How to Save Money on Groceries: Best Tips

One of the best ways to save money at the supermarket is to plan ahead.
One of the best ways to save money at the supermarket is to plan ahead. | Source

Best Tips for Saving Money on Groceries

Everybody wants to save money but few people will take the time and expend the effort to really learn about ways to save money on groceries. Life is busy and people have more important things to consider than saving a few bucks at the supermarket, right? Most folks already have too much on their plates already and may not be concerned with how to save money on groceries.

Fact is, most folks shop by simply taking a look in the refrigerator, cabinet or pantry and making a list of the things they need or want to eat. They then drive to the nearest supermarket and fill their cart with the most appetizing selections. Those who cook at home may also make regular runs to the grocery store to get a few ingredients for a special dish. Grocery shopping can be very expensive.

There are better ways to save money...

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Saving some serious money at the grocery store each month takes some effort - but it could save you hundreds every month!
Saving some serious money at the grocery store each month takes some effort - but it could save you hundreds every month! | Source

Ways to Save Money at the Supermarket

If you are one who manages their money and are constantly on the hunt for savings tips, this article is for you.

When my spouse and I started to carefully manage our finances, we started to really take notice of just how much money we actually spent each month. We developed a household budget in order to take control of our financial situation. Since groceries was a big part of our household budget, we decided that part of that budget would include making the most of the money we spent at the grocery store.

Once we sat down and took a close look at how we were spending our food dollars, we saw that this spending was out of control.

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Make a Menu and Plan Meals in Advance

Of all the ways to save money on groceries, planning a menu is perhaps one of the most effective. Sure, it takes some time and effort to plan ahead a few weeks but it is by far one of the best ways to save big money. Planning meals also helps you ensure that you have all the right ingredients to prepare the healthiest and most nutritious meals for your family.

Money saving tips: Plan for meals in advance.
Money saving tips: Plan for meals in advance. | Source

Planning each meal is also going to cut down on the number of times you have to make one of those "I need just this one thing" trips to the grocery store.

Planning assures you have enough of the critical, basic ingredients necessary for healthy meals. Meal planning also requires you make a standardized grocery list.

Save even more money by using the same basic ingredients in several meals. For example, how many ways can chicken breast be prepared?

Planning ahead and buying large numbers of these items saves time and unnecessary trips to the store.

I remember when we first instituted this meal-planning mentality at our house. Before meal planning, we would simply look in the cupboard or fridge to see what was available. If the ingredients were not there to make a meal, we simply ordered a pizza - it was just easier.

When we sat down and began to take control of our finances, we discovered, to our horror, that we were spending almost $400 (USD) each month on pizza! That was a big chunk of our monthly food budget.

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Monthly trips to the supermarket is one of the best ways to save money on groceries. It will help you stay within your budget and eliminate the power of impulse buying.
Monthly trips to the supermarket is one of the best ways to save money on groceries. It will help you stay within your budget and eliminate the power of impulse buying. | Source

Save Money by Shopping Only Once a Month

Making only one trip to the grocery store is absolutely one of the most effective ways to save money on groceries.

Look, I was in the advertising/marketing biz for 35 years and the number one thing retailers know about shoppers is that they are especially susceptible to impulse buying.

Retailers hire consultants to design store layouts to keep people in the store longer, lead shoppers to certain parts of the store and program specific music to appeal to shoppers in their stores at different times of the day.

Shopping only once a month eliminates the temptation of impulse buying every time you go into a supermarket. Monthly visits also help you easily plan for your monthly budget.

Some other tips for saving money on groceries include not taking small children, not shopping when you're hungry and shopping at a particular time of the day.

Small children are especially motivated by packaging and may ask for many items that are not on your list. Shopping at about 10:00 a.m. will help you avoid hunger pangs and also help to beat those heavy afternoon grocery store crowds.

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Shopping at Bulk Stores is One of the Best Ways to Save Money

Stores like Costco® or Sam's Club® carry name brand items in large, bulk quantities. If you're shopping every month and planning meals, the big bulk sizes work perfectly, especially if you have a hungry family.

These bulk stores make sense for those who do not want to mess with coupons. While you can use some coupons there, the everyday deals will likely give you more savings than the coupon.

Savings tips: Big box or bulk stores offer some of the best buys on groceries.
Savings tips: Big box or bulk stores offer some of the best buys on groceries. | Source

For example, I paid less than $4 (USD) for a 48-ounce bag of Costco Brand Tortilla Chips. A 12.25-ounce bag of Tostitos® Tortilla Chips at our local grocery store is about the same price.

