As you all should know by now, I’m a frugal gal. I like to save money whenever I can – like most people. But time is precious and I prefer to save money without spending a bunch of time on it. I honestly feel like it’s not worth it to devote a ridiculous amount of time just to save a few dollars – but that’s just me; maybe you feel differently and that’s okay, too! To each her own. 🙂
There are tons of easy, painless ways to save money on groceries and I’d like to share 15 ways with you today! So go ahead, read on.
1. Shop at the right store
The easiest way to save money on groceries is to choose the grocery store that has the lowest prices on the items that you buy regularly. This store might be different for everyone. Just try out one store one week, and a different another week, until you have a general idea of which store is best for you.
2. Get cash back
Use smart phone apps like Checkout 51 or Ibotta to earn cash back for the groceries that you normally buy. It’s super easy! I mean, you’re basically getting free money because you need to buy the groceries anyway, right?
3. Make a meal plan
Okay, this one takes some time but it’s so worth it, trust me! When you make daily stops to the grocery store or go shopping with no meal plan in mind, you’re definitely more likely to spend more. If you set a food budget and then plan for (frugal or simple) meals in that budget, you could save yourself a lot of money. Also, try to use what you already have in as many meals as you can so you don’t have to buy as much groceries.
4. Stick to a shopping list
Make a list of the things that you need, and vow to stick to it. This will stop you from making impulse purchases and buying things that you don’t need or won’t use.
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You probably already know at least a little bit about coupons. And you know how they can save you a lot of money on groceries. If you really work at it, you can save a huuuge amount of money with them. I personally don’t go out of my way to find coupons, but I suppose it’s worth it if you can spend $10 on $140 worth of groceries (I’ve literally seen this done). You can find a very thorough guide on couponing from Thrifty DIY Diva right here.
6. Be open-minded about brands
If you always buy the most expensive brands, maybe you should stop. Keep an open mind and buy cheaper brands, or store brands. Doing this alone can save you a lot of money. I know there are certain things that I buy that I prefer the brand name, and that’s okay. But with the majority of the stuff I buy, I’ve tried the store brand and it’s just as good (sometimes better, actually).
7. Go meat-less
Meat can be pretttty costly. I know that it used to take up a good chunk of our grocery budget. But if you plan 2 or 3 meatless meals each week, it can save you a lot of money. It was hard to talk my husband into this but once he tried some of the yummy meatless recipes that I found, he decided it was okay – haha.
8. Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I spend way more money if I go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I guess everything just looks so good when I’m hungry! 🙂 So try to eat before you go shopping – you’ll be much more likely to stick to your list.
9. Buy produce when it’s in-season
When you buy in-season fruits and vegetables, they’re not only cheaper, but they’re also fresher and yummier. You can click right here to find a chart about when produce is in-season plus 13 tips for buying inexpensive produce.
10. Try batch cooking
I know this one takes a lot of time, but it just takes time out of 1 day, and saves you time the other 6 days of the week. A lot of people don’t seem to like the idea of batch cooking, but it can save you a lot of money. Buy your supplies in bulk, plus fresh (in-season) produce. Then spend 1 day doing meal prep, batch-cooking a week’s worth of meals out of your supplies. This will save you money, and a lot of time. Here is a great guide to batch cooking. Plus, you can look for cheap freezer meals on Pinterest.
11. Pay attention to sales
If you don’t like the idea of couponing, you can at least look at your grocery store’s sales ad. You can plan your meals around what’s on sale.
12. Eat your leftovers
If you have leftovers, use them as another meal. This will save you a lot of money, plus it will cut down on how much you waste. And you can re-purpose it, so it doesn’t taste like leftovers. Some people actually plan their meals for leftovers.
13. Make your own cleaners
I make a lot of my own cleaners using inexpensive household items and essential oils. This option doesn’t only save me money, but there are also no icky harmful chemicals in them. I’ll be posting some of my cleaning recipes in future posts. 🙂
14. Use store cards
Almost every grocery store has a membership program, where you get lower prices and special offers. I usually shop at Kroger for my food items, and their rewards program has awesome perks. You get a lower price on their store brand items. Plus you can load coupons directly on to the card, they regularly send out even more coupons for items tailored specifically to you, they have a regular Friday free item if you use your card, and their card saves me money on gas. Pretty awesome, right? And I’m sure your grocery store has something similar!
15. Buy in bulk – when it’s smart
To be honest, sometimes buying in bulk is the more expensive option. If you won’t use the item before it goes bad, you probably shouldn’t buy it in bulk. But things like trash bags, dish soap, toilet paper, etc. is good to buy in bulk. Shopping at stores like Costco for items like that will definitely save you a lot of money in the long run.
What do you do to shave costs off of your grocery budget? I’d love to see your answers in the comments below!
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