Money Management

Absolutely Every Grocery Savings Hack On The Internet

grocery savings

If you’re serious about saving money, you don’t want a handful of grocery savings hacks. You want them all. But you don’t have time to sort through 30 blog posts to find them all. Well, you don’t have to because I’ve collected the grocery savings tips and hacks from over 30 blogs posts into this single post.I’ve collected the grocery savings tips and hacks from over 30 blogs posts into this single post. Click To Tweet

A family’s grocery bill is generally the largest variable expense they have. This is the expense that can benefit the most from applying hacks for savings. To help you, I’ve grouped the hacks into categories so they’re not disjointed and overwhelming.

Before You Shop

  • Meal plan based on sales and make a corresponding grocery list. Put it on your smartphone if your prone to leave the list at home.
  • Keep your menu basic. Exotic ingredients are pricey.
  • Have a budget and stick to it.
  • Track your expenses as a double-check.
  • Bring a calculator to the store. You probably have one on your phone.
  • Shop alone and don’t dilly-dally.
  • Learn grocery sales cycles to know how much of a sale item to purchase.
  • Avoid multiple shopping trips. Because the more you go, the more you are tempted to buy.
  • Sign up for store email newsletters.
  • Bring store sale flyers with you to price match. However, some stores have automatic processes.
  • Use grocery store pick up service to curb impulse spending.
  • Know what’s in your fridge. Use items before they spoil.

Know These Grocery Savings Hacks

  • Find out if you qualify for food stamps, WIC, or food bank assistance. Then apply if you do.
  • Know what you already have to avoid excess inventory and keep it rotating.
  • Don’t automatically toss food past a “sell by” date.
  • Spices are often cheaper in the international or ethnic food section than in the spice section.
  • Check farmer’s markets for deals, but beware of “organic” premiums some charge.
  • Shop the top & bottom shelves. Expensive items are placed on the middle shelves.
  • Buy from the back of the shelf.  Older items are rotated towards the front.
  • Add coupon and cash back apps to your smartphone.
  • Pair a cash back app like Ibotta with a coupon app like coupons.com to maximize savings.
  • Research big box stores (Sams, Costco, BJs) to identify cost-effective family favorites.
  • Learn which stores offer deli/bakery discounts at closing time.
  • Learn the markdown schedule for the meat department.
  • Follow food blogs that are budget conscious.
  • Compare unit prices of generic brands and on-sale national brands for the best buy.
  • If there’s a 10 for $10 deal, you don’t (usually) have to buy 10 to pay $1/item.
  • Join a co-op to save money on produce.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t be loyal to one store. Be loyal to saving money.
  • Drink water, don’t buy flavored drinks.
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Eat before you go.
  • Do not buy precut fruits or veggies.
  • Skip the store salad bar.
  • Don’t buy prepacked cold cuts. Buy them cheaper at the store deli.
  • Do not buy grated cheese.
  • Don’t use paper cups, plates, or napkins.
  • Do not buy convenience foods.
  • Do not buy items at the checkout.
  • If you only need a few items at the store, don’t get a cart. Grab a basket instead because you can’t overfill it.

What To Do

  • Keep food on hand for on-the-go meals to eliminate buying fast food.
  • Buy generic/store brand, not name brand.
  • Stock up on the advertised loss-leaders – items the store loses money on.
  • Know what items cost to know what the real deals are. Make a price book.
  • Clip paper coupons and match them to sales flyers.
  • Buy spices, dry goods, and non-perishables from a dollar store
  • Sign up for store rewards programs.
  • Pay with cash if you require the discipline.
  • Pay with cash back credit card only if you pay the balance off every month.
  • Own a chest freezer to store sale meat, cheese, & some produce items.
  • Create a stockpile of items you buy dirt cheap.
  • Buy basic items in bulk and divide to store. Nuts, for example, freeze well.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables in season. Better yet, grow your own.
  • Know you don’t have to buy whole portions of fruit. You can divide bagged grapes and separate banana bunches.
  • Buy out-of-season produce in the frozen or canned section.
  • Shop store specials and sales.
  • Ask for rainchecks for out-of-stock items.
  • Ask if the store will substitute a larger size for out-of-stock smaller size.
  • Stock up on sale items. This creates a stockpile to draw from.
  • Check receipt for overcharge mistakes. Mistakes do occur.
  • Buy less expensive cuts of meat. Better yet, raise your own.
  • Buy meat in bulk. Then divide it for freezer storage.
  • Purchase store markdowns on baked goods and meat.
  • Shop Aldi and Sav-A-Lot.
  • Shop CVS (join rewards program) for sales and cash off on next order coupons.
  • Take one item out of your shopping cart at the checkout.

