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How To Save Money on Groceries in 2023
Are you tired of watching your hard earned dollars disappear at the checkout counter on just a handful of items?
You are not alone!
My frugal friend, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to save money on groceries.
In the midst of soaring prices and economic uncertainties, it’s time to take control of your grocery budget and discover the power of strategic savings.
If there’s one thing I’m glad I’ve learnt to do every time the economy takes a turn for the worse, it’s how to save money on groceries.
So, welcome to my ultimate guide on how to slash your grocery bill in 2023!
Whether you’re a seasoned bargain hunter or a novice looking to stretch every dollar, I’ve got you covered with 13 genius strategies. These will help to leave more money in your pocket without sacrificing the quality of your meals.
Get ready to unlock the secrets of savvy shopping, master the art of meal planning and embrace a deliciously frugal lifestyle.
Let’s dive in and uncover the hidden gems that will transform your shopping experience.
Your bank account will be rejoicing in no time!
PIN THIS: This post is lengthy because I wanted to pack as much useful information as possible to help you save the most on groceries. Make sure to pin this to your relevant Pinterest board so you can always come back and find the latest tips and strategies on how to save money on groceries.
1. Plan Ahead
This might sound stupidly obvious but planning ahead is almost always guaranteed to save you cash.
By taking the time to create a weekly meal plan, make a detailed shopping list and avoid impulse buying, you can greatly reduce your grocery bill.
Trust me when I say that creating a weekly meal plan is a powerful tool for cost effective grocery shopping. You can map out your meals for the week while ensuring that you only buy the ingredients you need and minimize food waste. When you’re a gal or a guy with a plan, you can focus on buying specific items and avoid unnecessary purchases that quickly add up!
Once you have your meal plan ready, it’s time to make a detailed shopping list. Your list should be based on the meals you’ve planned, and only the necessary ingredients. Make use of what you already have at home and prioritize purchasing items that are running low or completely gone. When you have a well organized shopping list, you can navigate the grocery store with purpose and avoid aimlessly tossing items into your cart. Which we’re all guilty of doing at some point!
And which leads me to my next point…
One of the biggest challenges during a grocery shop is resisting the temptation of impulse buying. You know what I’m talking about! It’s too easy to get swayed by attractive displays, discounts or hunger-induced cravings. But! Sticking to your shopping list is essential to stay on track. Train yourself to resist those impulsive purchases by reminding yourself of your financial goals and the items you genuinely need. If you come across something not on your list but still want to get it, take a moment to ask yourself if it fits in with your priorities and budget. Often, you’ll find that passing on those impulse buys is the smarter choice.
TIP: Something I always avoid is doing a grocery shop when I’m hungry. It clouds my judgement and makes me more susceptible to buying things I don’t need.
So, I always eat a snack or meal before heading to the store to keep my hunger at bay and to help me make more rational buying decisions. I highly recommend you do the same!
2. Price Comparison = Smart Shopping!
Price comparing is a super important strategy when it comes to learning how to save money on groceries. When you compare prices across different stores, you can find the best deals and make better informed purchasing decisions.
In one store, prices can vary between different brands and sizes of the same product. So take the time to compare prices and choose the more affordable options without compromising on quality. Pay attention to the unit price, which provides a standardized comparison across different package sizes. This way, you’ll find which option offers the best value for your money.
As well as comparing prices inside a single store, it also helps to compare prices across different stores in your area. You’re likely to find that different retailers offer varying prices on the same products, so it’s worth exploring your options! Check out your local supermarkets, discount stores and even online grocery platforms to find the best discounts. Yes, it can take a bit of extra time and effort, but the savings can be well worth it.
When you take advantage of discounts, promotions and loyalty programs, you can start to see the difference it makes to your grocery bill. So keep an eye out for weekly specials, coupons and loyalty rewards offered by stores. A lot of retailers have loyalty cards or apps that offer exclusive discounts and personalized offers. Sign up for these programs to get more savings and maximize your budget.
