If you are looking for different areas to save and cut back expenses, then the grocery store may be one area that can save you hundreds and possibly even thousands a year.
Even if you save $10 a week within a year, that’s around $520 you saved by changing how you shop for groceries.
Below are some money-saving tips to help you next time you are at the grocery store.
1. Don't Shop on an Empty Stomach
Shopping on an empty stomach makes everything look delicious.
The problem with shopping on an empty stomach is that you may buy more than you intended.
You will also likely deviate from the grocery shopping list and purchase more than is required.
Therefore, you may spend more than you originally intended on food that may go to waste if not eaten in time.
2. Come up with a Weekly Meal Plan
Another tip to save money at the grocery store is to come up with a weekly meal plan.
A weekly meal schedule lets you plan what you’ll eat every day of the week.
Knowing what meals you will eat for the week lets you know what ingredients to purchase.
Making a food schedule is good as it enables you only to buy the ingredients needed for those recipes.
Therefore, helping you not overspend on things that may not get eaten and go to waste.
3. Buy Generic
Sometimes, stores will have two of the same products in different packaging.
One item may be generic, while the other item is name brand.
The benefit of buying generic is that it usually costs less than the name brand.
Buying generic allows you to save money on the same thing you were purchasing with a different label. [Read also: Tips and Tricks to Save Money]
4. Make a List and Stick to it
Making a list for the grocery store is an excellent idea as it allows you to purchase exactly what you need for the week.
Many sites and apps, such as Walmart and InstaCart, allow you to add items to the cart before visiting the store to see how much you will spend.
This allows you to make a list and if you stick to it, knowing exactly how much you will spend.
Furthermore, shopping items online prior to going to the grocery store lets you know what is currently in stock.
Additionally, you can also use online grocery shopping portals as a way to compare prices with different brands, quantities, and sizes.
Furthermore, if unable to control impulse buys at the grocery store then ordering food online for pick-up from Walmart, Target or InstaCart may be a better solution for you.
5. Compare Prices Between Stores
Another tip to save money at the grocery store is by comparing prices between stores.
In today’s era, most grocery stores have their prices listed online.
Comparing prices online helps you price shop between various stores to see where you can get the best deals.
Furthermore, stores such as Walmart and Aldi are usually cheaper than the name-brand stores you find nationwide.
6. Skip Ordering Online
Although ordering online may be more accessible and saves time, it may cost you more in the long run.
Purchasing online lets somebody else pick out your produce, deli, meats, cheese, milk, and eggs.
The issue with this is you do not get to look at the expiration date or determine if products are close to expiring.
Therefore, you may receive produce, eggs, milk, or meat that is about to spoil and may only last a day or two after receiving it.
This is particularly an issue if you grocery shop weekly or bi-weekly.
Visiting the store allows you to check the dates on milk, eggs, and cheese is beneficial to ensure you have enough time to consume the products before expiring.
Furthermore, examining veggies and fruit before purchasing is always wise to ensure excellent quality that lasts a while. If produce has signs of going bad, it likely won’t last long after purchase.
It is for this reason that skip ordering online made our list of tips to save money at the Grocery Store.
7. Exchanging Groceries
Splitting groceries is beneficial when it comes to saving money.
Knowing what items usually expire in your household before you have time to eat it is a great way to determine what foods you can split, especially if these items come in bulk.
Therefore, if you have foods that usually expire before having time to eat it, then dividing and exchanging it with someone else for their food may help save money.
For example, your roommate buys a bag of potatoes and bananas then you buy a bag of onions and apples.
You each divide the potatoes, bananas, onions, and apples and take half.
This way, rather than each buying their items and letting them expire, you split and save money while preventing food from going to waste.
Exchanging food with a friend, family member, or even a roommate is a great way to save money without wasting food.
It just requires a little planing of what foods to share and what week each will purchase.
8. Cutting Your Produce
Buying produce that’s already cut up, packaged, and ready to sell is usually more expensive than just purchasing the product outright and preparing produce at home.
Therefore, prepping your produce at home is often cheaper. Prepping produce can be done immediately after coming home from the grocery store.
Thus, you can prepare the produce as you would have bought it prepackaged in the store.
Although this may take longer, it will save you money in the long run.
9. Skip Pre-made Foods
Pre-made foods such as sandwiches, salads and soups usually cost more than buying them individually and making them at home.
Furthermore, purchasing the items separately allows you to choose the ingredients and prep the food to your taste.
Buying your own ingredients usually gives you the ability to make larger portions with enough left over to eat throughout the week.
Furthermore, you can also make different types soups and sandwiches with the ingredients purchased.
Therefore by making different types of soups, salads and sandwiches to eat allows you not go get burnt out on a particular soup or salad. It’s a win-win.
It is for this reason that skipping pre-made foods made it on our list of tips to save money at the grocery store.
10. Check Unit Prices
Sometimes buying food that comes smaller packaging, even though it’s cheaper at the time, can cost more throughout the lifetime of using these products.
Buying smaller portions may be more expensive long term if you consume specific products regularly.
For Example. Possibly consuming homemade pizza is a weekly thing.
Buying pizza sauce in a smaller container may cost less at the time of purchase.
However, if you are able to purchase a larger portion for much cheaper it may be able to save you more money in the long run.
This is true if you are able to buy a massive jar of pizza sauce with a lower unit price and keep it in the refrigerator using the same jar for several weeks to a month.
Therefore, by buying pizza sauce in bulk may save you money throughout a lifetime of usage.
Checking the unit prices lets you see if you can save more by purchasing in bulk and by how much.
Buying in bulk is usually better if it’s something that you eat regularly.
When buying in bulk, make sure it’s something that you can eat before it expires.
Buying in bulk is excellent for processed foods with a long shelf life, such as crackers, cereal, pasta, or even rice.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to save money on your grocery bill, there are several ways to do so.
A quick recap on how to save money at the grocery store:
- Shop on a full stomach, preventing you from buying unnecessary items.
- Develop a weekly meal plan, which will help you buy only what you need.
- Buying generic brands and skipping pre-made foods can save you significantly.
- Checking unit prices is a great way to ensure you get the best deal possible.
By implementing these tips, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.
Full List of Tips to Save Money at the Grocery Store
- Come up with a weekly meal plan
- Make a list and stick to it
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach
- Buy Generic
- Compare Prices Between Stores
- Skip Ordering Online
- Splitting Groceries
- Cutting Your Own Produce
- Skip Pre-made Foods
- Check Unit Prices
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Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.
Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.
When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.
Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!