How To Save Money On Groceries: 19 Budget-Saving Solutions
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Are you paying too much money for groceries? Fortunately, there are a handful of ways to drastically reduce your bill at the grocery store each week. Imagine what slashing your grocery bill by 10%, 20% or more could do for you — whether it’s leaving more money to help out with other bills or giving you some extra cash to stash away in your bank account.
Learn how to save money on groceries as soon as this week with these 19 budget-saving solutions!
19 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
1. Get a Cashback Debit Card
Most people shop for groceries all the time, and pay with a debit or credit card. Now you can earn cashback at the supermarket, drug store, or wherever when you make these purchases.
By opening a free Aspiration bank account, you’ll get a debit card that allows you to earn up to 10% cashback on purchases. What’s more, you’ll earn up to 3% APY on your account balance, and up to 5% APY with an Aspiration Plus account — a much higher interest rate that the average bank account.
You’ll also get access to over 55,000 free ATMs, and when you set your account up for direct deposits, you can get paid up to two days early. So, what’s the catch? There is none. Your money is FDIC-insured and there are no hidden fees.
Open your free Aspiration account today and start getting money back on your groceries!
2. Use a Cashback Credit Card
If you like charging your credit card at the grocery store, why not use a card that offers cashback for your purchases? Be careful, however, as even some of the best cashback credit cards come with annual fees and hidden fees.
Not Upgrade, though. This company offers multiple credit cards that you can use to your save money on groceries without the hefty fees. The Upgrade Cash Rewards card allows you to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back wherever Visa® is accepted.
Then there’s the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card. With this card in hand, you’ll earn 1% back on your grocery store purchases and a whopping 3% back on home, auto, and health categories. You can even earn a $200 bonus for opening a Rewards checking account and making three debit card purchases.
Don’t wait — apply for your Upgrade card today and start earning unlimited cashback on all grocery purchases!
3. Get Someone Else to Do Your Shopping for Less Money
What’s better than saving money on groceries? Saving both money and time by having someone else shop for you.
Instacart allows you to shop from 40,000 local grocers and chains from your computer or smartphone. Browse on-sale items to create your grocery list (avoiding any surprises at the cash register), and a vetted shopper will do all of the hard work for you. They’ll provide you updates along the way and deliver your grocery bags right to your doorstep.
Not to mention, gas is pretty expensive at the moment; so why not save your car an extra trip each week?
Sign up for Instacart today, give your car a break, and enjoy the savings!
4. Join Your Grocery’s Loyalty Program
Grocers value long-time shoppers, which is why most of today’s grocery stores offer loyalty programs. These programs allow you to rack up points for your spending and will even give you access to exclusive coupons and deals.
Download your local grocer’s app or speak to an in-store customer service representative to learn more about their loyalty program.
5. Start Shopping in Bulk
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to buy large amounts at a time. Depending on where you live, there are a number of popular wholesale grocers that can make this a breeze — including Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, and others.
At first, the wholesale shopping experience can be a little overwhelming. But once you start, you won’t want to stop, as these large grocers allow you to pay significantly less money per unit on bulk items.
6. Take Advantage of Coupons
Make no mistake — using coupons might require a little extra work on your part; but it’s well worth the savings you’ll enjoy.
Plus, there are all types of places where you can find coupons to your favorite stores:
- Store entries: As you’re grabbing your cart or basket, don’t forget to look around for your store’s latest coupon book.
- Store app or website: If you prefer to use your coupons digitally, download your store’s mobile app or check their website for the latest deals.
- Coupon and rebate apps: There are dozens of apps you can use to pick up coupons and rebates to your favorite stores — Rakuten, Ibotta, Drop, and Fetch Rewards, to name only a few.
7. Seek Out the On-Sale Items
Most grocers run sales; but if you don’t stay alert, they are easy to miss. Before you shop, check out which items are currently on sale. You can do this by visiting the websites or apps of your preferred grocery stores.
Searching for on-sale items can even help you plan meals for the week. Choosing recipes that feature on-sale ingredients could help you save a ton of money.
8. Buy In-Season Items
When it comes to fresh produce, prices will vary throughout the year — depending on whether the product is in-season or out-of-season.
Try to take advantage of fruits and vegetables while they are in-season. Of course, this will help you save money on produce, but the items will taste better too!
9. Compare Store Prices
It’s no secret that groceries vary in price, depending on where you shop. What’s more, one store won’t always be cheaper. You’re more likely to find that certain items are cheaper at one store, while some items are cheaper at another.
Get a better feel for pricing by visiting each store’s website or by comparing some of your recent grocery receipts!
10. Choose the Store Brand Items
Store brands may not have the same shelf appeal as some of the more recognizable brand names, but they are usually cheaper. Most of the time, the ingredients are comparable, and their products can even be healthier!
