15 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Groceries - Joyful Thrifty Home
Oct 162013
 

simple tips for saving money on groceries

Saving money on groceries can be a daunting task, especially if you want to eat well. It is possible to save money on good food without spending hours clipping coupons. To help make grocery shopping easier on you I’ve come up with 15 simple tips that will save you time and money.  These tips are easy to start implementing so you can save on your groceries now.

  1. Keep a running list of things you need as they start to run out. I use a dry erase board on my fridge. This helps you save time when you are making your grocery list.
  2. Plan a menu. Decide whether you are going to plan your menu weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Make a list of enough meals to get you through that period of time.  Start by making a list of meals you can make using at least some ingredients you already have on hand. Add whatever else you need to your grocery list. Remember you can plan leftovers or date nights out. I typically end up with more meals than I actually use but it helps to have some extra options.  This way I already have a few meals for when I make my next menu.
  3. Use your leftovers. Many of my meals make much more than my husband and I can eat in one sitting so I do my best to think of how to use these leftovers. One thing he does is take these for his lunches. I also try to plan other ways to use them for different meals. My beans and rice that I make for fajitas for example makes great burritos or stuffed peppers. Another example, is when I make meatballs I always freeze the extras. This way, I can use them again later without the fuss of going through preparing them. I just pull them out of the freezer and throw them in a pot on the stove with some pasta sauce and allow them to heat through.
  4. Make your meals from scratch. I know it is tempting to buy already made meals, but you really do save money when you make it yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I do try to make from scratch as much as possible but I still sometimes pick up something easy like a frozen pasta dish or pizza so I can have a quick meal and I won’t judge you if you do this too. Just keep in mind that you can save money this way.
  5. Have breakfast for dinner or go meat-less. Every other week or so I plan a dinner with eggs like fritatta or omelets. Eggs are typically inexpensive and a good way to get some protein without meat. I also plan other inexpensive breakfasts like pancakes, crepes or waffles. Meat-less meals are cheaper too since meat can be the most expensive part of a lot of meals.
  6. Look through the sales papers (or online) to see what is on sale the week you plan to go shopping. If you find a good deal on something, figure out how you could use that ingredient as a part of your meal plan.
  7. Compare the prices based on size. Two similar items might cost the same, but one may have more ounces. This one would be the better deal because you are getting more per ounce.
  8. Stock up when you find a good price. I know my grocery store has a good sale on chicken large packs of chicken once a month. I know I won’t use it all right away, but I can easily freeze it and have enough to get me by until it goes on sale again.
  9. Stick to your list. Try not to buy too many ‘extra’ things when you are shopping. It is tempting to buy that cake or those cookies, but do you really need that? If you find a great deal on something you will use go for it, but just be careful of adding too many things to your cart that you had not originally planned for. I have also found that it is easier to stick to my list when it is organized by type like produce, meat, dairy etc. This way I can more easily find the items on my list as I go through the store. I use Out of Milk, an app on my tablet for my list.
  10. Be aware of grocery store gimmicks. Most stores place higher priced items at eye level to entice you grab what you see. You’re also more likely to see things in the middle aisles or on the end-caps that they want to you pick up. Unless it’s a great deal or you really need it, resist these temptations.
  11. Don’t be too picky about brands. Many store brand items are the same as their name brand counter-parts. If the store brand is cheaper, at least try it once to see if you like it.
  12. Find coupons for sale items. If you get a sales paper or know someone who will give you the coupons from them that’s great, but I don’t think that this is necessary. I have honestly not been using the newspaper coupons much lately and still am able to save on my groceries. I use m-perks digital coupons for Meijer. If I see a coupon for something I might need I clip it online and then just enter my code at checkout. Another way is to print coupons through websites like coupons.com. Target also has good coupons as well as the new cartwheel app, and they allow you to match them with manufacturer coupons which can add up to some great deals. My word of caution with coupons is to only use them on things you would normally buy. Sure you can get a great deal on cat food but what good is it if you don’t even own a cat!?
  13. Be willing to shop at more than one store. Lately, I have shopped at Aldi about once a month where I stock up on things like eggs, milk and any other staples they have. Then I go to Meijer to get produce, meat and anything that is on sale I might need. I don’t get produce and meat from Aldi because I don’t like the selection at the store near me.
  14. Don’t shop hungry. This seems obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I went shopping just before lunch and picked up a few extra things just because it sounded good.
  15. When buying produce, try to stick with what’s in season. During the fall you’ll get great deals on apples and squash but the strawberries might be priced higher than in the early to mid summer months. Since I use strawberries for my smoothies, I buy them frozen when they aren’t in season.

