Food costs are a large part of our monthly budgets (and that’s not even counting dining out). Your grocery bill is probably only second to your mortgage!
Although groceries are a big expense, it’s an expense that we have some control over. These tips will help you reduce those totals at the grocery store.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
1. Make A Grocery Budget
A great way to get a handle on your grocery budget is to start tracking how much you spend on food for a few weeks. Once you have a good idea of what you typically spend, decide on a weekly or monthly grocery budget amount.
First, you’ll work on sticking to your grocery budget without going over. Once you are able to stick to your budget, then try cutting back your budget by $20 per week or $50 per month. Once you start using these money saving tips, you’ll be surprised how low you can get your grocery spending.
2. Sign Up For The Store Card
If you shop at a grocery chain that has a reward card, be sure to sign up for it. They don’t cost anything and you’ll get access to the store’s deals.
Now many grocery stores offer manufacturer’s coupons that you can load directly onto your rewards card. As an added bonus, you can earn gas discounts when you accumulate points for shopping there.
3. Keep A Price Book
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to know what you pay for your food on a regular basis.
Use a notes app on your phone or a little notebook in your purse and write down the regular prices of the items you purchase regularly. You’ll be able to see at a glance if that “deal” really is a deal. When you find an item you frequently use at a great price, take advantage and stock up!
4. Use Rebate Apps
Gone are the days of clipping coupons! Use mobile apps to save money on your grocery bill.
Ibotta – Has hundreds of grocery rebates available and you can sort by the store you are going to be shopping at. I have had the most success in earning rebates with this app.
Click here to sign up for Ibotta and you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus once you complete your first rebate!
Checkout 51 – Along with rebates on standard grocery items, you’ll find rebates for items that you don’t typically find coupons for such as produce and milk. Some offers are store specific-usually Walmart or Sam’s Club. Checkout 51 does not have as big of a selection of rebates as Ibotta, but it’s still worth checking both apps before your grocery trip.
Click here to sign up for Checkout 51 and you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus once you complete your first rebate!
Check out my full list of the best grocery rebate apps here.
5. Cut Coupons
Clipping coupons can be a great way to save money, but it’s time-consuming. Make sure that the time you spend searching for coupons and matching with deals is worth the effort.
Using coupons does not always mean you’ll get the best price; a name brand item with a coupon may still cost more than the store brand version.
The best results come from stocking up when you use them in conjunction with a store sale.
If you’re short on time to try to do all the match-ups for the coupons to the sales prices, find a site that does them for the store you shop at. Search for “Target (or whatever you store is) Coupon Matchups” and they’ve done the hard work for you.
6. Shop At Aldi
If you have an Aldi in your area and have never checked it out, I recommend you do. One opened up a few months ago in my neighborhood and I wish I would have checked it out sooner.
Most of their items are store brand and of good quality. There have only been a couple of items I bought there that I ended up not liking (due to taste preferences).
Some people go there as their main shopping venue and it works for them. I go about one a month and stock up an items that will last like canned good, cereal, and snack foods. You can find pretty much anything you would in the regular grocery store, just a smaller selection (did you really need to choose from five brands of canned corn??)
7. Have Frugal Meals
You don’t have to limit your meal choices to ramen or rice and beans to save money on food. Having a few cheap meals that your family enjoys is a great way to stretch your grocery budget.
Meatless dishes will be your best frugal bet, or if you find a great sale, use whatever meat was on sale. Even using small portions of meat can cut your costs.
At the end of the week, we usually have a “leftover night.” Everyone will have something different that we have in the fridge–it’s a great way to reduce food waste!
8. Don’t Fear The Generic
Store brand items will save you you over name brand. I buy a good chunk of our items as the store brand. Try the item once, then if you don’t like it, you’ll know better for next time. There’s only a few items I avoid buying the store brand on.
If you shop at a grocery chain like Kroger or Safeway (as opposed to Wal-mart), your savings between store brand and name brand tends to be greater than the discount stores.
9. Avoid Impulse Purchases
Before you go to the grocery store, create a list and then stick to it!
When we don’t have a plan before going grocery shopping, we pick up more things than we may need (and forget the gallon of milk that we ACTUALLY needed!!) Plus those impulse purchases like a candy bar or soda at the checkout lane adds up.
When you stick to your list and you’ll make a dent in your weekly grocery bill. It’s crazy how all the little things can add up!
FREE PRINTABLE: Weekly Meal Plan with Grocery List
10. Shop Less Often
Last year, because I really don’t like grocery shopping, I bought enough food to last two weeks instead of one. And guess what I discovered?
I spent less on the one trip for two weeks than I do for two trips for two weeks. The savings continued as I kept my grocery shopping to every two weeks. Even counting a quick trip to grab a few things like milk or produce, I cut my grocery bill by over $100 per month!!
You have to focus on meal planning when you don’t go the grocery store as much. It also reduces the chance for you to be tempted for impulse buys.
READ MORE: 7 Ways to Simplify Meal Planning
Save Money on Groceries
Give these tips a try and see how much you can save on a weekly basis. There’s plenty of ways to cut your grocery bill, and the more tips you use, the greater your savings will be!
If all these tips seem overwhelming, pick one money saving tip to start with. Then every week or two, add another tip into the mix.