12 Best Ways to Save Money on Groceries

This “Best Ways to Save Money on Groceries” post explains the activities that many, if not all, people tend overlook when they do their grocery shopping. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.

Who doesn't want to save money on groceries? I do and most people I think want to save money on groceries, too.

For us family of 5, we allot around $300 dollars per month for grocery. This is a lot of money compared with the other expenses we budgeted for other things.

Grocery expenses can vary depending on the seasons and occasions. For example, our grocery bill for the month of December is much higher than our grocery in February just because December is Christmas season and we cook and eat a lot in December.

In addition, December is the month of birthdays for our extended family. A lot of my nephews and nieces have birthdays in December. This means that there are a lot of cooking and eating going on. So, our grocery budget is always big during the amount.

If we didn't follow these ways to save money on groceries, we would be spending at least $600 a month for grocery alone.

In short, we save at least $300 every month because we only spend $300.00/mo.

Having said all of these, we still manage to keep our grocery expenses in check. How do we do that? Good thing you asked because that's what I have listed below.

If you are looking for ways on how to save money on groceries for a large family, then, this post is for you.

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Best Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Have you gone to the grocery store, bought the items you need, looked at your receipt, and saw that you spent over than you what intended to do? Well, you are not alone. I have been in your situation not just once but a couple of times.

While I don’t go over my grocery budget now except during big occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I found that there are ways to save on groceries and bring those grocery bills down a few dollars, if not hundreds of dollars.

Don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Very High

Sound silly and shallow but it is study-based. According to two studies led by the Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab research team, heading to the supermarket when hungry may lead to the purchase of high-calorie foods.

Although the studies point out that hunger negatively affects short-term food choices, my own personal interpretation (not that I am an expert of this subject matter) is if you go to the store hungry, you may be buying more junk foods and these junk foods can add up to your grocery bills.

Eat snacks like chips and burritos and drink plenty to get full. I personally like Gatorade because it's really filling and good for your body as well.

Do stay away from long checkout lines

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Medium to High

Ever wonder why checkout counters have small section right next to them for small items that you can pick up and add to your cart. I have a theory that they are there for you to buy impulsively. I have seen people pick up items there while they wait in line and buy them afterwards.

If possible, stay away from these long checkout lines because waiting might tempt you to just grab and pay for items that shouldn’t be in your carts anyway. Plus, you are more likely to realize you want something else from the store and end up going back to the aisles and grab those products.

Next thing you know, your grocery bill is not what you expect to get.

Do use apps

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Medium to High

Apps designed for groceries not only provide you where and when products are on sale but they also provide rebates and discounts for a few select products. There’s the popular Ibotta that provides rebates and additional bonus for items listed on the apps.

There are other those “save money on groceries apps” that include, but are not limited to, Shopmium, Savingstar, and Checkout51 that also provides instant rebates and bonuses. If you want to see the apps that you cash, rewards, gift cards, etc. please see this link.

I love Ibotta. It has made us over $200. Ibotta is one of the biggest and most generous shopping apps out there. If you sign up using my link, you will earn $10. Yes, you will receive the $10 sign up bonus when you redeem your first brand name rebate within 7 days of registering an account.

Whether you buy cereals, wines, or something else, you sure will find something in those apps especially Ibotta, which can save you a ton of money.

I also like Paribus. As you know prices of the same products change all the time. Paribus gets you money back when prices drop. I have saved more than $500 just by using Paribus.

 ibotta free sign up l apps that pay l make extra money l grocery apps

Don't forget to use your coupons

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Very High

Coupons are always to the rescue if you wish to save money. Some people are really good with using coupons that they end up not paying anything for grocery or getting some money back.

I particularly like Grocery Coupon Network and my coupon database. Why? I am able to find rare coupons, at times, that I couldn't find elsewhere. Between those two coupon sources, we've saved over $900 this year to date.

There are many sites that provide coupons like coupons.com and some stores have coupons that can be directly linked to your store member cards. There are also several stores like Giant and Stop & Shop that double your manufacturer’s coupons up to $0.99.

If you want to learn how to save on groceries with coupons, click on this link to learn how to become an extreme couponer.