These are all tips that I use when shopping for my own groceries. I hope that you found something helpful that you can start using right away and begin seeing the savings on your grocery bills!

 

Which tips above have worked well for you? Which ones do you find most helpful?

What other tips do you have for saving money on grocery shopping?

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About the Author

Ashley has been happily married to her husband since July 2010. She is a thrifty girl at heart with a bit of a crafty side. She is also a once disaster in the kitchen turned aspiring home chef. She loves coffee and herbal tea and is a self proclaimed library nerd. But her real passions are encouraging others in their Christian faith and to show people that it is possible to live well even if you are on a tight budget.

Check out Ashley's Website: Joyful Thrifty Home
You can also follow her on; Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

  13 Responses to “15 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Groceries”

  1. These are great tips, Ashley! One that I struggle with sometimes, but KNOW that is saves money, is cooking from scratch. Sometimes the savings aren’t obvious until you do the math too. For example, yesterday, I made a pork roast that cost $5 in the crock pot. That five dollar meat sort of felt like a splurge in the store, but when we were sitting down and eating (and it was good!) I realized that there was enough meat in there for about 6-8 servings! So.. a lot less than a McDonald’s hamburger. And I could actually make the leftovers go further by making soup with some of it. So, yes, I definitely agree that learning to cook from scratch is a necessity in saving on the grocery bill. Though, like I said, I do struggle with putting this into practice regularly. I actually have frozen pizza on the menu for dinner tonight. lol
    Jane @ Devoted Sonriser recently posted…The Glory of the One & Only: What I’ve Learned (Day 15)My Profile

    • Thank you Jane! I definitely know what you mean about not always seeing the savings when you cook from scratch but I have found as well that when you make a meal that you can stretch out, the savings add up even more. Your pork roast sounds great! I bet it was tastier and more filling than a cheap burger too. It takes time to build up a collection of recipes and learn to cook from scratch, but it is so worth it. Some days though, I just don’t have the time or energy to do much cooking.

      • Learning to cook from scratch is definitely worth it! It’s a satisfying feeling when you make something new and end up loving it too. But yes, the energy thing is hard though. Sometime I’d like to start some sort of freezer cooking 1 hour a week routine like Money Saving Mom does. I think that would really help.
        Jane @ Devoted Sonriser recently posted…Encouragement for a Guilty SoulMy Profile

  2. […] Joyful Thrifty Home shares some great money saving ideas for grocery shopping.  We have been pinching pennies this month so I am learning a thing or two from her! […]

  3. I featured you in today’s Tending the Home Tuesday! Check it out at http://theroadto31.com/2013/10/almond-bliss-cookie-recipe-tending-home-tuesdays-link.html. Thank you for linking up!
    Lindsey @ The Road to 31 recently posted…Almond Bliss Cookie Recipe and Tending the Home Tuesdays LINK UPMy Profile

  4. […] Make meals from scratch as much as possible. I started making from scratch when I realized that buying ingredients can actually be cheaper than buying pre-made. This does not […]

  5. […] 15 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Groceries […]

  6. […] working in the kitchen sparked in me when I began switching to eating more real foods. I already cooked from scratch a lot to save money but I loved the fact that it was also a way to be healthier too! I’ve […]

  7. […] 15 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Groceries […]

  8. I just found out that if you take Aldi’s ad to Walmart they will price match on their fresh produce, mind blown! Sometimes Aldi’s fresh produce doesn’t have much flavor so this is a big saver to me

    • Great Tip! Thanks Amy. I had not heard that before. Unfortunately for me I haven’t had much luck with Wal-Mart produce either. I don’t go to Wal-Mart often though anyway but that is an awesome tip for anyone who does. :)

  9. […] dirty dozen19. Freeze leftovers20. Preserve foods by canning21. Stock up when you find a deal22. Buy a quarter or side of beef23. Buy produce from local farms24. Creatively use whatever […]

  10. […] food or keep a roof over our heads. I dealt with immense fear every time I stepped foot into the grocery store because spending money meant we had less to rely on for other things like our electric bill and […]

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