Planning and disciplined buying can add up to big savings at the grocery store, and you may find that your family eats healthier, too. Here are five simple ways to save on groceries.
Get cash back.
If you have a credit card that's offering cash back or bonus points on groceries and other purchases, you could be getting instant savings at checkout. Just be sure that you're able to pay your card off in full when the monthly bill arrives. Rewards credit cards are great, but building up debt is dangerous if you are unable to pay the full bill. The interest you will be charged could erase any savings.
Plan before shopping.
- Plan your meals and scan your pantry, cupboards and fridge before making your shopping list.
- Keep a running list of items you need, and look at the weekly store circular to be aware of items on sale.
- Make fewer trips; don't run out for just a few items.
- With your list in hand, figure an approximate budget for what you will spend.
- Break down your list according to the stores at which you shop.
- Seasonal produce may be less expensive at the farmers market, and non-edible items such as paper towels, laundry detergent, toilet paper and cleaning supplies are typically less costly at discount or warehouse club stores.
Use those coupons.
Coupon savings can really add up, so clip and use coupons for name-brand items. Here are a few tips:
- Check the store's website for printable coupons, and be on the lookout for double-coupon days.
- Keep a price list so that you'll know a deal when you see it.
- Learn your preferred store's sale cycle and stock up on items when they are put on sale. When those sale items are out of stock, ask for a raincheck.
- Be sure that the checker scans the instant coupons that are attached to some items.
- Always fill out and send in your rebates.
Learn more about using coupons to save money >>
Buy in bulk.
- Consider getting a chest freezer so you can buy in bulk when deals are great. Cooking large batches and freezing for later can reduce costs and is a convenient way to get meals on the table. Plus, cooking from scratch to avoid processed food is not only a healthier choice, but it is also less expensive.
- Avoid frozen and processed foods in favor of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Less costly cuts of meat are ideal for stews and soups.
- When bulk buying, look at the unit pricing, and bring a calculator (unless you're a math whiz).
- Don't be afraid to try store brands! They are often equal in quality to name-brand items but sell for considerably less.
- Be willing to deviate from your list when you spot a great deal.
- Plan your trip through the store to minimize wandering the aisles and being tempted by impulse buys.
- Go shopping alone, and never shop for groceries when you are hungry.
More ways to save money on groceries
10 Tips to save on groceries
16 Smart steps to save money on groceries
How to prepare for the grocery store