I love food. I also love spending money on food and eating the best that I can on my (small)budget. But you know what I don’t like? Spending unneeded money on food and letting the groceries go to waste.
I have gathered some of the best tips for saving money on groceries because I feel that most people struggle with spending too much on their weekly shop.
It is so easy to mindlessly buy items we don’t need when we don’t have a clear focus. I hope these tips will help you with discovering some amazing ways to save money on food that have helped me so much in my life.
Ps if you are looking for some more great money saving tips, check out this post I wrote on 15 Things I Stopped Buying To Save My Money (And You Should Too)!
This post contains affiliate links to products I love. Please read my disclosures policy for more info.
Tips for saving money on groceries before you leave your home:
1. Check Your Cupboards And Fridge / Freezer
You might find that you don’t even need to go to the shop because you can make a meal of things you already have in your home. This might reduce food waste from groceries not getting used on time since you didn’t even know they were there.
2. Meal Plan Your Meals For The Week
Thinking in advance and planning your meals for the week will lead to some serious money saving. You will also greatly reduce food waste this way and ensure you always know what you are going to make for the night. This way you will be less tempted to just grab some junk food for your family. If you are struggling with meal planning, you should try the$5 meal plan!
For just $5 per month, you will get a healthy and delicious meal plan sent straight to your inbox with every meal on there costing about $1-$2 per person to make.
You can even try the meal plan for free for 14 days to see if it is worth it for your family!
3. Make A List Of Everything You Need And Stick To It
If you still need to go to the grocery shop, make a list of everything you need and only buy the items on the list. Try not to be tempted to buy junk food and chocolates just because they are 50% off. If you find this difficult to manage, check out the next tip.
4. Buy Groceries Online
Although you may be paying a little bit extra for the delivery, you will save a ton of money by sticking to your list because you won’t be tempted to buy the things you don’t really need. This is also great if you are short on time.
If you don’t like to pay for the delivery, you can find out if your local shop offers a collection option where the store assistants pack everything you ordered together and all you need to do is go pick it up. Usually, this costs nothing.
One other great thing I found when ordering groceries online is that they usually give you more for the same price. For example, I select that I want 1kg of chicken breast and only pay for the 1kg, so they can’t give you any less than that. But my local shop always goes over the amount I paid for. I’ve gotten 1.4kg of chicken breast for the price of 1kg just because I’m shopping online and because the chicken breast doesn’t always weigh the same. That’s a huge win in my book!
5. Shop Less Often
The less you go to the shop the more tempted you are to overspend. I buy all of my groceries once a week on Sundays and only go to the shop on Wednesday to buy more fresh milk and bread. Nothing else. I actually only take the exact amount to the shop on that day so I can’t buy anything else than the milk and bread.
6. Leave Your Kids At Home (If Possible)
You might be the most disciplined shopper in the world but if your child is begging for those treats, chances are you will give in. Just leave them at home or do the shopping on days they are at daycare. Or better yet, just shop online.
Save money on groceries while at the grocery shop:
7. Eat Foods That Are Currently In Season
Not only is the food currently in the season the healthiest for you, it is also the cheapest.
8. Eat Less Meat
Meat can cost a small fortune. By substituting 2 meals a week with vegetarian meals you will not only save money but also care for your health. Bulk your vegetarian meals up with beans and chickpeas to still get the needed protein.
9. Buy The Foods You Eat Regularly In Bulk When They Are On Sale
Most non-perishable food items have a 6 to 8-week cycle when they go on sale. When the items are at their lowest (usually half price), buy enough to last you for 6 weeks until the sale comes back around. I do this with condiments, cereal, and canned foods and I almost never pay full price for these.
10. Always Buy Store Brand
Store brand is almost always the cheapest option to buy and 99% of the time the only difference between a store brand and brand name item is the packaging. Do you really want to pay the extra for the fancy pack it comes in?
The only time I buy name brand items is when they are on 50% sale and the price is lower or almost the same as a generic item.
11. Skip The Items Placed In The Middle Shelves
I think it’s a well-known truth that all the most expensive items are placed on eye level, on the middle shelves of the supermarket. This is because the retailer knows you are more likely to grab the things that are placed at your eye level, so they place the highest markup products there. Instead look up on the top and bottom shelf for the cheapest items.
12. When Comparing Prices, Check The Price Per Unit Size
Some brands package the product to look like it has more in it. That is why you can’t judge the size by just looking at it. Thankfully almost supermarkets have to list the price per unit under the price, so always check that to make sure you are getting the best deal.
13. Shop Late At Night Just Before The Store Closes
While you may be hated by the staff who are just wanting to pack up and go, it is well known that most stores do the best markdowns late at night. I have found meat that’s been marked 90% off and froze it straight away when getting home for an incredibly cheap beef stew. Also, check out the fruit and veg and fresh baked goods department for amazing markdowns.
14. Use A Cash Rebate App For Maximizing Savings
Using a Rebate app like Checkout 51 will save you money off groceries. How it works is:
1. Sign up and either download their app or simply use it on your computer
2. Browse the current offers on and buy any products you would normally buy either online or in-store(any store).
3. Upload your receipt using the Checkout 51 app or upload it onto your computer
4. Watch how your balance increases from every purchase you made! Once your account reaches $20 you can cash out and enjoy your savings!
Checkout 51 works in both the US and Canada.
15. Shop Fruit And Veg At The Farmers Market
Better yet, to have the best savings, head down to your local farmers market where you’ll almost always be guaranteed to get a better price than you pay at the shop. You’ll also have the added bonus of supporting your local farmers by purchasing from there.
16. Buy Spices From Bulk Bins And Refill The Smaller Containers
Confession – I have been refilling my store bought spice containers for the past 5 years and no one in my house would ever know! There is no need to pay for the container every time and you can save a lot of money by just buying the spice in a plastic bag from the shops that offer that option and refilling it into your spice container when you get home.
Save money on food while cooking your meals:
17. Double Up Your Meals When Cooking And Freeze The Leftovers
This will become invaluable when you are always short on time and tend to resort to unhealthy junk food just because there is nothing at home to eat and you are too tired to cook.
18. Cook More Foods From Scratch
I started making my own baked goods (except for bread), jam and sauces from scratch instead of buying the expensive ready made ones from the shops. This is also great because I know exactly how much salt, sugar, and preservatives go into them and can make more conscious decisions about my health.
19. Use Your Slow Cooker
You can get away with using cheap cuts of meat if you cook them low and slow in your slow cooker.
20. Eat Less
According to nutrition experts, most people are eating too much. Just eat less. Serve up smaller portions and your waistline and food budget will thank you for it.
Hope you found some great tips for saving money on groceries from this list. Let me know which one is going to be the easiest for you to start following and will make the biggest impact on your grocery bill. If you have any other ideas on how to save money, let me know down in the comments!
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