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Why does grocery shopping have to cost so much money? Do you ever leave the store thinking, “How did I spend that much money?” Items can quickly add up if we are not careful. Check out some of my favorite tips on How to Save Money on Groceries.
Tips to Save Money on Groceries:
I hope you enjoy our favorite tips on saving money on groceries. If you enjoy this tip, make sure to check out all our favorite kitchen hacks.
1. Shop the Local Sales
Make sure to review your local grocery store ads to find the best deal for all the items that you need on a weekly basis. I usually shop at 2-3 stores and will browse their weekly flyers to find the best sale priced on the things I know that I need and use.
Also, make sure to clip coupons for the items that you use on a regular basis. You can save a lot of money but using coupons for items that you already plan to buy!
But remember, only buy items you need. A good deal on an item you didn’t need really isn’t that good of a deal.
2. Use Grocery Pick Up
If you’re know for going over board with impulse buys, then try ordering your groceries online verses going to the store. I find that I’m less like to buy items off my list (impulse purchases) if I’m typing ingredients into a search bar instead of viewing deals in store.
Also, I love that you can easily see your total with shopping online so it’s easier to stay within your grocery budget.
3. Avoid Eye Level Items
The most expensive items in a grocery store are at eye level so make sure to look up and down when shopping! I know this seems like a crazy tip but trust me it works!
Grocery stores are smart and want you to reach for the most expensive items so move your eyes around in the aisle when shopping.
3. Buy Produce That’s in Season
This is a biggie! If you pay attention to the produce that is in season, thus priced to sell, you will save big. You will also be able to stock up on fruits and veggies. Besides just saving money, in season produce just tastes better.
If you worry about not being able to use up all of the produce you stock up on, don’t worry. I have some great tips and tricks for you:
- How to make Pumpkin Puree
- Can you Freeze Onions? – Easy tips to freeze onions!
- How to Freeze Corn on the Cob
- Freezer Tip: How to Freeze Lemons, Limes, and Oranges
- How to Freeze Fruit
- Freezer Tip: How to Freeze Chopped Peppers
There are so many different thing you can freeze well. If you aren’t sure how well something freezes, do a trial batch before you stock up on something.
4. Shop at Aldi
Have you shopped at Aldi before? I just love Aldi. I know Aldi may seem like an odd store for many people, so we’ve written a couple of posts to help people get started.
If you have never shopped at Aldi before, checkout this post – Aldi Foods – 4 Things you need to know before you shop. This gives you a great breakdown of the basic things you need to know before heading to the store: bring a quarter, bring your own bags, avoid name brand and shop the produce sales (this is a biggie).
If you have shopped at Aldi before but aren’t really sure what the best buys are, check out this post – Aldi Grocery Store Shopping Guide: What to buy and what not to buy. This post gives a detailed breakdown of items that are great to buy at Aldi and items that you should not buy at Aldi.
5. Buy Generic
You can save a ton of money on groceries by buying generic or store brands products. However, it’s not ALWAYS cheaper so make to compare prices by looking at the unit pricing.
Paying attention to the normal price on items at the grocery store can help save money on your groceries.
6. Buy Meat in Bulk and Freeze
Buy meat in bulk? For sure! There have been so many times I’ve been to Sam’s Club or another store and found some great deals on meat.
I don’t hesitate to pick it up because I know I can freeze it once I get home. I use my FoodSaver to freeze my meat. It does an amazing job of getting all of the air out of a package and vacuum sealing it, so no more gets in.
Storing food with a FoodSaver as opposed to zip top bags will help your meat last that much longer. Buying in bulk is a great way to save money on groceries.
Check out these posts for more great ideas for saving money on meat:
Before I started couponing, I had no idea how many different ways there were to save on meat. Now, I never pay full price. These posts are worth a read.
7. Make Your Own Baking Mixes
How convenient is it to grab pancake, brownie and cornbread mixes from the store? Super convenient! Unfortunately, it is a lot more expensive then making it yourself.
Did you know you can make your own mixes? I have been making my own cornbread, brownie and pancake/waffle mix for years. I used to be a brand snob when it came to my pancake mix, but this homemade version is delicious!
Give these homemade baking mixes a try:
- The BEST Homemade Pancake and Waffle Mix
- How to Make Homemade Cornbread Mix
- How to Make your Own Pre-packaged Brownie Mix
- Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
- Homemade Nesquik
8. Skip the Seasoning Packets
You can make your own seasoning packets, too! We used to buy the taco and chili seasoning in the packets by the bulk! We go through it so much.
A few years ago I decided to make my own seasoning mixes and I haven’t looked back since. These seasonings are made from ingredients you already have on hand, plus you use only what you need.
