7 Surefire Ways To Save Money On Groceries

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This article will give you simple ways to save money on groceries. A quick list of things you can do that will get you the food you love at the biggest discount.

Living a simple living means using your resources for what you need; these resources are skills that are meant to save you big.

save money on groceries

One of the biggest budget busters in any home can easily be the grocery bill. With such a flexible item, going over budget can be easy, especially if you don’t have a plan. I am not saying to constrict yourself unrealistically; however, having a budget that is reasonable and a list that streamlines the food you eat will be helpful.

Whether you are shopping for one person or a large family, the same tips will always apply. Buy the food you need at the lowest possible price.

how to save crazy money on your grocery budget

Simple ways to save money on groceries

If you are looking for ways to save at the grocery store, this is a great place to start.

This simple list will set the groundwork for some crazy savings. Get these tips down as second nature, and you will be on your way to saving some serious money!

Tip #1   Make and use a weekly menu

I know what you are thinking. A weekly menu is nothing new, and you would be correct. But that is what is so perfect about it.

Taking a cue from our grandmothers is a great way to tap into some serious money-saving tips. By creating and implementing a weekly meal plan, you will be doing just that. Saving money, but you will be saving time as well.

If you know what you are making for dinner in advance, you will be less apt to stop for takeout or pizza. This simple tip has literally saved me hundreds of dollars every single month for YEARS.

Put it into Action:

  1. Spend time every Sunday planning out a week’s worth of dinners.
  2. Be sure to look in your fridge and freezer to see what foods need to be used up before they go bad.
  3. Take into account your weekly schedule so you plan meals that fit the time you have to cook.
  4. Use your plan to make an accurate shopping list.

Having a weekly meal plan will greatly reduce impulse buys, food waste, and blind shopping trips. Blind shopping is going to the store without a list or a plan. Knowing what you need and only buying what you need, impulse purchases and overbuying will be a thing of the past.

Read: How to make a weekly menu and ensure you use it.

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Tip #2   Make sure you have fast food meals at the ready

If you are not interested in making a weekly menu, no worries; there are still other options to help you save. 

Instead of a weekly meal plan, you can have a collection of easy meals your family loves ready to go. This is a great way to come up with a last-minute idea that you know your family will eat.

how to save money on groceries

Take this tip one step further, and always make sure you have the needed ingredients for these fast food dishes on hand.  This way, you know you will have a meal ready to go no matter what mood you’re in or what’s on the schedule that day.

Some fast dinner option ideas:

  • Sloppy joes
  • Tacos
  • Goulash
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Pizza
  • Stromboli’s
  • Toasted cheese and tomato soup
  • Omelets
  • Pancakes
  • Cereal and toast

Put it into Action:

  1. Ask each family member what their favorite fast meals are.
  2. Make a list and put it into a page protector.
  3. Check to see if you have the ingredients for each meal.
  4. Update your shopping list where needed.
  5. Have your list out where you can see it every day at dinner time.

By having a rotating list of meals you know everyone will eat, you can not only save money on your food bill but you will see leftovers actually get eaten up!

Tip #3   Make a list

If you want to save money on groceries, you must have a list. I realize this is something you may already do, but do you actually stick to it?

What I mean by that is, do you make sure your grocery list is more than just a suggestion by taking it one step further and putting your budget on your list?  This is a tip that will help you stay on track without the risk of spending more than you plan.

Put it into Action:

  1. At the top of your grocery list be sure to write your budget for the week.
  2. Highlight it in yellow so that number really stands out.
  3. Tell yourself that this number is set in stone and has absolutely no wiggle room whatsoever.
  4. Take it one step further and use your cell phone’s calculator function to keep a running tally of your spending.

Keeping track of the cost of each item going into your shopping cart will help you keep your spending in check.

Try to think of your home as a company and a business, take your budget seriously at all times, and you will be amazed at how much money you can save. Remember:  A budget is a rule and not simply a suggestion.

how to save money on groceries

SLCG Pro Tip: Worried you may miss out on a deal? Keep a few dollars available for unadvertised specials. Stick a few twenties in your wallet and paperclip them together. This money is for deals and steals only.

Above all, think differently about how you shop. You are there to buy food for your specific menu, not just randomly tossing items into your shopping cart.

Read: How to make an insanely effective grocery list.

Tip #4   Clip coupons only for what you need

In my experience, using coupons can just as easily break a budget as saving it.  

To use coupons most efficiently, only clip the coupons for items you use regularly. If you are an avid coupon user, my best tip is this. Make your grocery list around the food you need, then go after the coupons for those items on your list.

Do not make a list based on the coupons you have. This will only fill your home with foods your family may not want to eat or a large selection of junk food.

Put it into action:

  1. Write up an accurate shopping list of the food you need for the week ahead.
  2. Once done search online for any coupons you can use.
  3. Be sure to take advantage of in store deals as well.
  4. If you have a collection of coupons at home, look through them for any you can use for this trip.
  5. Put an * next to each item that has a coupon, this will remind you so you don’t forget to use it.
  6. Use FREE shopping apps like, Ibotta to save even more!

Coupons should be a tool for sticking to your budget, not the driving force behind it.

