10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

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If you are trying to stick to a budget, you have to control how much you spend on groceries. It is one of the largest areas where we spend money each month and if you are not careful it has the potential to break your budget by hundreds of dollars. Want to stay on track and cut your grocery bill in half? Here are ten tips to help you do just that.

1. Plan ahead

When you go to the grocery store, if you have not planned ahead of time, it can be easy to buy more than you need. Sit at the kitchen table and write down what you need for the month. You could also use a meal planning app to help you figure out what meals you need to plan for each week.

This way you don’t buy more than you need and you can have peace of mind that all of the food needs will be covered.

2. Use store coupons

Sometimes stores will have an insert in the Sunday paper with coupons that are specific to their store. This can be a great way to save money if you shop at that particular store AND the items are on your list for that week.

Here is a little-known fact: did you know that you can get Sunday newspaper for $1 at certain dollar stores like Dollar Tree? Find out other places to get coupons here.

3. Use manufacturer coupons

Certain grocery stores don’t have store coupons, however, they do take manufacturer coupons. Not only can you also find these in the Sunday paper but you can also print coupons for free at websites like Coupons.com.

Some stores will even go to the extent of making all manufacturer coupons $1. So, if you have a coupon for 10 cents off, you can actually get a $1 off instead. Not too shabby, right?

You can also consider using multiple coupon apps right on your smartphone if you don’t want to clip coupons.

4. Shop around

Comparing the advertisements from different stores can be a sure way to find the best deals around. I am not a big fan of driving to multiple grocery stores, however, if it can save you $10-$20 then it might be worth it. You want to be sure to keep in mind the cost of gas when driving around to different grocery stores.

With gas at 3.56 per gallon, it might not make sense to drive all over town.

5. Price match ads from another store

Certain grocery stores even take it one step further. They not only take coupons from other stores but they also price match ads from other grocery stores. This can take some work on the front end to do the research, but it can save you a ton of money over the long haul.

6. Take inventory of what you already have

Have you ever gone to the grocery store to buy an item only to return home and realize that you already have that particular item? If so, try using a Food Inventory List. This way you know what you have at all times and are able to keep from buying items that you already own.

7. Buy store brands

I know that it can be tough to sacrifice name brands from personal experience. However, it can be crucial in order to stick to your budget at times. If you are getting toward the end of the month and you don’t have much money left for groceries, then consider getting the store brand instead of the name brand.

For instance, I made the switch with my oatmeal; it is about $2 cheaper and I cannot even tell the difference when it comes to taste.

8. Browse the “about to expire” rack

Many stores will have a special rack dedicated to items that are about to expire. If you have not seen this rack before, ask a store associate where it is located. Often times items will be 50% off and this can be a budget saver when you are cutting it close.

9. Buy groceries in bulk

First I want to mention, don’t buy in bulk just because it is a great deal. You have to make sure that you are going to eventually use the product before it expires. For example, Costco will sell two gallons of milk that are attached and it is a better deal than just buying one.

However, if you can’t finish two gallons of milk before the expiration date, then don’t buy it in bulk. It is best to buy items in bulk that you use on a regular basis AND that have a long shelf life.

10. Create a grocery list and stick to it

It can be easy to buy things that you don’t need when you don’t have a list of what you need. Consider having a written list or use an app for your phone like Out of Milk. Then make a commitment to your spouse that you will not buy anything that is not written on the list.

Related Podcast

This can be a great way to keep yourself from overspending, however, it does take self-discipline.

Do you have any additional shopping tips that you use to cut your grocery bill?


21 responses to “10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill”

  1. Michelle says:

    I want to get back into couponing. It’s hard to say no to something that you can get for free. 🙂

  2. Dave says:

    I can offer several more ways to save lots of money on groceries!

    1. Keep an eye out for BOGOs. Many grocery chains offer BOGO deals every week. They’re easy to track online. These are best with non-perishable or longer shelf items, unless you have a family. You should stock up!

    2. Depending on where you are in the country, stores like Aldi are popping up everywhere. These stores sell nothing but generic brands. Surprisingly, many of these brands are every bit as good as any big-name brand. You’ll have to try different items for yourself, though, and learn which brands are good and which are not. Once you get to know which items are good, these stores alone can save you a boatload of money!

    3. Buy non-perishable items in bulk. In places like Costco, GRS, Sam’s Club, etc, buying items like paper towels, toilet paper, soap, trash bags, anything non-perishable or with a long shelf life can save you bookoo bucks. If you have a family, get perishable stuff as well – as long as it gets consumed before going bad.

    4. Avoid supermarket deli’s. You can make a lot of that stuff at home for a fraction of the price! If you don’t know how, there are a gazillion recipe web sites with lots of tasty recipes. Much of it takes very little time to make.

