Ready to save money on groceries?
So I have a confession. I love love love shopping. But at the same time, I’m very frugal and hate spending more than I need to. As the self-proclaimed “Deal Queen”, I’m always looking for new (and easy) ways that I can save money on the things I buy all the time–groceries. Plus, keep reading to get the FREE printable meal planner! Here are some of the things I’ve learned from shopping over the years:
Read the weekly flyers
You probably get a stack of grocery flyers every week, and you may just toss them out immediately. I highly recommend reading them to get a good idea of where you can save. At the very least, glance over the front page where the best deals are. Without looking at these flyers, I may never know that our health foods store is having amazing deals on fresh fruit! (Keep reading for ideas on what to do if you end up buying 4 cartons of strawberries from said deal) Utilizing the flyers doesn’t require clipping coupons, but it can help you plan meals for the week that integrate meat or veggie specials to help you save money. This goes hand in hand with buying things in season, as what’s in season will usually be highlighted as great deals in the weekly flyers.
Use tools like ibotta and Cartwheel
I always have my phone in my hand when I’m shopping in the grocery store. Not only do I keep my list on a note digitally, but I’m always scanning things with the ibotta app or Cartwheel if I’m at Target. For using ibotta, try to search the available rebates before shopping, and add the deals you think you might use. It’s okay if you add too many, because after you shop you’ll only select what you got. If you don’t look through the app before you go, I recommend searching for each item quickly as you add it to your cart. This prevents you from having to dig through your cart later as you’re checking out (I’m guilty of this way too often). Then, all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and the money is added to your account! You can cash out in the form of Paypal or gift card for major stores. Pro tip: use the generic rebates such as $0.25 off any cheese or $0.50 off any milk on store brand items for even more savings!
You can get $10 free credit on the ibotta app when you sign up and submit your first receipt by using the referral code “kfq3g”! Why would you pass up free money?
(Also I promise ibotta isn’t sponsoring me, I just think it’s a very useful app!)
Shop at a local discount store such as Aldi
Another good way to save money on groceries without having to expend any special effort is shopping for staples–or do all of you shopping–at stores such as Aldi. They are open limited hours and don’t have the biggest stores, but that ultimately saves you a ton of money in the long run. I find great deals on eggs, milk and cheese, produce (their fruit is always in amazing condition in my experience) and meat. They even have home goods that rotate seasonally and you can manage to snag some great finds.
If you don’t have an Aldi in your area, search online for stores that might compare. They may not be as ~luxe~ as a big new Kroger, but you can save so much without doing any extra work. The last town I lived in had a small grocery called Ruler Foods. It’s owned by Kroger and carried all the Kroger brands, but it was insanely cheap! I used to buy packages of 8 pork chops for ~$2-3. Man I miss that place.
Want an easy way to keep track of your meals for the week? Download my FREE printable meal planner worksheet! It has spaces to write down recipe names and the specific ingredients you will need! Enter your email to get it send straight to you below.
Don’t buy prepackaged if you can help it
If you buy a lot of fresh produce, especially spinach or lettuce, you should be buying it unpackaged. It’s incredibly easy to grab the plastic containers of pre-washed, de-stemmed spinach or lettuce leaves. However, at my Kroger these usually run around $3.99. Alternatively, you could pick up a head of romaine for around $1.50 or a fresh bunch of spinach for $1.29! You may have to rinse and chop some stems off, but it really brings down the price of green smoothies (my latest obsession) and salads. This works for all kinds of foods but I notice it saving me a lot of money on things like greens, radishes, an other fresh produce.
Don’t be afraid to freeze!
Remember earlier when I mentioned the great deals from the weekly flyer? What do you do if you go a little overboard (on accident or on purpose) and buy more fresh fruit or veggies than you can use before it starts going bad? This happens to me a lot since it’s just me and my boyfriend to feed at home, and I can’t pass up good deals on fruit. Go buy some sturdy freezer baggies and freeze that produce! It’ll keep for much much longer, and you can either thaw as needed or use it frozen in smoothies. Frozen fruit can get expensive, so making your own with in-season produce is a double win: no food waste, and it saves you money!
Buy too much fruit on sale and it’s going bad? Don’t be afraid to freeze! #savemoney #lifehacks http://www.thegracefulgeek.com/6-ways-save-money-groceries/
Buy in bulk
My final tip is, buy in bulk when possible. This especially helps with grains, nuts, and a lot of non-perishables. Check to see if your grocery store has a bulk isle where you can dispense things like rice and quinoa into a plastic bag and price it per pound. We have a health foods store that even does spices priced per ounce (and it has saved me TONS). This not only saves you from having to buy the same 1lb bag of rice over and over again, it reduces waste and even incentivizes you to store things in reusable containers.
There you go, 6 tips to help you save money on groceries. Use a few or all of these in conjunction, and you’ll notice the savings for sure. Think it’ll help others? Share on Pinterest by using the share buttons below!