9 Simple Ways To Save On Groceries

If you are looking for ways to get the most out of your income, preparing meals at home will be your most cost-efficient way of eating. Not only does cooking at home save money, it is often healthier because the portions eaten are more nutrient dense and smaller.

But even shopping for groceries can be expensive, especially if you have poor shopping habits.

If you follow even a couple of these 9 simple tips for saving money on groceries, you can easily save hundreds or more a month just by making a few small changes in how you shop for food.

1. Buy in Bulk

Many items have a smaller unit cost when you buy it larger quantities. A 36 pack of toilet paper will cost less per roll than a 12 cost per roll.

When doing this it is also important to not unit price, there are times when you may have a coupon or the lower amount will be on sale and you might need to do.. MATH.. but it’s really easy just divide the new lower price by the number of units them do your comparison.

2. Buy Only What You Need

Some foods are perishable and if you buy more than you can eat while it is fresh, all the savings you could have realized won’t matter because they won’t go into making meals.

You should be able to use everything you buy in a meal or a snack. Items that have a shelf life should be bought to be used during their shelf life period, an easy way to combat this is using the next tip by having a plan.

See also: 10 Ways to Maximize Savings in 2020

3. Meal Plan

Planning your meals ahead of time will make a huge difference in your food budget. When you know what’s on the menu each day, there’s no opportunity to linger around in the kitchen wondering what’s for dinner, no last-minute trips to the grocery store, no desperate take-out orders, and less chance that you’ll buy something only to let it go to waste.

Before you set out to make a plan follow this route when making your plan.

  • Check what food you have on hand
  • See what sales and check for coupons at your store(s) you shop at
  • Try to focus on items that go with what you already have
  •  Narrow the list down with a focus of making meals under budget
  • Plan out your meals for the week based on those ingredients

And you’re all set, just make sure to stick to your list to avoid the temptation of unnecessary purchases.

Once you have created a shopping list, you should be able to do your shopping in a minimal amount of time each week and shopping with a list is an easy way to avoid those expensive unplanned purchases.

4. Make it Stretch

In other words, get creative. If you’ve already consumed a bulk of the items in your kitchen, think outside the box to see what you can do with what remains. And don’t forget about any leftovers hanging out in the fridge or freezer that are still fit for consumption.

We try to cook more rice and pasta than we need to aid in eating leftovers for lunch at work, a lot of leftovers pair well with different simple dishes like this and help make the meals last longer without being the exact same thing over and over.

5. Buy Fruits and Vegetables In Season

Have you ever noticed that produce items are more expensive at certain times of the year? That is because they are in season and are more plentiful making them less expensive.

Florida has a season for strawberries, blueberries and citrus fruit. They can be almost twice as expensive during the off-season. In season fruits and veggies will be more flavorful than greenhouse grown or others picked early and shipped long distance as well.

6. Make a Budget and Pay Cash

Make a plan that includes how much you want to spend on groceries and take that amount of cash to the store.

When you have reached the cash limit, your spending is done. Have the cashier scan your must have items first and reserve want items until you know you have the cash to cover them.

Buying online can be a great way to stick to a budget also, more on that later.

7. Cut Back on Mear OR Hit the Meat Market

If you can reduce the amount of meat you purchase, you will see your grocery bill go down. Make sure you use every ounce of meat and seafood purchases.

Several years ago, when I set out on a mission to slash food expenditures in half, meat was always problematic. We couldn’t get enough of it, but the price always made it among the most expensive items on our grocery receipt.

After countless hours perusing weekly ads and driving around town from grocer to grocer in search of the best deals, I came across a promotional flyer for a meat market — and the rest was history. While we’re conditioned to buy everything at the same big store, big chains won’t always have the lowest prices on everything. Small and niche grocers — like butchers — can often offer better deals on fresher products: They specialize in one thing, do it well, and sell it cheap.

Another benefit of meat markets: They often sell in massive quantities, so when a good deal pops up, you can buy in bulk and freeze the rest to use later, this is where I love having a chest freezer in the basement!

8. Prepare it From Scratch

For those of us who are strapped for time or occasionally stricken by the laziness bug, frozen family-sized dinners are a cost-efficient alternative to eating out. But once the food is scarfed down, thoughts about preservatives and long-term health effects always linger in the back of your mind.

As a rule, we pay extra for convenience. So if you want to save money (and eat healthier to boot), trade in some convenience for cash.

The next time you’re tempted to pick up a frozen lasagna or pasta dinner, bail out of that section as soon as possible and head for the fresh veggie, seafood, and meat sections. Home-cooked meals cost a fraction of a dinner out and still come in much cheaper and healthier than frozen dinners, especially once you factor in leftovers.

And if you’re extremely crunched for time, try making a dish that requires minimal preparation or attention and can be cooked on autopilot in a crockpot.

9. Shop Online

Wouldn’t it be grand if you could have your groceries delivered to your doorstep? Depending on where you live, grocery delivery services such as Safeway, PeaPod, FreshDirect, Walmart’s Grocery-to-Go, Stop and Shop, and even AmazonFresh make this possible.

And at first glance, even though prices are usually a bit higher online, you can actually end up spending less. This is because you won’t be wandering the aisles, adding the extra unplanned items to your cart. Plus, you’ll know exactly how much you’re about to spend before you get to the check out allowing you to adjust your cart to stay on budget.

Another major benefit is that you can take advantage of special pricing without traveling all over town. However, the service is accompanied by a delivery fee, and you miss out on the opportunity to hand-pick your own meats, produce, and veggies. But it still beats rolling down the grocery aisle and picking up every item that catches our eye.

