5 Tips To Help Lower Your Grocery Bill

by Connie Mei · 7 comments

Food is probably your biggest expense aside from housing. After all, you always have to eat. So is there any way you can really cut back on this category? The easy answer is to stop going out to eat and spend more time cooking at home, but what if you’ve already done that and still can’t afford to be spending what you’re spending on food? The answer lies in your grocery bill.

Just because you’re cooking your own food doesn’t necessarily mean you’re saving a lot of money. Groceries can cost a lot too, depending on where your live or which supermarket you shop at. So much so that it might be tempting to cut back on fresh foods and spend more on fast food, which definitely wouldn’t be great for your health. However, if you become a smarter shopper, you can definitely find ways to lower your grocery bill without having to buy less. Here are five ways you can do just that:

1. Plan Out Your Week

Before you step foot into a grocery store, the most important thing to do is to plan out the week ahead. How many days will you be eating at home? How many meals do you plan to eat out? Do you need to bring lunch with you to work? Understanding your schedule for the days ahead will help you decide how much food you need to buy. If you buy too much, you’ll end up with waste. If you buy too little, you’ll probably order out and not save any money at all.

lower grocery bill2. Make a Trip to Multiple Stores

Most people limit their grocery shopping to one store, but make the effort to hit multiple stores if you can find a little extra time in your week. Different stores have different sales so you’ll definitely end up saving more if you do some research and buy items where they’re cheaper. Many specialty or ethnic food markets will have items you can normally find at your grocery store for much less. Lastly, if you have a farmer’s market in your town, it’s worth checking out as prices can be cheaper and the produce is fresher. This all definitely takes more time and effort but it’ll save you more than a few bucks.

3. Buy Dry Products Online & in Bulk

Thanks to the age of the internet, you can now get almost anything online – including food. If you live in a major city, you might be able to use services like FreshDirect or Amazon Fresh, which will deliver your groceries straight to your door. However, the prices are generally marked up. You can still shop for groceries online though when it comes to dry products, like pasta and canned goods. On sites like Amazon and Walmart, you can buy these in bulk at much lower prices, especially if they’re on sale. And as a bonus, you don’t have to go to the store to lug them back. So stock up now!

4. Go for the Generic Brand

Name brand isn’t always better. In fact, most of the time it’s exactly the same as the generic brand. Many generic and name brand products are produced right in the same factory. It’s just that the packaging and stickers on them are different. Next time you’re shopping, reach for the store brand instead and see if you can really tell the difference. Sometimes you can, but other times you’ll a new way to save.

5. Shop the Weekly Circular

Almost all supermarkets come out with a new circular every week with new sales and deals. Many even post it on their website. Before you start shopping, make sure you look through it to see what you should be buying for the week. Many circulars also include coupons, which can give you even more additional savings.

Do you have any tips & tricks to save on groceries? Let us know in the comments below!

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Jasmin Gorg says:

    I thought going to purchase the items with the help of a list will always help us to reduce our bills, because when we think about buying the goods day on the day we will get irritated by the terms.
    So we must come to a list and then approach the store like you brad.

  • Papa Foxtrot says:

    I use ingredient based cooking. You can look at some recipes based off what you have and buy only a few ingredients. It saves money and prevents waste.

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      Cooking at home IS one of the best ways to save money. Not only are you saving on food costs but also transportation and time.

      Cheers to you for knowing how to and willing to cook!

  • Christine says:

    FYI – Walmart has a section on their app called Savings Catcher (can also be entered online). You scan your receipt (up to 7 in a week) and they pull the weekly ads and if you could have purchased an item at a local store for cheaper than you did at Walmart, they will give you back the difference.

    From their site:
    1. Scan your store receipt
    Scan the receipt barcode with your Walmart app.
    2. We compare prices
    We check top competitors in your area for advertised deals on eligible items.
    3. You get the difference
    If we find a lower price, you’ll get the difference.

  • Jimmy @ CC Bank says:

    If you’re a meat eater, be sure to look into your local butchers. Not only will the meat you get there likely be higher quality than whatever they sell at the grocery store, but they often sell meat in huge quantities (20-50+ pounds) which means you can get huge savings as long as you have a freezer to store it all in.

  • Brad - MaximizeYourMoney.com says:

    We’re always looking for ways to lower our grocery bill. The main thing that helps is our order of shopping. We do to Walmart first to get whatever we can, then Publix (mostly for fresh veggies), then only Harris Teeter if there is an amazing sale price on something. The difference in cost from Walmart to Harris Teeter – in our area at least – is HUGE!

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      You bring up a great and effective strategy Brad. By having a routine of going to the nearby grocery stores in a specific order, you eliminate having to complicate your life unnecessarily by always trying to come up with the route and schedule every time you have to get groceries.

      Thank you for the tip!

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