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How To Cut Down On Grocery Costs

Updated on August 22, 2012


There are a million and one ways to save money in many areas of our lives but sometimes we seem to be so busy we don't spend a lot of time thinking about ways to save on food.

Since it seems to be so easy for us to spend our money, I think it's wise from time to time to evaluate our spending habits.

Food consumes a lot of our paychecks every week, twice monthly or once a month, depending upon what our shopping pattern is.

Let's take a look at some easy skills that will help you save money and get the most for your money at the supermarket.



  • Make up meal plans for the period you're shopping for and stick to them
  • Never shop hungry - you'll buy too many useless items on impulse
  • Bring a calculator with you...if you can't do calculations in your head it saves time
  • Keep a running list of everything you buy regularly and where you get the best price
  • Print out a specific list before you shop and where you'll shop...stick to it!
  • Check the papers weekly for specials and coupons - use them to cut costs



  • Keep a running list of things as you run out of them - add to the appropriate list
  • Make the list store specific when you go - itemize what you need where
  • Buy in bulk if you possibly can and even split with a friend or family member
  • Invest in a chest freezer or any freezer so you can stock up
  • Figure out what items go on sale in the cycle when at what store - then buy up
  • Go generic - name brands aren't any different than generic or store brands
  • Try shopping alone if your kids are a distraction - or without your spouse!
  • Have a grocery budget and do not exceed it! Keep leftover money for next time
  • Use store rewards cards whenever possible - every bit helps
  • Don't be afraid to ask a store to match another store's price!
  • Check out double value coupon days and shop then
  • If you see a great sale, don't pass it up - stock up and grab the savings.
  • Grow your own - you can grow potatoes in garbage cans, veggies in containers
  • Eat smaller portions of fish and meat and more vegetables - you'll be healthier
  • Plan at least 1 or 2 meatless meals per week and eat more fish



  • Skip the snack and pop aisle altogether and save, save, save!
  • Consume more water and drink less of everything else including coffee and alcohol
  • Buy vegetables and fruits in season - freeze or dehydrate for when they're not
  • Cook things from scratch - you will save tons of money
  • Bake and cook in large batches and freeze for other meals
  • Leftovers are fantastic for another meal, lunch or snacks
  • If someone has diced it, chopped it or removed the skin or bones, you'll pay more
  • Anything that is processed will cost you more money and give you more chemicals
  • Get a rain check if a sale item is out - make sure you use it!
  • Buy toiletries and paper products at stores that offer them for less
  • Look for rebates and send them in right away before you forget
  • Always check your receipt and check item prices as they're scanned
  • Look for instant savings coupons at the check stand
  • Check the price per pound on all meats and buy accordingly - cut up your own to save money



There really are no "right" or "wrong ways" to save on grocery bills every month.  Saving money can become an addiction too but if you know how to trim unnecessary costs off your grocery bill, you'll be surprised at how good it makes you feel. 

There's also nothing more frustrating than having bought an item just a day ago and then seeing it for way less money somewhere else. 

While for most of us, store hopping isn't always an option or spending our time trying to save a few pennies is probably more frustrating than it's worth, there are folks out there (and I know a couple) who coupon like their life depended on it and shop smart.  They save a ton of money and their example has spurred me on to try and be more frugal about my own shopping habits.

Make less gas....and again, the best way to save money on food is budgeting, meal planning, cooking from scratch and buying in bulk. 

Save electricity by cooking several meals at the same time and preparing them for freezing. 

With a little organization, the sky's the limit on how much you can save!

If you have more suggestions on how to cut the high cost of food bills, please share them with all of us below!


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    • WhiteOak profile image

      Eva Thomas 6 years ago from Georgia

      Good tips. Saving electricity by cooking several meals at once is a wonderful thing, I do that weekly.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Crewman6 - I'm glad you found it helpful. I hear you on the going hungry especially. Even if I've eaten though, I tend to have to put blinders on these days as when I enter the market, all I can think of is..."I could make this, I could make that"....before I know it, I have enough stuff to cook for 3 weeks straight! Bob has gotten into the habit of whispering close to my ear - "Audrey - is it on the list?" That helps!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 7 years ago

      Plenty of good advice here. Monique plans my trips, and we make strong use of coupons. It's amazing how much it helps! This is a good checklist of what to do before shopping... especially NOT going hungry!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      ASB - Thanks for stopping by and that is my best money-saving trick too!

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 7 years ago

      Great Hub. I agree that its a smart idea to buy meats when they are on sale and to stock up and freeze them.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Shona - Great tip as well! I carry mine in the car at all times to save on trees and plastic!!

    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 7 years ago from South Africa

      What also helps is if you provide your own shopping bags, because a lot of stores charge for them these days.

      I wish South Africa would get store and manufacturer coupons...

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      MT - Great tips and I threw in the calculator because I can't seem to do the math quick enough in my head...I'm there forever...of course, you can go by the unit pricing too but sometimes that doesn't give me the facts like I'd want them!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 7 years ago from Minnesota

      I have gotten much better at saving money for groceries. I always cut coupons, buy meat that I cut myself, buy foods that are on sale and many other things that you mentioned. It really does add up. I really liked the tip about bringing a calculator. That makes so much sense. Thanks for a very helpful hub:)