It’s a good idea to use price comparison websites or mobile apps to help streamline your research and find the best deals. These platforms are handy because you can easily compare prices across multiple stores. Then you can add the best priced items to your shopping list before heading to the store.
Remember, every dollar saved adds up over time! And in turn will help you achieve your financial goals while still providing for your family’s needs.
3. Shop Seasonal!
Seasonal shopping is a MUST for saving money on groceries while enjoying the freshest and most tasty produce. When you buy fruits and veggies in season, you get to reap the benefits from their peak quality and abundance, often at lower prices compared to out of season produce.
One of the best things about buying seasonal produce is its superior taste. Fruit and veg that are in season are typically harvested at their prime, meaning they are more flavorful, juicier and have a better texture. Yum!
And of course, one of the biggest benefits of seasonal shopping is the money you save. When a particular fruit or vegetable is in abundance, farmers and suppliers are more likely to offer competitive prices to sell their surplus. This gives you the opportunity to purchase them at a lower price. Also, when produce is in season, it doesn’t have to be transported long distances or stored for extended periods, which can reduce the overall cost.
To take advantage of seasonal produce, keep an eye on what’s in season during different times of the year. Local farmers’ markets, grocery store displays and online resources can give you information on what’s currently in season in your area. When you’re aware of the seasonal availability, you can plan your meals accordingly and focus on using those specific ingredients.
TIP: When you come across a large amount of seasonal produce or find it at a very good price, consider preserving or freezing the excess. Preserving methods such as canning, pickling or making jams and sauces can help you extend the shelf life of the produce and enjoy it beyond its season.
Freezing is another excellent option for preserving your fruit and veg. You just clean, chop and store them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Then, you can enjoy the taste of seasonal produce even during the off-season.
4. Save Money on Groceries with Buying in Bulk
Now let’s talk buying in bulk.
Buying in bulk is a savvy way to save money on groceries, especially when it comes to non-perishable items (as we touched on above). Buying items in large amounts has its advantages and cost saving opportunities.
First and foremost, buying in bulk allows you to take advantage of lower unit prices. When you purchase more products, you often benefit from discounted prices compared to buying individual or smaller sized packages. This can lead to significant savings over time, especially for frequently used items like rice, pasta, canned goods, cleaning supplies and toiletries.
Non-perishable items are particularly good to buy in bulk. These have longer shelf lives that don’t spoil quickly, such as dried beans, grains, spices, canned goods and paper products. Buying non-perishable items in bulk gives you a stockpile of essentials that can last for longer periods. This equals less trips to the grocery store, saving time and money.
Just make sure you have enough storage space and check the items won’t expire before you can use them!
To make the most of your bulk purchases, be sure to use proper storage techniques. It’s important to store non-perishable items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. This helps to maintain their quality and extend their shelf life. Use airtight containers or resealable bags to prevent air exposure, which can lead to staleness or loss of flavor. Labeling containers with purchase dates can also help you keep track of freshness and rotate your stock effectively.
Some saving strategies for bulk buying include planning your purchases based on your needs and preferences. Again, make a list of essential non-perishable items that you regularly use and estimate quantities that will last you a reasonable period. This also helps to prevent wastage and ensures you’re maximizing your savings without overstocking. Also keep in mind sales and promotions, as they can further reduce the cost of bulk items. Consider joining a warehouse club or co-op, which often offer discounted prices and bulk options for various products too.
So, next time you’re at the store, consider purchasing in bulk and watch your grocery budget go the extra mile.
5. Store Brands vs Generic
It’s worth paying attention to the difference between purchasing store brands and generic products. You can save money on groceries when you choose generic over branded products. Here are some reasons why it’s worth considering:
Cost Savings: Store brands are typically more affordable than branded products. When you opt for store brands, you can often enjoy comparable quality at a lower price. These products are produced by the retailer themselves or in partnership with manufacturers, allowing them to offer competitive pricing.
