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Our family used to overspend on groceries week in and week out. I knew that I had to find a way to save money at the grocery store, so over time I researched and found ways to spend less but still feed my family well. Here are 22 ways that you can save even more money at the grocery store this week!
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2. Grocery store apps
Did you know that your grocery store might have an app that gives your coupons? I shop regularly at Kroger and their app has hundreds of coupons that you can load directly to your Kroger card. Consider taking an extra 10 minutes to sift through the coupons before you head to the grocery store. You can easily save an extra $10 just from these coupons alone!
3. Coupons in the mail
Make sure you sign up for your grocery store’s mailing ads. If you have a Kroger card, you can connect your card online. If you provide them with your mailing address, they will send you coupons to your door every few weeks. The best news is that these coupons are tailored to what you are already buying. It’s amazing! They track your purchases and you get coupons for items that you regularly buy.
4. Shop the ads
Before you head to the grocery store for your weekly haul, check out the ads. If apples are on sale, stock up on them for lunches. You can even plan your nightly dinners around what is on sale. If a chuck roast is on deep discount, buy 2 and cook one this week then freeze the second for a later time. Looking over an ad before you head to the store helps you make more intentional purchases.
5. Compare prices
Not all stores are created equal. If one store has better prices, head that way. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and hit up the same store week in and week out (I’m this way!), but comparing prices and switching up your shopping routine can save you money.
6. Go to multiple stores
If fruits, veggies, and meat are cheaper at a certain store, then head there for those items. Pick up your other grocery items where they cost the least. I have a close friend who shops at Aldi for her fruits, veggies, and meats. She then schedules a Wal-Mart pickup for the rest of her groceries. This not only saves her time (scheduling her groceries), but it also saves her money. She never makes impulse buys if she schedules her groceries!
7. Price match
Some stores (like Wal-Mart) will price match. You can bring the ad from another store with you, or you can use their Savings Catcher app. This is an easy way to save money every time you go grocery shopping.
8. Get a rain check
If an item is on sale and it’s out of stock, swing by the customer service desk and ask if they can give you a rain check on the item. You can come back and they will honor the sale price even if the sale period is over.
9. Check the price per ounce
To make sure you are getting the best deal, check the price per ounce on products. Sometimes items are bundled together but they are more expensive per ounce. Go with the best offer to save money!
10. Meal plan in advance
This is probably the number one way to save money! If you plan out what you are going to cook, you know exactly what you need to buy and what you don’t need. Look at each recipe and note what ingredients you already have and what ingredients you will need to purchase. This keeps you from buying on a whim and spending extra money.
11. Stick to the list
It’s so easy to get sucked into the grocery store and want to buy something in every aisle. I know because I used to spend over $120 each week on groceries for just myself. I would just go to the store and shop freely buying whatever I thought I needed or wanted. This resulted in me buying too much food and throwing away money. Instead, only go down the aisles that are necessary and don’t buy it if it didn’t make it on the list!
12. Buy generic
Generic is cheaper and usually just as good. Even if it’s not as good as the name brand, it’s usually still good enough. If you’re not willing to go generic on everything, then choose at least 10-15 items that you will buy generic. Compare the cost difference and you’ll be surprised at how much you can save!
13. Go meatless
Consider cutting out meat for lunches and one dinner a week. You can easily make breakfast for dinner and eggs can be the protein of the meal. Meat can get expensive and buying less of it can lower your grocery bill.
14. Skip the sodas & juice
Not only are they completely bad for your teeth, but sodas and juice suck money straight out of your grocery budget. Stick to water and you will see a significant decrease in your grocery bill. If you can’t stand the idea of only drinking water, then consider a cheaper option like lemonade.
15. Skip the bottled water
Use filtered water instead. If you like carrying a bottle of water with you, then invest in a good refillable bottle so you can save money (BONUS: you help the environment too).
16. Don’t buy single sized snacks
Single size snacks are so convenient it’s ridiculous. I’ve been sucked into this because it’s just so gosh darn easy to throw a small pack of goldfish into a backpack and know that your child’s snack is covered. But honestly, you are much more likely to spend less if you purchase the large bag of goldfish and just prepare a small amount in a snack-sized Ziploc bag. This takes a little bit of extra time, but you’ll pay much less.
17. Pass on the prepared meals
It’s so easy to swing by the deli section and pick up a prepared dinner for two. I used to do this all the time, but then I had children. There is no way you can feed a family of 4 on one of those meals. It’s crazy expensive and although convenient, not worth my hard earned money. Instead, check out Pinterest for simple crockpot meals that will have dinner prepared by the time you get home.
18. Stay focused at the checkout line
Say no to the candy and magazines. Don’t make eye contact with the Twix bar. Just focus on the food in your basket or check Instagram. Enough said.
19. Check your pantry first
True story: I once bought a bottle of greek seasoning that I needed for a recipe. When I was unloading my groceries, I realized that I had not one, but TWO greek seasonings way in the back of my cabinet. I’m pretty sure my mom gave me one and I had purchased the other years before. Moral of the story: don’t make unnecessary purchases. Check your pantry and refrigerator before you go to the store so you don’t double up on food and condiments.
20. Go as little as often
If you plan in advance then you can get away with going to the grocery store only once per week. Cut down on extra trips so you don’t buy extra items.
21. Grow your own herbs
I wish that I could say I successfully grow my own herbs. I like to use cilantro several times each week and I had a full planter until we went on vacation this summer. My cilantro died and I was stuck picking up herbs at the grocery store once again. I am determined to grow my own herbs again soon!
22. Head to the store alone
Just this weekend our entire family went to the grocery store together. Want to know what happened to my nice little list and budget of less than $140? Well, the list was thrown out the window and the bill rose to above $160. I was less than thrilled because there were so many impulse purchases made on the spot. I was anxious because the 3 year old was running around with a box of sugar-filled pop tarts and my 5 year old was asking for every toy he saw. Have you ever noticed the random toys hanging around the grocery store?! I hadn’t and I believe it’s an evil trick to make mother’s curse under their breath. Learn from this experience and just go alone. Your wallet (and sanity) will thank you.
Need more motivation on budgeting? Check out 8 things to cut from your budget and how to implement the cash envelope system today!