It’s all about saving money on groceries today! If you’re like most families, your grocery shopping experience has probably evolved over the last several years. That’s because prices keep going up, and quite frankly, we want more money left in our pockets after our grocery shopping trip is over.
Grocery stores know this and have become very competitive in how they earn your loyalty by bringing great ways of saving you money. If your grocery shopping hasn’t changed over the years, you might be missing out on some huge savings.
Take a look at our basic guide for saving money on groceries while you’re at the grocery store.
How to Save Money on Groceries
Browse Store Flyers
Today’s shoppers are not as loyal to one store as they were 20 years ago. Customers have learned to be more frugal with their money by going where the deals are.
This might mean multiple stops during your grocery trip and a little extra cherry-picking on your part. Browse the store flyers and jot down on a pad the best deals you want to take advantage of, and plan your stops accordingly.
Get Set up on Customer Loyalty Programs/Apps
Make sure that you get signed up or download the store’s app to create even more savings opportunities for you. After you scan your card you can literally watch the savings add up and see your bill go down.
Snag the Freebies
Many grocery stores promote a free item of the week just by being signed up with their loyalty programs. That’s free food! Just be sure to have your loyalty card or app on hand when you approach the checkout counter to get your free items.
Another perk to shopping with certain local grocery stores in your area is that they have a pharmacy in their store. You can get prescription refills for a fraction of the price because of your loyalty to that grocery store.
I highly recommend looking at GoodRX because it shows you the cheapest place to buy prescriptions. I can pay cash at certain stores and the cost is lower than the co-pay through my insurance.
Bring a Calculator
Another way to stay on budget during your grocery shopping experience is by bringing a calculator. This keeps you from zero surprises when you reach the checkout area. Check out the total cost if you use the multiple item expense vs buying smaller amounts at a higher cost.
Get Groceries Based Off Your pantry
Before you head to the grocery store take a gander at the stock in your pantry. Is there anything with just an ingredient or two that can be transformed into an entire meal?
You would be surprised what you can make with the food you already have stocked away. This also helps you to not buy food that you already have in your inventory.
Stick to Meal Plans
Do you ever wonder aimlessly while grocery shopping and put miscellaneous items that look good at the time into your grocery cart? Most of us have.
Have a game plan before you even set foot in the grocery store. Write down several meal plans so you’re throwing the right items into the cart. Again, shop smart by looking at the ad flyers for the stores you’re visiting.
Avoid Impulse Items
This is a biggie! Avoid putting impulse items into your grocery cart to help save even more money on your grocery bill. This might mean leaving your husband and kids at home since they often have a tendency of throwing extra “goodies” into the cart while you’re not looking.
Steer clear of the candy bars and small bottles of refrigerated pop in the coolers by the check-out lanes.
Never Pay Full Retail
Avoid paying full retail on anything during your visit. Now I know that sometimes that isn’t possible, but you can more than likely find that same item on sale for much cheaper at another store location. Be sure and watch for my monthly “What To Stock Up On” series to save the big bucks on items you need.
Buy the Generic Store Brand
You might not believe this, but buying certain generic store brand foods are just as good as the national leading brands. No joke. Here’s a little secret for someone that worked retail for several years.
Many of the generic foods that you find in your local grocery store are actually the same foods as the leading brands, simply under a different label. Once in a while, you might pick up a generic brand food that doesn’t meet your standards, but I doubt you’ll find that is the case very often.
Don’t Fall for Eye-level Products
Have you ever noticed that most of the products on the store shelving are more expensive at eye-level? Grocery stores are smart and have strategically set up their shelves this way. Be sure to scan from top to bottom the sections you’re hunting for the best deals.
Check Unit Pricing
Checking the unit pricing can save you a bunch of money too. Most grocery stores include unit pricing on their shelf tags to help you compare which container or package is the better value.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is also another great way of saving money during your grocery visit. For instance, you might pay more for a large bag of dried beans upfront vs a small can of beans, but over time you will pay more while getting less if you rely on the smaller packages.
Freeze Meats That are Great Deals
When you see a hot deal on meat, don’t pass it up. You can take that meat and throw it in the freezer when you get home.
This way you can stock up on meat, and not have to buy it at a higher price on your next visit. Simply unthaw it when you’re ready to use it.
Look for Markdowns
Grocery stores hate throwing out perishable foods when they expire. Typically, a few days before that item will be thrown out stores mark them down to blow them out. Keep your eyes peeled.
This can lead to some huge savings on meat, dairy, bakery goods and produce. Just be sure to use them in a reasonable time so they don’t spoil.
Pay With Cash
I’m not totally sure why this works, but it’s proven that it does. Using cash will help you spend less money than putting it on a debit/credit card.
Experts have found that we find it more painful to hand cash over the counter and are more prone to spend less than if we just swipe a piece of plastic. Plus, once that cash is gone, you can’t go over your set budget.
Is there a particular ad item that the grocery store is out-of-stock on currently? Be sure to pick up a raincheck to get that deal. Some retail stores even give money back if they are out of stock on certain ad items. Talk about a win-win!
This is a basic guide to saving money on your future grocery store visits. If you’re a careful grocery shop spender, what other ways have you found to save money? If we know we are saving money on groceries every time we shop we can spread our budget a little. May God bless this world, Linda