Similar Quality: Store brands have come a long way in terms of quality. Many retailers invest in developing their store brand products to meet or exceed the standards of branded items. In some cases, the store brand products are even manufactured by the same companies that produce the branded versions. This means you can get a similar product experience while saving money.
Value for Money: Choosing store brands allows you to get more value for your money. Don’t be tricked into thinking the lower price necessarily means having to sacrifice quality or taste. You can often find store brand versions of various food items, household essentials and personal care products that are just as good as their branded counterparts.
To assess the quality and value of store brands, consider the following tips:
Check the Ingredients: Compare the ingredient list of the store brand product with the branded version. If the ingredients are similar or identical, it’s a good indicator that the store brand offers comparable quality.
Look for Certifications: Check for certifications such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, or Fair Trade on store brand products. These certifications ensure certain quality standards are met, giving you confidence in the product’s quality.
Read Customer Reviews: Look for online reviews or ask friends and family about their experiences with specific store brand products. This can provide insights into the quality and value of the products you are considering.
Examples of popular store brands to consider include:
- Kirkland Signature (Costco): Known for offering a wide range of high-quality products across various categories, including food, household items and more.
- Great Value (Walmart): Walmart’s store brand offering affordable options for groceries, household essentials and personal care items.
- 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods Market): Whole Foods’ store brand focusing on natural and organic products.
- Market Pantry (Target): Target’s store brand offering a variety of food and beverage products at competitive prices.
By embracing store brands and generic products, you can save money on your grocery bill without compromising on quality. You might be pleasantly surprised by the savings and value these products can offer.
More Ways on How To Save Money on Groceries…
6. Using Coupons and Vouchers
If you follow along with my blog you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of all things coupons, vouchers and using gift cards to save money.
So if you want to learn the best ways on how to save money on groceries by using coupons and vouchers, here’s how you can effectively use them:
Find Coupons: Look for coupons in various sources such as newspapers, magazines, coupon websites and manufacturer websites. Also, keep an eye out for coupon booklets available at stores or in your mailbox. Online coupon platforms and mobile apps dedicated to coupons are also valuable resources.
Plan Your Shopping List: Before heading to the store, create a shopping list on what you need. Once you have your list, search for coupons that match those items. This way, you can specifically target discounts for the products you plan to purchase.
Stack and Combine Coupons: Some stores allow you to stack coupons, meaning you can use multiple coupons on a single item. So look for opportunities to combine manufacturer coupons with store coupons or promotions to maximize your savings.
Explore Digital Vouchers and Cashback Apps: Take advantage of digital vouchers and cashback apps that offer discounts and cashback rewards. Many grocery stores have their own mobile apps that provide exclusive deals and discounts. Also, cashback apps allow you to earn money back on eligible purchases, which can further reduce your grocery expenses.
Sign Up for Store Loyalty Programs: Join store loyalty programs to access exclusive discounts, personalized offers and special promotions. These programs often provide digital coupons that can be easily loaded onto your account or loyalty card.
Pay Attention to Expiration Dates: Take note of coupon expiration dates and plan your shopping accordingly. Avoid holding onto coupons for too long.
Remember, coupons and vouchers are not just limited to paper form. Many retailers offer digital coupons that can be loaded onto your store loyalty card or scanned from your smartphone.
Embrace technology to simplify the couponing process!
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7. Smarter Shopping Habits
When you’re learning how to save money on groceries, you’ll find that by incorporating smarter shopping habits you start to notice your savings go up. Here are some effective strategies on how to save money on groceries:
Create and Stick to a Shopping List: Make a detailed shopping list based on your meal plan and specific needs. By knowing exactly what you need, you can avoid unnecessary purchases and reduce the chances of impulse buying.
Compare Prices: Compare prices of similar products across different brands and sizes. Look for price tags on the shelves or use store apps to check for discounts and promotions. Go for the most cost effective options without compromising quality.
