How To Save Money While Grocery Shopping

How To Save Money While Grocery ShoppingA while back we had a guest post on Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries, and since we’ve instituted our family budget I’ve found the grocery store to be one of the biggest and easiest areas to overspend. Spending money on food can always be justified or so I used to tell myself. No one had to know about the magazines or pretty napkins I was adding to the cart. With our new budget now in full force these items needed to be accounted for and I had to look long and hard at how I spent money at the grocery store. So I’d like to add my own ideas and restate some ideas from the above-mentioned post on how to save money at the grocery store.

How To Save Money While Grocery Shopping


  1. Always make a meal plan before you set out to the grocery shopping. Then check your cupboards, fridge and freezer for the ingredients you’ll need to make each meal. You’ll find a freezer list comes in handy here. Only write down the items you need. Doing this will also save you from having to go to the grocery store multiple times a week. If money is tight, check what you have on hand and incorporate those items into the plan.
  2. Check the flyers, you can do this online or the old fashioned way. See what’s on sale and be on the look out for ingredients you can use in your current meal plan. If there’s a really good deal on an item you might want to substitute a meal to take advantage of the savings.
  3. Oftentimes our local grocery store will have a buy 2 for the price of X. Did you know you can usually buy one and still get the good price?  Resist the temptation to buy multiple items, thus spending more than you can afford or would like. Only take advantage of these multi-buy sales if your family truly uses the item on a regular basis.
  4. Avoid bulk stores unless you have a large family or are feeding a crowd. This way you’ll avoid buying food you might end up throwing out later.
  5. Stock up on paper products (ie. toilet paper, kleenex) when they are on sale if your budget allows.
  6. Leave the kids at home if you find they distract you or ask you to buy items you don’t need.
  7. Never, ever go to the grocery store hungry. Every item in the store will look delicious and you’ll come out with twice as many items as you need. Trust me, I know.
  8. If you have a freezer, take advantage of meat sales. Buying in bulk saves money but do so only when you can afford it and when the item is at a good discount.
  9. Only go into the aisles you need items from and avoid the others.
  10. Mark items off the list as you put them in your cart.
  11. Comparison shop for items when you’re in the store. Often there will be several offerings of the same item by different manufacturers. Check the price, ingredient list and size before you buy.
  12. Store brands are cheaper but not all are created equally. Only buy those store brands your family likes. Don’t be afraid to try new ones too.
  13. Eating healthy saves money. Keep most of your purchases to the outside aisles of the grocery stores. You pay extra for processed foods, from your pocketbook and your health.
  14. Stay focused and stay out of the merchandise aisles. Our grocery store includes a clothing section and seasonal housewares section. I try to stay out of those to avoid impulse spending.
  15. Use online sources for new recipes and leave the magazines on the shelf at the grocery store.
  16. Pay with cash. Knowing you only have a certain amount of money to spend will keep you away from impulse buying.
  17. Opt for the smaller cart size.
  18. If you’re only going in for one item, don’t take a cart.
  19. Shop at multiple stores. Find out which stores in your area have the lowest prices on certain items your family likes or uses most. For example. We love milk, our drug store sells milk for 60 cents less than the grocery store so we buy it there and enjoy the savings.
  20. Bring your own bags or bins. Many stores now charge for plastic bags.
  21. Bonus tip: Clip coupons for items that you know you will need.

You might not have the time or desire to practice all of these money saving techniques but even including some of them will help you save money at the grocery store.

We’d love to hear your money saving ideas!

Happy saving and shopping,

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  1. I would say, some stores give you a credit for bringing your own bags. Target it is .5 which adds up when you shop there once month. My local grocery store credits .25 with a maximum of a dollar.

  2. Definitely leave the kids home! :) Mine tend to put things in the cart when I’m not looking….
    I had no idea some stores are charging for bags — definitely wise to bring your own then!

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