    5. Stop making excuses like not having time!! Even part of the time you spend parked in front of the TV is time you can be making your own tasty dishes!! Even if time is an issue, it’s so easy to make a batch of something like tuna salad to last a few days. Try designating a time and day each week for this purpose.

    • Deacon says:

      Those are some great tips as well. Thanks for sharing, Dave!

    • Gary says:

      Dave, great points with the BOGO’s and staying away from the deli. To add on to the deli comment, don’t go shopping while hungry. It will make it easier to stick to your list and avoid the tempting premade, over priced items at the deli.

      • Dave says:

        Thank you all for reading my post! I just thought of another way to save money on groceries, but it might be hard for some to swallow:

        Don’t buy into that “organic” crap!! It’s a load of BS and just a buzzword to scare you into spending more money on your food! Before, the buzzword was “natural,” or “low-carb,” or “colesteral-free,” etc. It’s all BS. If that were true, we sure wouldn’t have too many senior citizens around.

        Also, for cripes sake, stop buying bottled water!! It’s no better than ordinary tap water. It’s just more BS! The only exception is if you live where there’s only nasty well water or a place with bad plumbing.

  3. Daisy @ Young Finances says:

    I love coupons, but sometimes they can be more trouble than they are worth. I am always shocked when I see some bloggers posts about how they spend $100/month on groceries for two people. I think it’s admirable, though. I’m a big fan of buying store brands… they are pretty much the same product for cheaper.

    • Deacon says:

      Wow. $100 per month for groceries would be tough for even me. That is definitely an extreme. I would say that it is more common for two people to pay between $200-$300 per month if they are good about tracking their spending.

      • Dave says:

        I can’t believe people spend that much on food! I (one person) have been eating quite well for around $50 per month EASILY. If things got really bad, I could eat on $25 per month. Examples: 1) You can make the equivalent of a Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast (I like breakfast stuff for diner) for around $1-1.50. About $3.50 will make enough tuna salad for 6 or more good, thick sandwiches (lunches for a week) – double what you get from the grocery store deli for around $5, and as good or better. Probably equal to at least 12-15 Subway tuna subs. 3) around $4-5 for a pound of lean ground chuck and taco seasoning mix can easily make enough for a few days. Have tacos or burritos one night, next night put it on top of pasta and top with cheese (delicious!), etc. Ad refried beans to stretch it even further. So easy! What are you people eating?? Caviar and Dom Perrion??

        • Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide says:

          Many prices are regional. When my parents from Texas and my in-laws from the Midwest visit us, they get faint at the sight of our food prices. Most things are 150% higher than what they’re used to paying.

          $10 per person per week is about as cheap as you can get here, and practically no one eats that cheaply.

          • Dave says:

            I’m in Florida, and grocery prices are going to the moon here! It’s what motivated me to find ways to cut food costs. I’ve been very successful with it and wanted to share some of what I’ve learned on this blog (see my other posts). Sorry, but I still say it’s easy for one person to eat on around $10 per week. Unless you’re obese or something.

            All it takes is some research, homework, and planning. Oh, that’s right. Most people “don’t have time”, or aren’t willing to do a little work. Or, they have to show off their phony bling BS, and will remain debt slaves to do so.

  4. DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the site, Pocket Your Dollars, but Carrie and her team matches coupons with deals each week, by store, to give you the absolutely best prices on products. We use her shopping lists every week. It definitely has saved us hundreds of dollars.

  5. Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide says:

    My family plows through 3-4 gallons of milk a week, so low-cost milk always goes high on our list!

    I spend around $220-240/month for our family of 4.75 (I’m having a baby this month!). I could spend about half that, if I really worked at it, but that’s a happy medium for us.

    • Deacon says:

      Jenny! Way to go on keeping your grocery costs so low! I will be sure to send people your way that are looking to do the same. Congrats on the new baby that is coming! How exciting!!!

    • Dave says:

      That’s definitely good for a family. 🙂 Do you have Aldi stores where you’re at (or similar stores)? Their dairy prices (milk, eggs, cheeses, etc.) are roughly two thirds of what you pay at supermarkets and every bit as good. Produce and meats are cheaper as well. You might want to look into it? If there’s no Aldi in your area, maybe there’s something similar?

  6. Felix Lee says:

    I never fail to make a list before going to a grocery store. This is a big help for me to stick to my budget and to always be on track on the important things to buy.

  7. Emmy Rinke says:

    This is a great article. Another way I save money is being Vegan. Meat and dairy are actually super spendy, but when you replace them with things like beans, lentils, and healthy grains, you can save big bucks. People think veganism is expensive, but that is only the case when you replace “omni” foods with premade vegan options. Make the majority from scratch and you will save.

    • Laurie Blank says:

      That’s so true, Emmy! I always shake my head when I hear people say that eating fruits and veggies is expensive, but we’ve found it very thrifty!

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