-up estimates, keep track of your expenses by using a calculator while shopping. Tally everything in your cart. This will keep you from overspending and will also make room for some items to be included in case you still have a remaining balance in your budget.
- Reinvent your dinner.
Fancy dinners are not required. Big, full course meals, if you are on a budget and want to save, can be redefined. Surely, your family can understand and will still enjoy your meals. For example, we can turn inexpensive eggs into yummy quiches!
- Think first before deciding to bulk up.
If you are a family of 3, then bulking up isn’t the best thing to do, especially for perishables. Bulk buying is great if it saves you money. While shopping, try to compare the per unit and per ounce of each item you are buying. It will give you a clearer view also whether to bulk up.
- Pay with cash.
Spending with actual cash than cards will probably pave the way to a good saving. If you usually overspend and want to get things under control, try to use the envelope system. It works like this: if you are going out for a grocery, put your cash budget in an envelope (let’s say $150). Then, if this money on your envelope has already gone zero, then that’s it! You cannot spend anymore. In this way, all things are under control. Plus, it pressures you to just buy the things you really need and not make room for any unnecessary items.
- Shop groceries in season.
This most applies to fruits and vegetables. A fruit sold in its season is cheap. Otherwise, is not. Research the seasons of your favorite fruits and veggies and buy them at this time.
- Compare then try different grocery chains.
First ask yourself, “Why am I shopping at my current grocery store?”. If it’s because of comfortability, then it would not hurt to think twice. The comfort may be hindering you from a better store down the road. To know, you may ask for your friends or relatives, or see advertisements.
- Bring your own grocery bag.
This is essential, so please do not forget. Grocery bags cost a penny too. Adding them up will cost a lot. Come to think too, that sometimes it may even cost just as much as an item in your list. Bring your own bag. Some grocery chains give discounts to buyers who do this too.
- Plan your meals, then stick to it.
Making a menu of the week is fun and exciting. Plus, it will save you from the stress of thinking, “What do I eat?” Make a meal plan for the week, write out the ingredients for each, then stick to it while shopping. Post your menu on your fridge so you have a guide.
- Try growing your own little garden.
This may not go for everybody, but planting your own greens in your backyard will save you a lot of money. It also makes you happy and gratified when you finally harvest and make use of them!
- Maximize cash-back or coupon apps.
Coupon apps or cash-back apps do not make people rich, but it makes them save a lot of money. With just by scanning your receipt or buying specific products, these apps will grant you points that enable you to save! Some of the finest apps are Honey, Ibotta, Receipt Hog, and Dosh.
- Eat leftovers.
Never ever throw leftovers just like that, unless they are spoiled already. It is your money and your time all in one plate. Do not disregard them. Instead of eating out or ordering for food deliveries, eat your leftovers. Some also tastes better when reheated, trust me.
- Use everything you have bought.
A very simple note to live by: everything not used is incredibly wasted. It would be saddening to see your vegetables completely rotten, or your breads to be with molds. Make sure to eat and use everything you have bought. Remember, it is your dollar and your fruit of labor in each item.
- Preserve and store.
If there is a surplus in the farmers’ market or in your garden, chances are prices are less costly. Take advantage of items that can be preserved and stored, especially for winter. You can make your own sauce too, with the use of a vacuum sealer! Doing so will save you money on food and money on fuel for traveling.
- Choose unpackaged over packaged items.
You have to be critical of packaged items because packaging adds to the overall price. Observe and you will see how a packaged fruit and vegetable is much more expensive than an unpackaged one, and both just have the same taste and quality.
- Only buy meat when it is on sale.
Either we become a vegetarian or become a better meat shopper to save money, both means weigh the same. Meats on sale are the best and guiltless times to buy just as much because you can always store them in the freezer, anyway. If you really want to save money, you can further choose cheap alternatives. For example, instead of going for chicken breast, go for chicken thighs, and so on.
These best and simple things will make you save a lot of money on groceries. What’s good about it is that it allows you to invest in other things, and it also makes you healthier! It will be more helpful and fun too if everyone in the house knows you are unto this quest. Happy grocery-shopping!