Stay Focused and Disciplined: Stick to your shopping list and resist the urge to stray from it. Avoid unnecessary aisles or sections that may tempt you to make impulse purchases. Remember, every unplanned item can impact your overall spending.
Shop with Cash or a Set Limit: Consider using cash for your grocery shopping instead of relying solely on cards. When you have a set amount of cash, it becomes more tangible, making you more mindful of your spending. It can also prevent overspending and keep you within your budget.
Shop During Off-Peak Hours: Grocery stores are often less crowded during off-peak hours, which can help you stay focused and avoid rushing. Also, some stores may offer discounts on specific items during these quieter periods.
8. Minimize Convenience Foods
Minimizing convenience foods is not only healthier, it can have a significant impact on saving money.
Here’s why and how:
Cost of Processed and Pre-Packaged Foods: Convenience foods, such as processed meals, pre-packaged snacks and ready-to-eat items, are usually more expensive to purchase. You pay for the convenience factor and the packaging, which adds up over time and increases your grocery bill.
Benefits of Cooking from Scratch: Cooking from scratch using fresh, whole ingredients is not only healthier but also more cost effective. By preparing meals at home, you have control over the ingredients and portion sizes, and you can avoid the added costs of processing, packaging and marketing associated with convenience foods.
Choosing Whole Foods: Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and lean proteins offer better nutritional value and are often more affordable than processed alternatives. They can be purchased in bulk and you can create a good variety of meals and snacks.
Meal Planning and Batch Cooking: Meal planning helps you make the most of your ingredients, reduces food waste and saves money. Again, plan your meals for the week, consider ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes and prepare larger quantities to have leftovers for future meals. Batch cooking and freezing portions saves time and money in the long run.
DIY Snacks and Staples: Instead of purchasing pre-packaged snacks, consider making your own. Homemade granola bars, energy bites or trail mix can be more economical and healthier alternatives. Similarly, making your own staples like salad dressings, sauces and spice blends can save money and be used in a variety of dishes.
Gardening or Buying Locally: Growing your own herbs, vegetables or fruits in a small garden or supporting local farmers’ markets can provide you with fresh, affordable produce. It promotes sustainability, reduces transportation costs and supports local businesses. It’s a win-win!
Embrace Simple Recipes: Explore simple and budget friendly recipes that require fewer ingredients and less preparation time. There are hundreds of useful websites that offer ideas for delicious and economical meals.
9. Get the Most From Your Leftovers
Utilizing your leftovers is a smart and effective way to save money and reduce food waste. Here’s why it’s important and some tips on how to make the most of your leftovers.
COST SAVINGS AND REDUCED FOOD WASTE
Leftovers provide an opportunity to stretch your food budget further. Instead of letting unused food go to waste, repurposing leftovers into new meals allows you to get the most from your groceries and save money by minimizing the need to buy additional ingredients.
Repurposing leftovers into new meals can be both exciting and delicious! Get creative in the kitchen by transforming yesterday’s dinner into something entirely different. For example, I love to turn leftover roasted chicken into a yummy chicken salad, sandwich or added to a curry. Stale bread can be used to make breadcrumbs or transformed into a tasty bread pudding.
MEAL PLANNING WITH LEFTOVERS
Plan meals that use similar ingredients or flavors, so you can repurpose leftovers seamlessly. For example, roast extra veggies one night and use them as a filling for wraps or a topping for salads the next day.
FREEZING AND STORING LEFTOVERS
Invest in airtight containers or freezer bags that are best for freezing. Label and date your leftovers and store them in the refrigerator or freezer quickly. This way, you’ll have ready-to-eat meals or ingredients for future use, saving you time and money during those busy weeks.
BATCH COOKING AND PORTION CONTROL
Consider intentionally cooking larger quantities of certain meals to have leftovers for future meals. This is especially useful for dishes like soups, stews and casseroles that often taste even better the next day. Also, practicing portion control when serving meals can help ensure that there will be enough leftovers for future meals, reducing waste and stretching your budget.