Conclusion – Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Outside of housing costs and vehicles, buying groceries can be one of the biggest expenses many families have each month.

Keeping your grocery bill under control can be challenging especially if spenders get involved in the food shopping.

Even if you’re only able to add a couple of these tips to your grocery shopping, you should be able to save yourself a hundreds every month!

Saving money on groceries is just one of the ways that you can make your hard-earned dollar go farther, to invest in your future, spend more on the family, or put it all into building PASSIVE INCOME.

Thirty Tips for a More Frugal Lifestyle

These are the frugal living tips that helped my family go from impulse spenders to conscious consumers. 

These were the beginnings of the end of my “keeping up with the joneses” path so many people are on. Dave Ramsey sums this up well with his quote “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”

Like most people I wasn’t naturally frugal, and still have room for improvement. The tips covered allowed my family to crush our credit card debt and go all in on our investments and building PASSIVE INCOME!

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What is Frugal Living?

Simply put, frugal living is spending less on things that don’t matter so you can invest greatly in those that do.

Frugality is buying the smaller home so you can afford more family trips and experiences. It’s shopping at the smaller grocery store so you can save more for retirement. And it’s saving more money in your younger years so you can retire early, with your best years yet to come.

Frugal living isn’t about being stingy, it’s about being resourceful.

It’s about finding ways to save where you can (whether via coupons, freebies or DIY hacks) so you can focus your money and attention on the things you truly value, whether that’s saving for a comfortable retirement, an early retirement, building passive income, traveling the world, or living a debt-free life.

Any number of the frugal tips below can help you achieve any of these, so read on and take action!

Simply put, frugal living is spending less on things that don’t matter so you can invest greatly in those that do  Frugal living isn’t about being stingy, it’s about being resourceful.  Like most people I wasn’t naturally frugal, and still have room for improvement. The tips covered allowed my family to crush our credit card debt and go all in on our investments and building PASSIVE INCOME!

1. Buy a reliable car in the “best” used window.

Just because a car is newer doesn’t make it safer. Unless you’re willing to spend more on maintenance and depreciation, purchase cars with a proven track record of reliability. Toyota first comes to my mind but shop around there are lots of great options.

As for a “best” used window, it’s estimated that cars lose half their value every three to five years, depending on the make and model of course. The window to buy a used car is four to ten years old.

2. Bike more.

People think they have to go all in on the cyclist lifestyle to bike to work. But just by biking to work a couple days a week can save you plenty of money over the course of a year. It also doesn’t have to be anything special, I used this Schwinn while stationed out in Hawaii.

3. Work from home.

The 4-Hour Workweek taught me that negotiating with your boss is an option, and allowed me to help a family member in need workout a more flexible AT HOME work schedule. And if you can’t work remote 100% of the time you can at least try to do part-time. Cutting down on the number of days you have to commute will make the biggest impact on your mileage and gas expense. This is especially applicable as more companies shifted with current health concerns, and the ease with all technology available today.

4. Stick to the grocery list.

A quick way to overspending on groceries is impulse buying. Make your grocery list based on your meal plan and stick to it. If you want a treat you can add it to the list beforehand but if it’s not there, avoid it.

5. Shop your pantry.

You’re not going to clear your pantry by using a spice packet here and there.  Its surprising how many people buy ingredients and come home put them up only to find out hey.. I have 4 of those already doh!

6. Have emergency meal supplies.

Some nights things don’t go as planned (That’s Life). Make sure you keep essentials for emergency meals in your pantry. Spaghetti, beans and rice, anything that will help you when you just can’t execute your meal plan. Something easy, healthy and that isn’t ordering out!

7. Buy your groceries online and pick them up.

If you still impulse buy, change how you shop. Grocery shopping online and picking up curbside can save you time, money, and temptation to impulse buy.

8. Take your lunch to work.

Sometimes going out for lunch is harder to avoid than dinner. Taking leftovers, making something the night before, or having ingredients at your desk are great options.

9. Limit grocery shopping to once per week.

You can grocery shop on Sunday and stick to your budget but if you find yourself making one or two extra stops throughout the week you budget may take a beating. “Well while I’m here I’ll just grab this too” come on you’ve said it.

10. Try generic.

If there are items you’re still buying name brand, try the generic version for a while. You may might decide to go back to buying the name brand but you also might be surprised by how good the generic version is. Try Dave Ramsey’s generic food calculations to see how much you could save on an average meal or week.

11. Use the “any item” rebates on Ibotta.

Unlike other saving apps that require you to buy brand name items, Ibotta has “any item,” “any brand,” and “any receipt” rebates so you can get cashback without compromising. If you haven’t used Ibotta before it’s worth trying and easy to earn a little money on items you are already buying every single week. For us it baby yogurt and fruits.

12. Use a dehumidifier to keep things cooler.

A dehumidifier removes humidity and makes a room feel cooler. If you struggle with a hot house in the summer, this can help run that A/C less or at least keep the thermostat set a little higher.

13. Install low flow toilets.

Flushing your toilet uses 38% of your home’s indoor water usage. When it’s time to replace your toilets go for the low flow and dual flush models.

14. Check Facebook Marketplace first.

Instead of going straight to Target or Amazon, check Facebook Marketplace first. It’s safer than Craigslist and you’ll be surprised by all the things you can find. 

15. Check out local pawn shops.

Need a small appliance and can’t find it on Facebook Marketplace? Head to a pawn shop! Pawn shops have a ton of outdoor equipment, kitchen items, electronics, etc, at great prices.