Every week I used to spend about $125 or more to feed a household of three adults. Our grocery bill would total $500 or more a month, which in my opinion was beyond ridiculous. I realized a change had to be made if I wanted to take control of our budget.
And since I was the head grocery shopper (well the only one since no one else wanted this task), it was up to me to cut costs.
I needed to find a way to save money on groceries each month.
So, I did.
I cut my grocery bill by more than half just by tweaking a few things and by changing the way I shop. I didn’t do anything crazy and my family still eats well after doing so.
You can follow these money-saving tips as well, but before you do please keep in mind a few things:
- I put out less than $200 (sometimes as little as $125) of hard-earned cash each month on groceries.
- I didn’t change what we ate (though we probably ate healthier)
- I continued to buy mostly brand name products.
- I didn’t starve anyone in the house and I promise that everyone, including the dog, ate pretty well.
- My household consists of three adults, one of which is a young adult male who literally eats us out of house and home.
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Here are 7 Ways I Save Money On Groceries Each Month
I Plan Meals in Advance
In the past, I would figure out what I was going to fix for dinner while walking aimlessly down the grocery aisles. Not only was this counterproductive, but I also wasted a lot of time and money.
Now, I plan my meals for the week at home and save myself from trying to piece a meal together on the fly. For the most part, I only shop from my list.
Advance meal planning minimizes waste by only purchasing items you need and saves money you would otherwise spend on additional trips for forgotten items.
I have my go-to recipes such as spaghetti and chicken fajitas that make meal planning quick and easy. I also find a lot of low-cost ($5 – $7 meals) from ebooks I download for free through my Molly Green membership.
I Clip Coupons
When growing up, I would get embarrassed each time my mom held the cashier up while she reached into her handbag for coupons. Not only did she seem to take her sweet time, I thought other people thought we were poor.
Of course, my mom didn’t care and she had a coupon for practically everything.
Years later, I found myself turning into my mom. I now use coupons whenever I can (except I try not to hold the line up looking through my purse for them).
My friend gives me the Sunday inserts, so I don’t even spend money on a newspaper. I also check Coupons.com to print coupons out at home. I’ve also signed up for Krazy Coupon Lady which sends me awesome emails with deals to maximize my savings with coupons.
I Use Apps
As much as I love to clip coupons, I can be a little absentminded about bringing them with me. I’m always forgetting them at home, so they’re no good to me sitting on the table in my kitchen while I’m out at the grocery store.
Using apps help me to save money while grocery shopping, because it limits the number of coupons I need to carry around with me.
Depending on the app you use, they will work differently. You could use an app that gives you cashback after proof of purchase, such as SavingStar, MobiSave, Checkout51, and Ibotta (check out my review on Ibotta here and earn $10 for signing up).
I Buy Most Items On Sale
Not only do I buy most items on sale, but there are certain items I only buy if they are on sale, such as soft drinks. This is great because most stores have at least one soft drink brand on sale each week.
All stores have a sale cycle, so shop accordingly and stock up.
What is a sale cycle, you ask?
A grocery sale cycle is how a store rotates specific products and places them on sale. If you pay attention, you will notice your local stores’ sale cycle. You may find that there’s a general monthly cycle such as this one, the timing varies depending on your favorite store and geographic location.
I recommend following sale circulars for an entire month to look for patterns to get a better sense of what items go on sale week to week.
I Buy Groceries Online
Okay by now you probably figure out I like buying groceries online. Not only is it convenient, but it can often save me a lot of money. In my area, Peapod by Giant delivers food to my home. There are plenty of grocery delivery services out there, though it will depend on where you live.
Shopping online allows me to have better control over my spending by seeing what my total cost will be before I push the submit button. I can also save money on the delivery fee if I choose a wider delivery window or have a coupon code.
Not only does Peapod offer online coupons and savings, but they also accept manufacturer’s coupons as well. Not only am I saving on groceries, but I’m saving time and gas money I would otherwise spend shopping in person.
If Peapod is in your area, get $20 off of your first order through my link here.
I’m an Amazon Prime Member
I do a lot of my grocery shopping online through Amazon. Mostly because I hate grocery shopping, but I also love the convenience and ability for me to plan ahead and save more. This giant retailer offers grocery delivery services such as Prime Pantry, Amazon Fresh, and Prime Now.
Since it doesn’t take much effort or time for me to rack up Amazon gift codes, this is a win-win situation and saves me another $50 to $100 I don’t have to reach into my pocket for.
For the most part, I use Prime Pantry and Prime Now quite a bit, though I’ve used Amazon Fresh in the past.
Amazon Fresh offers mostly locally grown and organic food delivered to your door either same or next day. It will cost you $15 a month in addition to your Prime membership, but since they offer free delivery, you’re paying less or the same with similar delivery services.
Something else to consider – now that Amazon has acquired Whole Foods, you are sure to find even more great deals and healthier options than before.
Now, if you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership or don’t like buying groceries online, then this option won’t work for you. It works for me very well, and it’s practically my number one way of buying groceries.
I Use Swagbucks
You’re probably scratching your head as to how Swagbucks helps me to save on groceries. In case you weren’t aware, you can earn Swagbucks (similar to points) for activities completed such as surveys, shopping online, and watching videos to name a few. In return, you are able to cash out these points in the form of gift cards.
I redeem my Swagbucks for mostly Amazon gift cards. These are sent electronically, so I’m able to apply them to my account pretty quickly.
I use my gift cards to purchase groceries online through Amazon, but I also redeem my points for restaurant gift cards (which allows my family and I to eat out occasionally without digging into our budget).
You can earn gift cards too with Swagbucks by signing up here and earn $5 as a new member.
Well, I hope these tips were helpful to you to save money on groceries. Not only am I able to shave off hundreds each month on my grocery bill, but I’ve found a way to reclaim my time by shopping from home.
Other ways to save money on groceries include preparing meatless meals throughout the week, limiting the number of times you eat out and saving leftovers.