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.
Frugal living and simple living means using your resources for what you need; these resources are skills that are meant to save you big.
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.
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.
By spending just a few minutes every Sunday planning out a week’s worth of dinners, I can narrow down exactly what I need at the store and stop blind shopping. Blind shopping is going to the store without a list or a plan.
If you know what you need and only buy what you need, impulse purchases and overbuying will be a thing of the past.
Tip #2 Make sure you have fast food meals at the ready
If you are just not interested in making a weekly menu, no worries; there are still other options to help you save.
Instead of a meal plan, you can have a collection of easy meals your family loves. This is a great way to come up with a last-minute idea that you know your family will eat.
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
- Chicken Fajitas
- Toasted cheese and tomato soup
- Cereal and toast
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?
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.
Write on your list how much money you have available to spend at the store and highlight it in yellow. Tell yourself that this number is set in stone and has absolutely no wiggle room whatsoever.
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.
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.
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.
Coupons should be a tool for sticking to your budget, not the driving force behind it.
Tip #5 Shop only once a month
I have learned that the easiest way to save money on groceries is to stay out of the stores! The best way to do this is to do all my grocery shopping once a month.
This does take time and some planning, but it has saved me hundreds on my monthly bill. Yes, I am talking hundreds of dollars every single month!!
I learned this tip from the book America’s Cheapest Family.
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.
Now you can 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.
Use this old-school tip to save money on groceries every single time you are in a store.
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.
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.
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.
- Click on this LINK HERE and sign up.
- Download Ibotta to your phone and select your stores.
- Sign up to access special offers.
- Shop and click to activate offers.
- Be sure to click the Ibotta Activate Box before shopping online.
- 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.
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.