That is four times the tortilla chips for the same price. You will have to check out the bulk store in your area to get a true cost comparison, but I'm sure you will find some amazing buys there.

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If you want to know how to save money on groceries, you gotta plan menus, shopping and stay within a budget.
If you want to know how to save money on groceries, you gotta plan menus, shopping and stay within a budget. | Source

Save Even More Money by NOT Buying These Items at the Grocery Store

Although buying a saucepan or a spatula at the grocery store may seem convenient you will likely pay much more. Looking to save money at the supermarket?

Toiletries, cosmetics, razor blades, moisturizer, deodorant and toothpaste all cost substantially more at the grocery store.

The same goes for batteries, light bulbs and extension cords - all very expensive there.

Purchase small appliances like toasters, tea kettles and coffee makers at a grocery store and you will definitely pay a premium price for them. Supermarket party supplies are another set of items that tend to be particularly expensive.

Sure, grocery stores offer convenience but if you're looking for easy to save money, head over to the hardware, department or dollar store.

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Here are some additional tips to help you save money...

Poll: Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

What is the most effective way to save money on your monthly grocery bill?

  • Plan menus
  • Plan purchases ahead of time
  • Shopping at big bulk stores
  • Simply budgeting an amount for groceries each month
See results without voting

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Comments 11 comments

alwaysamber 3 years ago

These are great tips! I always look for ways to save when I go grocery shopping. I do some meal planning in advance, as well and I find that it's very helpful!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

These are great tips MK! I am regularly looking for ways to save, and making a menu does help not only in saving money on that visit, but helps us use the food while it is fresh and reduces waste. Voted up.


Mommymay profile image

Mommymay 3 years ago from Ohio

Great tips! I am all about saving money at the store!


novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 3 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

Great article. You're absolutely right, most people waste money going shopping every day, just because it's convenient. I try to limit my grocery shopping to once every 7-10 days and I only buy what's on my shopping list. I study the flyers every week to take advantage of the best offers. Personally, I feel that shopping only once a month would be inconvenient for the following reasons: Fruit & produce doesn't keep that long. You need a huge pantry and meal planning for a whole month may be too challenging for most people. Also, the specials change every week and in this way you get more variation. What saves me a lot of money is stocking up on huge quantities of non-perishable items when they are on sale, buying a freezer chest and stocking up on meat, bread and frozen products. Personally I feel that most people are too strict when it comes to sticking to their monthly grocery budget and they lose out on super specials like discounted gift cards, double airmiles etc. I always buy a few gift cards when they are 5% off and use them in the coming months for my grocery shopping.


MKayo profile image

MKayo 3 years ago from Texas Author

Novasctiamiss - great tips! Thanks for the read and helpful comments.


KatSanger profile image

KatSanger 3 years ago from Texas

I find shopping only once a month impractical due to the types of food I buy and special needs that pop up during the month. Plus, I have a compact car and can't fit that much in it. :) That said, I do find that stocking up on big items once a month and then shopping only once a week for fresh/immediate need items makes a difference.


clara kish@yahoo. profile image

clara kish@yahoo. 3 years ago from Mt. Perry. Ohio

Hello MKayo, You have some good ideas how to save money when shopping . Now if I can get my son to do some of the things, I am a widow and live with my son, and he does the most of the grocery shopping right now , Thank you ,Clara Kish


MKayo profile image

MKayo 3 years ago from Texas Author

KatSanger - (sorry for the delayed response) Yes, stocking up once a month is a great way to only spend a certain amount. It's funny how the most interesting recipes happen to evolve around the end of the month.

Ms. Clara - I have found that repeated requests make for good communication, with my kids that is a requirement! Is it still possible to ground him or reduce his allowance? Thanks for stopping by to read this article and leave a kind comment. Good luck!


MKayo profile image

MKayo 3 years ago from Texas Author

KatSanger - (sorry for the delayed response) Yes, stocking up once a month is a great way to only spend a certain amount. It's funny how the most interesting recipes happen to evolve around the end of the month.


clara kish@yahoo. profile image

clara kish@yahoo. 3 years ago from Mt. Perry. Ohio

MKayo, sorry that will not work , my son will be 46 years old in July , so I guess he is a little too old to punish him if he doesn't like all of the food I fix for him LOL, Clara


MKayo profile image

MKayo 3 years ago from Texas Author

That works!

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