Tip #5   Shop only once a month

This tip is not for the faint of heart, however if used correctly it can save you thousands of dollars each year.

I have learned that the easiest way to save money on groceries is to stay out of the stores. This completely eliminates any impulse purchases that can quickly upset a household budget. The best way to do this is to do all my grocery shopping once a month. Yes, this is a big task when you are doing it all at once, however in the long run you will end up saving more time than you may realize.

Monthly only food shopping does take time and some planning, but I have found it is really worth it. I learned this tip from the book America’s Cheapest Family. And you can find a full walkthrough in their book.

SLCG Pro Tip: This book can be found at your local library so you can try it before you buy it!

Put it into action:

  1. Make a monthly menu, yes this does take time but it will help you to make a more accurate list.
  2. Refering to your menu, make your shopping list
  3. Add in any staples you need for the month.
  4. Make a plan of the stores you will need to visit to get a month’s supply of food.
  5. Block off a few hours for this tip, as you get used to this style of shopping you will find ways to streamline your routine.
  6. Take a cooler to keep food cold while you shop.
  7. Once home put foods away being sure to put new items behind older to ensure things get used up before they go bad.
  8. Free any meats, fruits, breads, desserts, or veggies to ensure they last for the month.
  9. Hide any snacks and cereal from young family members to ensure it lasts the entire month.

READ: My Favorite Books on Frugal Living

Tip #6  Learn the prices of your main items

Another older tip, yet still a great one, is to create a price book. A price book is a list of prices on items you routinely purchase at the grocery store. I love this super simple tip and have yet to meet someone who uses it but has not saved money!

When shopping, if you see a sale on an item you purchase regularly, you check your price book to see how good of savings it is.

Put it into action:

  1. Find a small notebook that is good quality so it will hold up to continued use.
  2. Go to your first store and make a list of each item you purchase and the regular cost.
  3. Organize your book either alphabetically or in the order you find it in the store.
  4. Each time you shop have this book with you.
  5. If you see a sale you can look to see if the deal is one you want to take advantage of.
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Having a price book allows you to outsmart the grocery stores and make sure you are always getting the best price when you are shopping. This tip alone will save you loads of money on your monthly bill.  Yes, it takes some time to set up, but it is completely worth all the effort.

Read: How to set up a price book and get your free printable!

Tip #7   Pick your top stores and learn them

My four favorite stores are Aldis, Wegmans, Sams Club, and the local Mennonite store. I have shopped at them for so long that I know when the deals hit and when my go-to items may be on sale. I also know where the products are located that I like to purchase at each store, and I stick to those areas only.

Put it into action:

  1. Make a list of the main stores you shop at.
  2. Next to each, put a summary of the items you routinely buy there.
  3. Sign up to get online flyers and sales.
  4. Be sure to refer to these whenever you are making your shopping list.

This cuts down on impulse purchases that can quickly destroy a budget.

Bonus Tip – Shopping Apps

I am going to start this list out, with my favorite shopping app called Ibotta. If you grocery shop or do any shopping online at all, this tip has the potential to save you hundreds if dollars a year. The good news is, that it is completely free to download and use.

FYI: My two sons who are out on their own both use Ibotta. They do not like to be bothered with coupons, so this is the next best thing. They are saving crazy money (even on Uber!) and they are hooked. If they can do it, ANYONE can!

The best part is, that it is super simple to set up and even easier to use.

What is it?

Ibotta is an online money savings app that rewards you for buying things you already buy. And, BONUS, you can use Ibotta at stores you already shop at.

I am talking about stores that are normally not included in rewards programs, such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, CVS, and more.

How does it work?

You simply download the APP here. Once done, it will take care of the rest. When you visit a site, it shares a slide-in button to remind you to activate Ibotta before shopping. Once you are done, you will get a confirmation of the money you made.

ibotta slide in button in the corner of a walmart page

Why is this so great?

Ibotta is easy to use, is not invasive like other apps, and you can redeem earnings for gift cards to use for shopping.

How to set up Ibotta.

  1. Click on this LINK HERE and sign up.
  2. Download Ibotta to your phone and select your stores.
  3. Sign up to access special offers.
  4. Shop and click to activate offers.
  5. Be sure to click the Ibotta Activate Box before shopping online.
  6. Enjoy our earnings!

The money will magically go into your Ibotta account. Once you hit $20 you can redeem your money in gift cards such as Amazon or have it put directly into your Paypal account. This is my top shopping app because it is so easy to use. I highly recommend it.

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Saving money on your food bill is easier than you think.  Arm yourself with a thorough list, stick to a  specific game plan, and always know your budget.

These three tips alone will save you some serious money on groceries every single month. Go one step further, add these other simple savers, and take your grocery budget to the expert level.

More Money-Saving Resources:

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  1. Great tips! We reduced our monthly grocery bill by 20% just from writing and sticking with a list.

    Not sure if you’ve got them in your area, but Sprouts (think Whole Foods at Aldi prices) has become our go-to grocery store. Definitely worth a visit if there’s one near you.

    1. Hello!
      I have not heard of Sprouts, what a wonderful store…I am so jealous! I agree with a list, it is a game changer for sure.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Tracy Lynn

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