Meal Management

  • Control meal portion sizes.
  • Stretch recipes with fillers (bread crumbs, rice, seasonal veggies, lentils, oatmeal).
  • Serve breakfast for dinner utilizing inexpensive baking ingredients, oats, and eggs.
  • Use up leftovers. Eat the same meal 2 days in a row or make leftovers into another meal.
  • Base a couple weekly meals on inexpensive pasta, rice, and beans.

Adopt These Skills

  • Learn to stack coupons.
  • Learn to can. Then you can make jellies, pickles, etc.
  • Start/join a freezer meal swap club. Make 6 of one meal (keep one) & swap with 5 others.
  • Make your own appetizer trays. There’s no need to pay for assembly labor.
  • Research hacks & tips to make produce last longer.
  • Save veggie scraps and bones to make broth.
  • Make your own soups. So scraps can be used up.
  • DIY your household cleaners. You can find lots of recipes on Pinterest.
  • Use overripe fruit in smoothies and quickbreads – for example, bananas and strawberries.

This is absolutely every grocery savings hack I could find on the internet. If you find one I missed, please add it in a comment. Consequently, you will be awarded 1,000 points. 😁

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  • These are definitely some great hacks! Some weeks I tend to do better about making a list than other weeks but at least I’m still trying!

    • Wife Sense

      Great! Keep on trying, Emily! 👍

  • C M

    So many great tips! I’m saving this to refer to during my meal planning sessions. Thanks so much!

    • Wife Sense

      You’re welcome, CM!

  • Sarah Fleming

    Great tips! Thank you for putting this together. I find that I am able to stick to my meal plan and budget much better when I shop online. I struggle with convenience purchases and online there are no end-caps and impulse purchases!

    • Wife Sense

      My daughter-in-law says she shops exclusively online for the same reason, Sarah. And when she picks it up, they put it in her car! I’ll probably try that this winter on a nasty day.

  • Lisa

    Love this. My family of 7 eats for $100-120/week. I pack kids lunches for school most days to save on that bill too. My downfall…not planning! Toward the end of the week, I normally have to create a new recipe! 🙂

    • Wife Sense

      Wow, Lisa! We’ve had 7 in our house for the past 2 years and spent significantly more. Cheers to you for keeping the cost so low!

      • Lisa

        I rarely buy anything processed and the kids are all under 8. I always make enough supper to have lunch left overs the next day. I do expect it to go up as the kids grow.

  • that is alot of tips! I never thought about shopping top or bottom shelves, good tip! I do do alot of these, but I dont have aldi around. and sometimes i cant go to 100 stores each week. you have to value your time too

  • Samantha O’Brian Summers

    I 100% love you for this! You literally did all of the homework for grocery shopping. I like to pretend I’m pretty savvy when it comes to sales, but I know that there is always room for improvement.

  • karyl henry

    These are all really great tips! I go to the grocery store early on Sunday mornings, because in my hometown the veggies are all picked over by the after-church crowd any time after 11AM 🙂 Plus I can get in, get my shopping done, and get out

  • Hi Alexandra! I always love visiting your little space on the internet! This is so so so so true — moving to DC is really hurting our budget (BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS SO EXPENSIVE OUT HERE!!!) I loved reading all of your tips. A big thing out here is a co-op. You get together with a couple of other families and they visit the local fans and pick up produce, dairy, meats, and eggs. Its super cheap but it’s also a big pain in the butt when its YOUR turn to go and pick up the stuff for every one! I hope you are well!

    • Wife Sense

      WINNER, WINNER, 🍗CHICKEN DINNER🍗!!! A co-op was not originally on my list (it is now.) Thanks, Justine. Since you have experience with one, I’m going to take your word they’re “super cheap”. I always suspected they charged more but wasn’t sure. Good to know! Here’s your 1,000 points! 🏆Spend them anywhere. Void where prohibited. 😉

  • I lovelovelove the idea of using curbside pickup to avoid impulse purchases! Those items can add up! It’s a great idea if you need to pick up some food to make dinner, but you’re already hungry. I always love learning new money-saving tips. 🙂