No more opening a packet and only using half of it and figuring out how to save the other half!
These are my favorite homemade seasoning mixes:
- Easy Homemade Chili Seasoning
- How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Copycat Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
- Cinnamon Sugar Recipe
9. Buy Ingredients, Not Pre-Made Meals
Pre-made meals are very convenient. When you are running low on time and you just need dinner to be ready, I totally understand why people buy pre-made meals.
However, with a little bit of planning, you can make your own meals in no time. Here are some of my favorite quick and easy meals:
- 15 Minute burger sliders recipe
- Skillet Honey Mustard Chicken – 15 minute dinner
- 20 Minute Dinner – Creamy Chicken Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes!
- 20 minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- Pepperoni Pasta – an easy 20 minute dinner idea!
Making your own quick and easy meals will save you quite a bit more money then buying the pre-made meals from the store.
You can also be confident that all of your ingredients are fresh, because they are coming straight from your kitchen. All this takes is a little bit of menu planning so you can make sure to buy everything you need from the store.
10. Freezer Cooking
Have you ever done any freezer cooking? I LOVE it! It is another great tip for how to save on groceries without coupons. I have done marathon freezer sessions where I make a bunch of different recipes and wrap them up and freeze them for later.
I love freezer cooking so much, I started a cooking club that teaches it’s members how to make easy crock pot freezer meals in just minutes each week. The Lazy Day Cooking Club is helping family stock their freezer for crock pot meals so dinner can be done easily.
11. Menu Plan
This goes hand in hand with what we have been talking about. Plan your meals is probably one of the biggest tips I give people on how to save on groceries without coupons.
When you take a little time out of your schedule, you will be amazed at how you will be saving money on groceries by menu planning.
Here is an idea. Take 10 minutes our of your day, maybe after dinner, and sit down and picture what your week looks like. If you know you are going to your mom’s on Friday night, then you know you don’t need to plan a meal for then.
Also, if you have 2 soccer games and basketball practice on Thursday, you know you need a quick and easy meal. Once you’ve looked at your week, decide on your menu. There are a bunch of delicious and frugal meals to choose from here at Eating on a Dime.
Not sure where to start making your menu? Check out some of the Lazy Day Cooking Club. The club helps you plan quick and easy crock pot freezer meals so you can feed your family easily every night of the week while saving tons of money on your grocery bill!
12. Shop your Pantry first!
Plan your meals based on what you already have in your pantry so you’re not waisting food. I love thinking of cooking as my own at home cooking challenge and create recipes and meals based on what I already have in my pantry and refrigerator.
For instance, if I already have potatoes in my pantry. Then I would plan a meal with potatoes for the following week based on what my family would love!
13. Make a list and stick to it!
This might seem obvious but a lot of people go to the grocery store without a plan and end up over spending. Meal plan (based on what you have) and then make a shopping list for what you need.
Then stick to the grocery list! If you have trouble with buying items off the list then try the grocery pick up for a change!
14. Eat your left overs!
Don’t throw away those left over food. Sure… I hate left overs just like the next person, but when you repurpose it, it doesn’t taste like left overs.
We ate roast the other night and I had some left over. However, I didn’t have enough to make another meal. So I chopped up the roast, and make beef quesadillas and you would have thought I made a gourmet meal.
That roast didn’t go to waste and my family was pleasantly surprised. We actually had enough for a lunch for my husband too! Here are some clever ways to use up your left overs.
- 10 ways to use leftover baked potatoes
- Over 50 leftover turkey recipes
- 7 ways to use leftover grilled corn
- 8 ways to reuse leftover rice
- 6 clever ways to use leftover hamburger buns
- 6 ways to use left over pasta
- 10 ways to use left over grilled chicken
As you can see, we have a TON of creative ways to use up your leftovers without feeling like you are eating the “same old thing.”
15. Pay with Cash
Paying with cash is a great way to stay within your grocery budge. When the cash runs out, you can no longer buy anymore items.
This is a great way to make sure that you only get what you really need and leave the items that you don’t (like candy and ice cream – hahaha).
I have tried paying with credit cards before to get reward points but have found that generally the benefits do not out way the annual fee. After lots of trial and error, setting a cash budget has worked the best for my family.
How to save Money on Groceries:
There are plenty of ways to save! If this list seems overwhelming to you, pick one area and start there.
Are you a planner? Maybe you should try to make a menu plan this week. Whatever you decide, just remember, you are saving yourself and your family time and money.
More than likely, you’ll be eating healthier, too!
Do you have tips and tricks that you live by? We’d love to hear from you.