Smart Shopping: 10 Proven Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill

Grocery shopping is a neverending expense that can take a sizable chunk out of your budget. The price on everything has increased. Gas, utilities, rent, insurance. It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with all these extra expenses. However, with strategic planning and savvy shopping techniques, it’s possible to reduce your grocery expenses without compromising on quality or variety. Here are 10 proven ways to save on your grocery bill and make the most out of your shopping trips.

1. Plan Ahead and Make a List

One of the golden rules of smart grocery shopping is to plan your meals for the week ahead. Create a detailed list of needed items to avoid impulse purchases and ensure you buy only what you need. When you don’t have a plan you tend to buy extras and things that aren’t on your list and you end up spending more than you planned.

2. Download the Store Apps

I only shop at 2 or 3 stores that are close to me. I don’t drive long distances to get deals because it’s not worth the gas. If I happen to be close to a store that I know has deals that I am interested I will stop in on my way home. The 2 main stores I shop at have grocery apps. Every week when the new ad starts, I go into the app and download coupons for everything I think I might be interested in. The good thing about using the store app is the more you use it, the more they customize the coupons to what you buy. I get free coupons, I’ll get $2 off $10 or $5 off $50 sometimes. Even if you don’t buy a lot of name brands you can still find savings and after a while, you might start receiving coupons for the stuff you do buy. Also, it’s not just extra coupons on the app, most stores require you to download any deals that are in the grocery ad so you’re just throwing money away when you don’t download all the deals.

20 Proven Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill

Smart Shopping: 10 Proven Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill

2. Consider Buying Large Quantities

Buying large quantities or in bulk isn’t always the best way to save money. Sometimes the bulk price is more so check the price per pound or ounce. You aren’t saving either if you throw half of it away because it went bad. Think about things like rice, I know I’m going to use it and if I buy a 25lb bag instead of a 2 lb bag I’m going to save a significant amount. If you use a lot of flour or sugar, consider buying a large bag if you know you’ll use it up and the price per pound is lower. When you buy in bulk you make fewer trips to the store you save gas so there’s that. When you’re not at the grocery store you aren’t tempted to buy extra stuff that wrecks your budget.

3. Take Advantage of the Clearance and Discount Sections

Don’t be afraid to check out the discount section!!! There is no shame in buying items that are reduced because they are close to date or the box got squished or maybe the store is discontinuing items so they mark it all down significantly. Every time I go to the store I head to the clearance section right away, I usually always find something that I currently use, sometimes I try things that I’ve never bought before because it’s marked down, and why not?

20 Proven Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill

4. Limit Pre-cut Convenience Foods

Pre-cut fruits, vegetables, and other convenience foods come with a premium price. Buying whole and cutting at home can save money. Cut up whole carrots into sticks for kids’ snacks, cut your own apples instead of buying the little bags of pre-cut apples. Cut your own meat, buying pre-cut meat can be incredibly expensive. Taking the time to cut chicken breast off the bone or cutting a whole pork loin into chops or a roast can save you a significant amount of money.

5. Save Money by Refilling

I refill things like soy sauce, liquid hand soap, and spices. It’s cheaper for me to buy large quantities and refill the small container. There’s less waste and garbage that goes into landfills.

6. Make Your Own

DIY snacks, sauces, and dressings are often cheaper and healthier compared to store-bought versions. Here are a few things I make myself. I know what ingredients are in it and I know I’m saving money.

7. Try Store Brands and Generics

Try a store-brand or generic alternative. Sometimes they offer similar quality and taste at a lower price.

8. Stop Buying Expensive Cleaning Products

There are some cleaning products that you have to buy. I don’t recommend making your own laundry or dishwashing soap. Some of those ingredients can build up in your machine and ruin it. I do however use vinegar and baking soda for a variety of things. Check out some of these articles from the blog. A Bowl of Vinegar to Clean Your Microwave, 15 Amazing Uses For Vinegar, Naturally Eliminate Onion & Garlic Smells, Homemade Natural Air Freshener, Baking Soda Sachets, 20 Ways to Use Lemons and Limes Around the House.

9. Utilize Cash Back Apps Like Ibotta and Fetch Rewards

I use Ibotta and Fetch Rewards to save money. This is a screenshot of my actual cash-back earnings. Since January of 2013, I’ve earned $1190.88 back from Ibotta. You can choose from gift cards or have the cash deposited into your Paypal or Venmo. I scan all my receipts into the Fetch Rewards App. You receive a minimum of 25 points for each receipt. Certain brands earn you extra, sometimes 1000 points or more. I trade my points for gift cards, they have a huge variety to choose from.

10 Proven Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill

10. Buy Seasonal Produce

In the Pacific Northwest where I live. Certain fruits and vegetables are cheaper during specific seasons. I take advantage of that and I don’t usually buy items that are out of season. Watermelon is crazy expensive in the winter so I just don’t buy it, when summer comes around I buy it as much as I can. During the fall and winter, we have a huge variety of squash and it’s reasonably priced. Certain items are available year round and the price is usually stable. Things like onions, peppers, bananas. Depending on where you live you’ll find certain produce items are cheaper when they are in season.

Check out these links to other money-saving articles on the Sisters with Stuff Blog:

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