I love food. I love eating. I love cooking. I love buying them. I just plain love food! The only thing that I don’t love is the food price, especially if you want to eat healthily. My wife and I started couponing a few years ago, and we’ve saved hundreds by using these tips! These aren’t crazy coupon tricks either. They’re just some simple things you can do to save before you even step foot inside the grocery store.
As an added bonus, I’ll be adding a bonus tip at the end of the post to help you save even more money by avoiding being charged for stuff that you didn’t order. By making a few changes to the way you buy groceries, you can save a lot of money. Here are some tips that could help you reduce your grocery bill by 50% or more:
1. Make a list and stick to it
One of the biggest reasons people spend more at the store is impulse buying. It’s easy to get distracted and end up with items in your cart that didn’t make your list. If you’re not sure whether you need an item, leave it on the shelf.
2. Compare unit prices
The bigger the container, the more it costs per ounce, right? Not always! The larger container might be cheaper even though it costs more overall. To get the best deal, compare unit prices (i.e., how much an item cost per ounce).
3. Buy store brands
You’ll often see big savings if you buy store brands instead of brand names — and store brands help stores keep their costs down, too!
4. Clip coupons only for products you use regularly
Unless there’s something on sale that you use all the time, don’t buy it just because there are Coupons and Promo Codes for it — especially if the coupon is for a product that isn’t usually very expensive, to begin with.
5. Buy Groceries at Discount Stores
If you need groceries in a pinch and don’t have time to shop around, consider discount stores like Aldi and Save-a-Lot. The selection may be limited, and they might not carry all your favorite brands, but they offer significant discounts and will save you money when you’re out of options.
6. Buy no-frills products
Buying a product with a fancy label or lots of packaging is going to make it cost more than the plainer version. That’s one reason why store brands tend to be cheaper: They’re cheaper for the manufacturer to make, so they’re cheaper for you to buy.
7. Shop at low-cost supermarkets
Kroger and Safeway are cheap options if you live near one of their stores. Aldi and Lidl (which are expanding into the U.S.) are even cheaper options since they offer limited selection and have strict policies regarding promo codes and credit cards (only accept cash).
8. Take Inventory
Before shopping, take a look in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see what you already have available. Make a list of meals that can be made with those items as a starting point.
9. Plan Your Meals
Meal planning is one of the best ways to reduce your grocery bill. It helps you avoid buying food that won’t get eaten and wasting money. Use the inventory list you just created to plan meals around those ingredients. Then make a list of additional items you need to complete your menus.
10. Shop With a Plan
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to shop with a plan. A lot of people spend more than they should because they do not have a plan. They buy anything they see and like. Planning your grocery shopping can help you stay organized and on track. Do not forget to also plan for your meals. This way, you will not be tempted to order takeout when you get home from work.
11. Make a List and Stick to It
To save money, make sure you stick with your list. When you do not have a list, it is easy for you to buy things that you do not need and may never even use. You can do this by avoiding impulsive buying at the supermarket or store.
12. Cook at home
When we first moved into our new home, we started eating out more often than before. The reason? We no longer lived within walking distance of many restaurants, so eating at home felt like an inconvenience. If you’re looking for new ways to save on your food budget, look for coupon codes or sales on food items you regularly buy or want to try out. This is an excellent example of why paying attention to your core values is crucial for making the right spending decisions for you and your family.
13. Buy in Bulk
Non-perishable items like pasta and rice are generally much cheaper when bought in bulk (as long as you have enough storage space for them). You can also buy cheaper cuts of meat and other things in bulk and freeze them for later use.
14. Eat less meat
Meat is one of the most expensive items on your grocery bill, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Instead of serving meat every meal, try dedicating only 1-2 meals a week to meat.
Inexpensive beans and lentils can help you stretch your budget even further. You can blend cooked beans into sauces to make them last longer or try making veggie burgers with beans (my personal favorite).
Cook from scratch as much as possible. Packaged foods like bread and pasta cost up to 5x more than making them yourself.
15. Buy generic brands
Generic brands are significantly cheaper than name brands, but they offer the same quality for less money. You’d be surprised how much money you can save by buying generic items. Check the labels and do a taste test to see if you can tell the difference in quality.
16. Stop paying full price
In the U.S., retailers typically reduce prices on items that aren’t selling well or are nearing their expiration dates — usually around 8 p.m. But the policy varies by store, so call ahead or ask your cashier when discounted items will be available at your supermarket. If you’re really serious, you can use an app like ShopSavvy to scan barcodes and see if nearby stores offer a lower price on the same item elsewhere.