PREVENTING FOOD WASTE
By utilizing leftovers, you actively contribute to reducing food waste, which has a positive impact on the environment. Food waste is not only costly but also has significant environmental consequences. When you use up your leftovers, you’re helping to conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production and disposal. Go you!
Remember, when working with leftovers, it’s important to practice proper food safety and ensure that the food is stored and reheated following recommended guidelines.
With a bit of creativity, planning and storage know-how, you can make the most of your leftovers, save money, and minimize food waste, all while enjoying delicious meals.
10. DIY and Meal Prep
Along with the strategies and approaches mentioned above to save both time and money on food, DIY approaches and meal prep are very powerful strategies too.
Let’s explore the benefits of these and look at some useful tips for incorporating them into your routine:
Cutting Costs with DIY: One of the primary benefits of DIY approaches is the potential for some BIG savings. When you take charge of preparing your own meals and snacks, you have control over the ingredients and portions, eliminating the need to rely on expensive pre-packaged or takeout options. When you buy raw ingredients and making meals from scratch, you’ll save money on convenience fees and markups.
Preparing Ingredients and Meals at Home: Cooking your own meals at home allows you to make healthier choices and customize your meals to suit your preferences. It also gives you the freedom to experiment with flavors and try new recipes. By investing time in meal prep, you can avoid relying on expensive convenience foods and have better control over the quality and nutritional content of your meals.
Meal Prepping for Time and Money Savings: Meal prepping involves preparing a batch of meals or ingredients in advance to have throughout the week. This approach saves me SO MUCH time but also helps me make the most out of my grocery budget. By planning and prepping meals ahead of time, you can take advantage of bulk purchases, reduce food waste and lessen the temptation to order takeout or dine out impulsively. Something I’ve been guilty of in the past!
Tips For Effective Meal Planning:
- Plan your meals: Take some time each week to plan your meals and create a shopping list based on those plans. This helps me to stay organized and focused while I’m grocery shopping.
- Cook in bulk: Make larger portions of dishes that can be easily reheated or repurposed into different meals. This saves time and ensures you have meals ready to go throughout the week or month.
- Utilize versatile ingredients: Opt for ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes. For example, roasted chicken can be enjoyed as a main course one day and shredded for salads or wraps the next (one of my favorite ways to repurpose leftovers).
- Proper storage: Invest in high quality food storage containers to keep your prepped meals and ingredients fresh. Properly portion and label your meals for easy identification and to avoid waste.
- Freeze for later: If you’re prepping meals for the more longer term, consider freezing individual portions. Then, you can enjoy a variety of meals without worrying about spoilage.
These practices empower you to take control of your food choices, get creative in the kitchen and ultimately lead to a more satisfying and budget friendly experience.
Make sure you give them a go!
11. Minimizing Food Waste
When we minimize food waste, we’re not only reducing our environmental impact but also saving money on groceries.
Let’s briefly discuss the importance of reducing food waste and some practical tips to help you prevent spoilage and creatively use up ingredients that are due to expire:
Environmental and Ethical Impact: Food waste contributes to environmental issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of natural resources. By minimizing food waste, you can play a part in reducing these impacts and promoting sustainability. It also helps address global hunger and ensures the efficient use of resources.
Financial Savings: When you throw away food, you’re essentially throwing away money. By taking steps to minimize food waste, you can stretch your grocery budget further and save money in the long run. By utilizing ingredients fully and preventing spoilage, you maximize the value of your purchases and avoid unnecessary costs.
Organize Pantry and Refrigerator: Proper organization is key to preventing food spoilage. Keep your pantry and refrigerator tidy and well-organized to ensure items are easily visible and accessible. Use the “first in, first out” principle by placing newer items behind older ones, so you use up ingredients before they expire.
Label and Date: Labeling items with dates helps you keep track of when they were purchased or prepped. This helps you to prioritize using ingredients nearing expiration and not forgetting about them. You can rest easy that food stays fresh and it reduces the chances of it going to waste.
