Saving money on groceries doesn’t just happen. You have to be diligent and creative when it comes to finding the best deal. Learn some of the ways I save money on groceries.
Thankfully for me, I view it as a game – the See How Much I Can Save game. You may not get such a thrill out of the challenge, but that’s ok, just do what works for you.
You don’t have to do all. the. things. to save money on groceries.
Just because I list 14 ways to save doesn’t mean you have to do all these things. I don’t even do all these things all the time. What works for one season of life or year may not work during another season.
Make it work for you.
If you have a Kroger nearby, check out Money Saving Mom. Crystal is always posting her great finds!
Check out the 14 ways I save money on groceries.
1. Shop Sale Fliers
I live in a small town so I have a grocery store and Walmart for my grocery options. With only one flier to check, I can easily know what’s cheapest because I don’t have to compare five or seven fliers! And now that Walmart quit price matching (at least our Walmart…) it is more important to check the other flier.
If grapes are on sale one week, then make grapes the fruit for your family that week. Or oranges or apples. If there aren’t any fruits on great sale, then I won’t buy any. We will eat applesauce or peaches that I’ve canned.
Yes, with littles in the car it is much more difficult to get in and out at five different stores than just one. I get it – and I only have one kid! Ease your way into adding a stop or two and see how it goes. Maybe your sanity is more valuable than saving a few bucks. Then definitely honor your sanity!
2. Buy in Bulk
In order to buy in bulk, you do have to have a way to store your purchases. I am blessed with an extra fridge in the garage and a chest freezer in the basement. My pantry is set up for bins and buckets to fit under the bottom shelf.
The kind of white flour that I like never goes on sale so I always buy the biggest bag and store the rest in a bin
We have neighbors who do maple syrup so I can buy a gallon at a time and store it in my garage fridge after its been opened. I can buy honey by the gallon from our other neighbors so I store the excess in my pantry.
My out-of-state cousin had a ton of extra eggs so I was able to buy 20 dozen from him and keep them in my fridge.
3. Use Coupons
Because I don’t buy a ton of mainstream items, I don’t save a ton of money with coupons. But there are a lot of great websites that you can print coupons off of. Or check the Sunday paper for coupons to clip. Scan the store shelves for coupons the store makes available.
I’m by no means an extreme couponer but I’ll carry around a wad of them in my wallet.
4. What’s Cheapest per Ounce
Most stores post the cost per unit on the shelf price sticker. You have to read the tiny print to figure out what size or brand is the cheapest per ounce or unit.
If the price tag doesn’t show the unit price, just whip out your phone and use the calculator to divide the price by the ounces.
5. Don’t Always Buy What’s Cheapest Per Ounce
For instance, the five pound bag of chocolate chips is cheaper per ounce than five 12 ounce bags of chocolate chips. I would still buy the individual bags.
Why? Because one batch of cookies takes one bag of chips. If I open a five pound bag of chips and leave it open in my cupboard, they will disappear. I will snack on them, my husband will snack on them and before I know it, five pounds are gone! But an unopened bag in my cupboard is always safe.
I learned this logic from my friend who has seven children. She refused to buy the big boxes of cereal even though they were cheaper per ounce (but cost more). She knew that once the box was opened, the kids would eat until it was gone. By getting the smaller box she saved money because her family would still only eat one box.
6. Check the Discount Bin
My small grocery store always has a tiny freezer by the meat department with marked down meat and dairy items. They are slightly expired or must be frozen that day. Because I have the freezer space, I can stock up.
They also have a cart parked back in a corner with marked down dry goods. Dented cans, discontinued items and much more.
When my son was going through a streak of not eating any food I blended for him, this discount section saved me. The store was discontinuing a line of baby food so I picked up 30 jars for 10 cents a piece!
7. Only Buy What You Need
Even though I check fliers for the best price, I still am only looking for the items I would normally buy. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean I should buy it. If I’m not going to use it, buying it won’t save me any money.
8. Not Brand Loyal
Most things I don’t care about the brand, I just read ingredients. Pasta, sauces, cream, baking chips, sugar are all things that I buy what’s cheapest.
Now if I’m going to splurge on a rare box of Oreos, they better be Oreo brand because nothing else will cut it!
Most of our meals I make at home. I bake our own breads and desserts. I make mayonnaise and ranch dressing. Gravies and sauces I make from scratch, too.
My next adventure is to start making jerky and marshmallows! Odd combo, but it’s what’s on my list.
I have space for a large garden so I can raise much of our fresh produce and extra to can and freeze. If you only have a deck or patio, take advantage of that space! Put out a few tomato plants or lettuce. Make a little herb garden for your windowsill.
Or find friend with some extra space you can put a garden. Not only will you nurture your body, you will make deeper friendship!
11. Canning and Freezing
I spend my summer putting up what produce is in season. Or if the store has marked down a bunch of produce, I take that home and can or freeze it. I’ve got enough canned green beans, tomato sauce, pie filling, peaches and much more to last the winter. My freezer is full of rhubarb, sweet corn and berries that I froze.
Yes, I still have to buy some things at full price, but rarely.
Also, with freezer or fridge space I can stock up on butter when our gas station runs their bi-annual sale.
12. Fresh isn’t Essential
If fresh produce isn’t in your budget at all right now, don’t sweat it! Just hit up the frozen or canned isles for your fruit and veggie needs. Sure, you may be missing out on some nutrients, but it’s better than nothing! [Plus, there are several fruits and veggies I only like canned anyways.]
13. Bent and Dent Stores
These stores are my favorite. They are stores that get in damaged or expired goods in bulk. I love wandering the isles looking for new things to try or that super bargain. My last trip to a damaged goods store I got a great deal on natural peanut butter. The containers were sealed but the labels were messed up. So I stocked up!
14. Ibotta and Checkout 51
…and so many other apps. These aren’t usually huge savings, but if you use them regularly your savings will add up!
My biggest savings come from Ibotta because I can use it on Walmart purchases. Once in a while I get to a bigger town and can shop at Woodman’s.