Grocery shopping is a necessary evil in every house. It’s not a fun chore. It’s really expensive. It takes up time. It’s a huge pain in the butt for all involved.
So you have to buy food– there’s no escaping it. So what’s the one thing you can actually change about grocery shopping? It’s saving money. And I will be the first to tell you, I’m not great at couponing. I feel like a lot of the products that we buy don’t have coupons, so it’s a waste of time anyway. I still clip coupons, but I’m never going to be one of those people that save more than they spend when it comes to grocery shopping.
These are the tips I use for saving money. Every little bit helps!
Meal planning is a great way to save money grocery shopping. You know what you’re having for the week, you make a list from the meal plan, and you stick to the list. If you struggle with meal planning, here’s how I do it. Trust me, once you get the hang of it, it will make your life so much easier! It will save you time and stress. Seriously. Start meal planning.
Make One Trip
I very rarely go to the grocery store more than once a week. Because I meal plan, and I use a list, I make sure that I get everything I can in that one visit to the store. If you do make multiple visits, even intending to pick up one or two things, you’ll see something that looks good or that you want to try and therefore you’ll spend more money. So make a comprehensive list and stick to it. If you do need to go out and get milk or bread, promise yourself to just buy that one item. It adds up.
Try Out Different Grocery Stores
There are likely different chain grocery stores near you, and some are better than others. Look for quality and price, because there can be a vast difference. Here in the Boston area, Market Basket is known for their competitive prices and their food is great quality. You may think you’re lready getting a good deal, but it’s worth it to check out the competition.
If you don’t want to clip coupons, some stores offer “e-coupons.” E-coupons are available online, and are often sent via email too. You can view their available coupons and you will have an option to click on those coupons to save them to your store loyalty card. In the Boston area, Wegman’s sends digital coupons on a regular basis.
Money Saving Apps
There are apps specifically made for saving money in the grocery store. I use Ibotta, which gives you cash back on items you have purchased. You just select the eligible items in their app, scan the barcodes, and then take a picture of your receipt. You can redeem your Ibotta money for gift cards, or you can transfer to your Paypal or Venmo account.
Good Old Fashioned Couponing
Again, I am not a great couponer. But I do clip coupons on the things I buy regularly, or even just want to try. Toiletries and medicines are usually the biggest hit for me in coupon circulars. When I go to the grocery store, I put them in my wallet– not in a seperate coupon holder. If I do this, I’ll see them when I go to pay. If I have them in a binder or coupon holder, I’ll definitely forget about them.
I think grocery delivery can be a money saver, because it makes you stick to a strict list, regardless of the delivery fee. I only do this when my schedule is busier than normal, or if someone in the house is sick and I can’t make it to the store. I wrote an entire article reviewing four grocery delivery services.
How do you save money at the grocery store? Leave your ideas in the comments below.