Before you go pulling brand names into your grocery cart, double check to make sure there’s not a more affordable store brand for that item.
11. Bring Your Own Bags
One of the easiest ways to slash your grocery bill by a couple of dollars is to bring your own recyclable bags. There are many stores that will give you up to 5 or 10 cents back per container!
In addition to saving a few bucks here and there, you’ll be doing your part to help protect the environment.
12. Stick to Your List
How many times do you go grocery shopping and come back with more items than you really need? Perhaps a display item catches your eye, you see that your favorite snack is back in stock, or your child convinces you to throw an extra treat into your cart.
In any case, one of the best ways to combat this is to write out your grocery list each week and stick to it. This will ensure that you only end up buying the essentials for each week.
13. Avoid Prepared Items
Enjoy the convenience of pre-cut, pre-shredded, and pre-packaged items? While they may help you save time in the kitchen, make no mistake — that convenience is built into the cost of these items.
Choose fresh items instead. While they may require a little extra prep time on your part, they are usually the more cost-effective options at the grocery store.
14. Simplify Your Meal Choices
If you like to prepare elaborate meals that use 10, 15, or up to 20 different ingredients, consider simplifying your meals so that you’re not blowing your budget every time you visit the grocery store.
Of course, you can achieve this by choosing meals with fewer ingredients, or you can find alternate recipes for your favorite dishes — ones that use fewer ingredients but still deliver the same tastes you love.
15. Check Your Pantry Before You Put Your Grocery List Together
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to look through your pantry as you’re preparing a list. Much of the time, you’ll have different ingredients that can be used for meals.
Rather than allowing these items to go to waste, incorporate them into your meal plan for the week. This will reduce the number of items you’ll need to purchase at the store and help you lower your bill.
16. Freeze Extra Meat
It’s easy to buy more than you need at the grocery store. You might bring home a few pounds of chicken or ground beef, only to find that your recipe calls for much less. Unfortunately, meat spoils quickly, and it tends to be expensive — leaving you with waste and an unnecessarily high grocery bill.
Freezing that extra meat, however, will allow you to extend its shelf life so that it can be used for future meals. Get into the habit of freezing extra meat and you’ll find that you need less whenever you shop!
17. Eliminate Meat From a Few Meals
While you might be a carnivore at heart, consider eliminating meat from a few of your meals each week. Meat is commonly among the more expensive grocery items.
Scaling back could help you save a fortune on your grocery bill. If you do need meat for a particular recipe, try to buy it while it’s on sale!
18. Change Your Shopping Day
Grocery store prices fluctuate from day to day. Many claim that Wednesday is the best day to shop for groceries, as this is typically when stores are restocked and the prior week’s items are marked down.
Switching your shopping day to Wednesday might help you score a few extra on-sale items!
19. Save Your Leftovers for Lunch
After a big dinner, do you have a bad habit of throwing out your leftovers? Storing them in the fridge and saving them for the next day’s lunch or dinner will make your food go further — helping you avoid an extra trip to the grocery store or $20 at your local restaurant when you’re in a pinch!
At Which Grocery Store Do You Save the Most Money?
Much of this will come down to the types of grocery items you need.
According to Dunnhumby’s 2020 Retailer Preference Index, however, customers considered Aldi to be the cheapest grocery stores. Some of the other top options included Market Basket, Costco, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and Lidl.
How Much Should I Spend on Groceries Per Month?
According to the 50/30/20 rule, you should allocate no more than 50% of your monthly budget towards groceries, household items, essential items, and your monthly needs.
Of course, the amount you set aside for groceries may vary, depending on the size of your household. If you’re single and without children, for example, you can get away with a much smaller grocery budget. According to the USDA, the average cost of groceries for a single person is $229 – $419 per month.
If you are married and have multiple children, on the other hand, you should expect to spend significantly more — upwards of $1,000 – $1,200 per month.
What Is a Good Grocery Bill for Two?
Most two-adult households pay between $458 and $838 on groceries during the average month.
By actively trying to save money on groceries, however, you could easily get your monthly bill towards the lower end of that range — which would be considered a more-than-reasonable budget for two adults.
How Can I Cut My Grocery Bill in Half?
Although cutting your grocery bill in half might seem like an impossible task, it may be doable — depending on how liberal you currently are with your grocery spending.
Using these 19 ways to save money on groceries will go a long way towards helping you reduce your grocery bill each week.
Is Going Out Cheaper Than Cooking at Home?
While there’s an argument to be made for fast food being cheaper than home cooking, restaurant-prepared meals are generally more expensive than home-cooked meals.
The truth is that most comparable restaurant meals can be created at home for a much lower overall price with savvy grocery shopping.