Don't forget to ask for a rain check

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Medium

Since stores only stock a limited quantity per item, you may end up not getting the items you need when you do your shopping. Most of the times, this happens when such items are on sale or in deep discounts.  Fret not for a lot of stores allow rain check, which allows you to buy the items for prices that they currently are at.

What’s better, in the event you want to use your rain check and found yourself having coupons for those items, then, you can use both at the same time. We are, then, talking about big savings.

When I went to Shopper's one time, the KIND granola barsI liked weere out of stock but were offered during that week on limited promotion. I asked for a raincheck and I was given a raincheck for the price and quantity stated on the weekly promo.

Read: Frugal Groceries: One Trick That Saves My Family $250/Month on Groceries

Do buy store brands

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: High

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is buying store brands.

Store brands can be your best alternative to your branded items. Personally, store brands are as good as the branded items. Whenever I do my grocery shopping, I always make sure that I visit the store brand items first before I go to the branded ones.

For example, instead of buying cheese, I would buy the store brand instead. It saves me money by  doing that.

In general, store brands at 5-10% less than the branded counterparts and, sometimes, more than 10%. Truth is, when comparing those two brands, you’ll see that the store brands are not only cheaper but they contain more or are bigger than the branded ones.

In a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the more informed a consumer is, the more likely he/she will buy the generic/store brand over the branded counterparts. I think the study speaks volume to allowing a consumer to be informed of the store brands by basically trying the store brands for the purpose of knowing if they fit the needs and the requirements of the consumer.

Read: Save Money Eating Out : The How-To Guide

Don't fail to visit the clearance section

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Medium to High

Just like the department stores, many grocery stores have dedicated clearance section. It’s most likely a small section but it’s still worth a visit. You can find closeout products, deep-discounted items, and soon-to-expire merchandises.

When you buy products from clearance section and use your coupons, you are going to get the products for dirt cheap. Trust me on this.

Do you know you can Amazon has a clearance section for grocery and other essentials?

Read: 10+ Best Shopping Apps That Pay You 

Do buy in-season items

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: High

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to buy in-season items.

Some produce items are seasonal. When they are in-season, they are cheap. However, when they’re not, you can pay double or triple of what they would cost when they are in-season. The lesson here is really not to buy out-of-season products but to try to adjust your cravings or desires for seasonal items based on the season.

Do make a grocery list and stick with it

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Medium to High

Few of us go to the grocery stores with an accompanied list. Many of us, on the other hand, go in the grocery stores thinking that we have our list embedded in our minds.

A list comes in handy either as a reminder of what other products you are missing or a cross check to make sure you do not have unlisted products in your shopping cart.

Read:  Best Grocery List App or Apps To Use Now

Do buy on sale

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: Very High

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to always buy on sale.

This statement should not come as a surprise from me. Whenever you can wait for products to go on sale and if you know they always go on sale, please do wait. If the products are on sale and are not perishable, then, buy in bulk. You may not see the savings in your grocery bills right away but you will see the changes later on.

When there's a big sale or holiday sale going on, make sure you check different stores (online or not) to see where you can best get the products for the cheapest place. I always visit Amazon for sales and clearances first to get pricing before I go to each individual stores.

Sometimes, I end up buying from Amazon using my Amazon Prime because products there are much cheaper.

Do shop at different stores

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: High

Another way to save money on groceries is to shop at different stores.

If you have been shopping in many stores, chances are you know where the best places to get the cheapest prices for different products. Do not stop and continue what you are doing. Though it may make you jump from one store to another, you may end up saving more than if you stick with just one store.

This is in line with what I said about using Amazon first to get price checks before heading to other stores (online or off).

Do buy discounted gift cards

Save Money On Groceries Effectiveness Level: High

There are plenty of websites that sell you gift cards at a discount. The popular ones include Raise, Gift Card Nanny, and Card Cash. In addition, a few select credit cards like Discover It allows you to buy gift cards for less than the face value using your earned cashback dollars.

Final thoughts:

Even when the cost of products keep on escalating, there have never been more ways to cut down on grocery bills than now. With diligence, patience, and constant practices performing the activities mentioned (above), there is a great possibility of saving more than what you think of.

What have you done to save money on groceries? Do you have any tips and tricks to reduce food budget you would like to share?

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