23 Ways To Save Money On Groceries
How often do you get through the checkout at the grocery store, hear your total, and think, “I just spent how much on groceries?!” It is so easy to toss things in the grocery cart and end up spending way too much money on food each month. However, with a little prep work and thoughtfulness, you can easily save money on groceries.
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How To Save A Lot Of Money On Groceries Without Coupons
While couponing can be a great way to save money on groceries it can also lead you into buying things you don’t need or getting a large bulk of things that you may never use. Couponing can be great and has a fantastic place in saving money, but it’s also not simple and I like to keep things simple.
Here are all of your great money-saving tips:
1. Make a meal plan
Having a plan will always keep you from buying things you don’t need and overspending. Keep it simple and feel free to use my meal planning sheets.
2. Design Your grocery list from your meal plan
This is obvious, but the key is to not add extra items to your grocery list. Stick to what you have planned. Come up with some simple breakfast and lunch ideas. Write down the snacks you need and that’s it.
3. Only buy what is on the grocery list
It is so tempting to see lots of good things at the store that are not on your list. It’s also easy to give in to anyone shopping with you and let them put things in the cart. DON’T. Just stick to the list and don’t stray.
4. Plan meals based on leftovers and what is stocked in your pantry
When you make your meal plans shop your pantry and refrigerator first. Design meals based on the leftovers that you need to eat up and what you already have in stock. Eating what you already have is always a great way to save on groceries.
5. Eat meals with few ingredients
When meal planning it can be easy to jump to Pinterest and start looking up new recipes to try. This can be very helpful, but if you aren’t careful this can lead to having to buy many different ingredients. New spices and ingredients you don’t usually cook with can really start to add up and break the budget.
6. Avoid snack foods
Snack foods, especially pre-packaged snack foods can get expensive in a hurry. Save your waistline and your wallet by skipping the snacks.
7. Buy generic
Buy the generic brand as often as you can. This may seem like a no brainer but it really does make a big difference. Every now and again there is something that is just plain better in the brand names and it’s not worth saving the money on. However, I found many times that I prefer the generic brands.
8. Shop at Aldi
Don’t get me wrong you can easily overspend at Aldi just like you can anywhere else. However, Aldi has such great deals and I always get more bang for my buck when I shop at Aldi. The store is specifically designed to make groceries cheaper for you. They cut out a lot of expenses that other grocery stores have so that you can have cheaper groceries.
Definitely check it out if you don’t shop at Aldi already. Remember to still follow all of these tips to save money on your groceries and you will see a huge difference in your grocery bill.
More Tips For Spending Less Money On Food
9. Choose food from the bottom shelf
The generic brands and cheaper brands are always on the bottom shelf at grocery stores. The more expensive items are normally in the middle, placed right at eye level, to entice you to grab from there.
10. Buy in bulk but be smart about it
Buying in bulk can save you money in the long run. However, be smart about it. Don’t impulse buy something in bulk. Buy things that you know you will use and use often. This will save you money per item and keep you from going back to the store to get more.
11. Take fewer trips to the store
This is where planning ahead is really helpful. When you run to the store to grab something, you end up grabbing more than one something. These impromptu trips to the store end in you blowing your budget.
Try your best to do without until your scheduled and planned grocery trip.
12. Order online to avoid impulse buying
When you order online you can see your exact total. If you are going over budget you can go back through your cart and delete some items.
This can be done in-store as well but it also helps to not be tempted to toss that box of donuts in the cart at the last minute.
Many grocery pick up services, such as Walmart, are free and will add no extra cost to your grocery bill.
13. Use a calculator and round up
If you prefer shopping in the store make sure you keep track of your spending while putting things in your cart. Use a calculator or add things up in your head.
Round all of your prices up to the nearest dollar so you don’t have to worry about including tax. Rounding up will ensure that you do not go over budget.
14. Invest in a deep freeze and stock up
When things are on sale, buy them up and put them in the freezer. Buying larger packages of meat, separate it, and freeze it.
It’s nice to have a stash of meat and not have to worry about buying meat every time you go to the store.
There are many other things you can freeze as well. This will help you take fewer trips to the store, which is a great way to save money.
Here is a short list of things you can easily freeze:
- cookie dough
More Tips For Spending Less Than $100 A Week On Groceries
15. Buy frozen vegetables and fruit
Frozen vegetables and fruit can often be cheaper (not always) but I find I am able to stretch them out longer.
I can buy a bag of frozen green beans and don’t need to cook the whole bag for dinner. I am able to stretch it to more than one dinner and don’t have to worry about having waste because I can seal them up and keep them frozen.
You can also freeze your fresh produce before it goes bad so that it won’t go to waste.
16. Buy fresh produce when it’s in season
When you buy produce that is in season, it is cheaper. It is also more likely to be locally grown, which is a bonus.
You can often find local farmers selling their produce and pick some up for really great prices.
Or you can even grow your own. You’d be surprised at how many tomatoes you can get out of one tomato plant. Water it well and keep the critters away and you’ll have more than you know what to do with.
17. Chop your own veggies
Skip the precut vegetables and fruit and cut up your own. Not only will this save you money on groceries but your fruits and veggies will last longer. Precut vegetables and fruit may be convenient but it doesn’t help your budget.
This includes whole carrots. The price of whole carrots is far cheaper than buying baby carrots. Peel and cut up your own carrots. It’s worth the extra money you will save.
18. Shred your own cheese
In addition to vegetables, it is also a better deal to buy your own block of cheese, invest in a cheese grater, and shred your own cheese.
Shredding your own cheese also tastes so much better! Trust me, it is worth the extra work.
19. Don’t be afraid of eating the same things
In a world full of tons of choices it seems we put this pressure on ourselves to always be changing up our dinner recipes. We make comments such as, “I feel like we are always eating the same things for dinner.”
Why exactly is that a bad thing? It makes it easier for you for multiple reasons.
Keep a running list of family favorites and rotate through them.
This saves you money on groceries because you’ll start to know what you can buy with your grocery budget. You can have go-to meals for the weeks when things are a little tighter.
When you start to venture out into making new meals and buying new ingredients is when you run the risk of going over your grocery budget.
20. Keep your pantry and refrigerator organized
Having an organized pantry and refrigerator will help you always know what you have. Knowing what food you have in stock will make it easier for you to eat and plan meals based on what you have.
Clean things out once a week so leftovers are getting eaten and are not getting lost in the back of the refrigerator.
21. Have a take out budget
Often times families will decide they are going to save money on food by not eating out and that is a great idea. However, those nights sneak up on us when we need a quick fix for dinner or we are just plain tired of cooking and planning every night so we give in and eat out.
Plan for eating out in advance and you won’t blow the budget. Set some money aside each week or each month that is specifically meant for eating out. When you get to a night where friends what to go out or you don’t feel like cooking you can dip into that stash.
22. Stick to chicken and pork
Meat can really make the cost of weekly groceries go up quickly. Things like seafood and steak should become a luxury when you have a limited grocery budget. Stick to chicken and pork and save steak and seafood for a special occasion.
23. Shop the perimeter of the store
Shopping the aisles that run the perimeter of the store will save you money and help you eat healthier. There are items that you will need from the center of the store but the less you shop there the more money you will save on your groceries.
The prepackaged food is more expensive and you are bound to start throwing in extra snacks when you shop in the middle isles.
How do you save money on groceries?