Looking for some incredible ways to save money on groceries? Reduce how much you spend on groceries and you will make a huge impact on your family’s budget. Here you’ll find the 10 best ways to do your grocery shopping on a budget.
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*Updated 1/2020 – These are great ideas for every year but they’ve been updated to help you Save Money on Groceries in 2020.
Since grocery shopping is such a large portion of your family’s budget, you can make a big difference by finding different ways to reduce what you’re spending on food. Read along to find new ways to save hundreds of dollars on groceries every month.
UPDATE: Grocery Budget Makeover, the class that has helped me save hundreds of dollars on groceries is open again. Go sign up here for the FREE Workshop right away.
A Frugal Family Grocery Budget
For the last 21 years, we have had to feed a family of 6-8 people. And, we managed most of those years on only one income.
We’re only able to do this by being very conscious of our grocery budget and learning some tips and tricks to save money on food.
I first work to make a frugal meal plan. Then, I follow the techniques below to save money on groceries, which have really helped stretch our family’s grocery budget.
Make sure and read 10 Secret Ways to Save Money on Meat, where you’ll get all the details for spending less on meat, too.
How To Save Money On Groceries
1. Buy the Loss-Leaders
Always look at the grocery store ads and see what the loss-leaders are this week.
Loss-leaders are usually the items promoted on the front page of the ad. The store is willing to take a loss in order to get you into their store. Stock up on these things and then plan your meals around them. This will be one of the biggest savings.
Related Reading: 10 Secret Ways to Save Money on Meat
2. Save Money on Meat
Protein is generally the biggest grocery expense, so if you can buy your meats at a rock-bottom price, then you’ll start out ahead. Read my full article on 10 Secret Ways to Save Money On Meat. Make sure to always buy when it’s on sale and stock your freezer.
If you get an amazing price on meat, use these freezer meal plans from MyFreezEasy to prep a bunch of freezer meals. Read Why You Need A Freezer Meal Plan to see how our family makes freezer meals. If you’re new at freezer meal prep, Erin at MyFreezEasy walks you right through the steps to make 10 meals in under an hour.
I started using this FREE app, and I’m so glad I did! I’ve gotten hundreds of dollars in cash back. I can cash it out, or let it accrue and buy gift cards with the money I make. It is so easy to use, too. Just check the list of product offerings and easily scan your receipt. If you sign up through this referral link, you get a $10 bonus.
4. Checkout 51
This is another rebate app I started using in addition to Ibotta. I like that by using them together, sometimes I can get double rebates. And, if you combine it with a coupon or sale you get amazing deals. Get $10 after uploading your first receipt.
5. Fetch Rewards
This is my new favorite Rebate app because every single grocery receipt will earn you points. You’ll get bonus points for many products, too. Use my referral code (T1WGP) and get 2000 points with your first receipt.
6. The Best Price on Everything You Purchase
I created a tutorial, How to Make a Grocery Price Book, to help you track prices. For example, I know that diced tomatoes will get down to $.50 per can and chicken breast can be bought for $1.69/lb., so when I see them on sale, I buy enough to last for a couple of months. I try to have enough to last until the next sale time it goes on sale.
Related: Save Tons with a Grocery Price Book
7. Stay Out of the Grocery Store
The less frequently you go to the grocery store, the fewer chances you have to blow your budget on junk food, or items not on sale. You can easily save $20 per week by only going once per month. Just run in quickly for eggs, produce and milk as needed. Don’t be tempted by anything else on these quick trips.
I’m not a huge fan of coupons, just because they are hard for me to keep organized and I don’t usually have access to them. However, I do pull a coupon out of a flyer when it is for an item I plan on buying soon.
It’s especially nice when I can use a coupon along with either the Ibotta app or Checkout 51. I just got 6 packages of cheese sticks for free by doing this. If you want some training on how to use coupons to save money, a great book to read is Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half.
9. Discount Grocery Stores
About once per month, I go to Grocery Outlet (a discount store) for groceries. I can usually get great prices on cereal, yogurt, snacks for the kids, frozen food, etc. I have to be really careful, tho, because I tend to buy more junk food than needed when I go there.
10. Eat Produce In Season
You can get pretty much any kind of produce year-round now, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good price or that it tastes good at all. Strawberries in the winter just don’t taste right, so stick to getting them in the summer.
I know that I can get apples, oranges, cabbage, and potatoes in the fall and winter for a great price, so that’s when we eat them. I don’t dare try to eat asparagus at $5.00/lb when I could wait a couple of months and get it for $2.00. Doing this keeps our budget in check.
11. Look for Markdowns
Figure out where to find the markdowns and how the markdowns are labeled at your grocery store. I travel the rounds at my store every time I’m there and find cheese, lunch meat, yogurt, ground beef, produce, bread, etc., that have all been marked down.
If you have a good understanding of what the typical sale prices are, then you can decide quickly if the item is marked down enough.
You can learn even more strategies by reading Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half by Steve & Annette Economides. I’ve had my copy for years and they go over topics like shopping, couponing, stocking-up, organizing, family dinnertime, and gardening. It’s a great book for learning about all kinds of techniques for saving on food. And, on a funny note – Good Morning America called them America’s Cheapest Family.
It’s so important to learn how to Make a Frugal Meal Plan in order to take the best advantage of all your grocery savings. And, if you’re looking for recipes that are naturally frugal, check out this article about using Eggs as a Budget Stretcher.
I’m excited for you to make a big dent in your grocery budget by these ideas to your grocery shopping routine. If you think about it, bringing down your grocery budget even 10% can save you $700 over the course of the year (based on a $600/month budget). Follow these 10 steps every time you go shopping and you will definitely save money and stretch your family’s grocery budget.