Some reminders and tips about how to minimize waste are:
- Getting creative with leftovers
- Preserving and freezing food items that are about to expire
- Plan your meals strategically
- Store your food properly and in the correct containers and bags
12. How To Save Money on Groceries By Growing Your Own
It’s been a lifelong dream of mine (well, maybe not that long but a long time) to grow my own fruit and veg! I’ll get there one day, for now it’s just a few herbs 😂
Growing your own herbs, fruits or veggies at home has so many advantages, ranging from fresh flavors to cost savings.
Here are some benefits of home gardening, along with some tips for starting a small garden and the cost saving advantages of homegrown produce:
Fresh and Flavorful: Homegrown produce simply tastes better. When you grow herbs, fruits, or vegetables in your own garden, you have immediate access to the freshest ingredients possible. Harvesting them at peak ripeness ensures maximum flavor, enhancing the taste and quality of your meals.
Nutritional Value: Homegrown produce is packed with nutrients. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose nutrients as soon as they are harvested. By growing your own, you can enjoy maximum nutritional value as you consume them straight after picking. This will ensure that you and your family receive the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in freshly harvested produce.
Cost Savings: Growing your own herbs, fruits, or vegetables can significantly reduce your grocery expenses. Seeds and starter plants are often more affordable than purchasing the equivalent amount of produce from a store. By investing a little time and effort, you can yield a bountiful harvest, saving money in the long run!
Control over Pesticides and Chemicals: When you grow your own food, you have control over what goes into it. You can choose to cultivate your plants organically, avoiding the use of pesticides and harmful chemicals. Then you can enjoy wholesome, chemical free produce.
Connecting with Nature: Gardening gives you the chance to connect with nature and experience the joy of nurturing plants from seedlings to harvest. It provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as you watch your plants grow and thrive. Gardening also offers relaxation and stress relief, which is a good way to unwind and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors.
Tips for Starting a Small Garden: Begin by selecting plants that are suitable for your region and growing conditions. Start with easy to grow herbs (like me haha) or vegetables you like and use. Ensure your plants receive adequate sunlight, water and the right nutrients. Consider companion planting to maximize space and deter pests naturally. Regularly maintain your garden by weeding, pruning and providing necessary care to promote healthy growth.
Utilizing Available Space: You don’t need a large backyard to start a garden. Even with limited space, you can make use of containers, vertical gardening techniques, or small raised beds to grow herbs, fruits or vegetables. Balconies, patios and windowsills can all be transformed into productive garden spaces.
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH SMALL SPACES:
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Environmental Sustainability: Growing your own food contributes to environmental sustainability. When you don’t depend as much on commercially grown produce, you decrease the carbon footprint associated with transportation and the use of chemical inputs in large scale agriculture.
By growing herbs, fruits and veggies at home, you can enjoy the fresh flavors, nutritional benefits, cost savings and a deeper connection with nature. So, start small, utilize available space creatively and savor the satisfaction of homegrown produce that nourishes both body and soul. 😊
13. Freezing and Preserving Your Food
As already mentioned throughout this post, freezing and preserving food is a great way to save you money.
By freezing perishable items, you extend their shelf life so you can use them at a later time instead of letting them go to waste. This way you can take advantage of sales, discounts and bulk purchases, stocking up on items when they are priced lower and preserving them for later use. So you can enjoy savings throughout the year and reduce the need to buy fresh ingredients every time you cook.
A reminder that proper techniques for freezing, such as using airtight containers or freezer bags, help maintain the flavor and texture of the food while preventing freezer burn.
By planning ahead, organizing your preserved items and embracing cost effective preservation techniques, you can enjoy the benefits of having readily available, high quality ingredients while minimizing your grocery expenses in the long run.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON GROCERIES WITH AN EASY WEEKLY MEAL PLAN
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Did you find these tips helpful or have anything you want to add? Let me know in the comments your favorite ways to save money at the grocery store!
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