How to Save Money on Groceries

With food prices on the rise, it seems everyone is looking for ways to save money on groceries. Fortunately, by tweaking just a few of your habits, you can offset rising food prices with grocery savings. It takes a little time and effort, but saving money on groceries isn’t impossible.

Cook From Scratch

The cheapest (and healthiest) way to eat is to cook from scratch. Focus on purchasing ingredients, rather than purchasing meals. Shop the perimeter of the store to stock up on meat, dairy, produce, and grains. Most of the time, you pay for convenience. If you’re willing to put in the effort to make things from scratch, you will notice savings on your grocery bill.

Combine Sales With Coupons

Coupons have been touted as a way to save money on groceries for a long time. This is true, if you regularly buy items for which you can find coupons. But be careful. Sometimes buying a name brand item with a coupon is more expensive than buying the equivalent generic item.

To make the most effective use of coupons, combine sale prices with coupons. If a store doubles coupons, even better. Even if you can’t find food coupons you would use, you can frequently use coupons to save money on personal care items, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and toilet paper. And with non-perishable items, you can stock up when prices are at their lowest.

Enlist Your Friends

If you have several frugal friends, you can band together to really save money on groceries. Share coupons that you don’t use. Divide your shopping, so you each hit a different store for the loss leaders (those items that are priced below retail to get you in the store). Call each other when you see good deals.

Beyond coordinating your shopping efforts, large groups can often get big discounts. Go in together to buy a side of beef. Make a bulk order from Amazon, Azure Standard, or a food coop to get a great price, then split up the purchase. There’s savings in numbers, and with everyone hurting from high grocery bills, why not band together to save money?

Use Craigslist

I know you’re scratching your heads at this suggestion, but I have found big savings on Craigslist. One time I picked up two trash bags full of strawberry plants, and I didn’t pay anything. A woman was thinning out her strawberries, and just wanted to get rid of the extra plants, so until we moved two years ago, I ate free strawberries every year!

People with large gardens or small farms often advertise excess produce on Craigslist at great prices, so keep your eye out. You never know what you’ll find, but if you know how to freeze, can, or dehydrate produce, you can find some sweet deals!

By putting in a little effort it is possible to save money, even as grocery prices rise.



Author

By , on Feb 27, 2011
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{12 Comments}

  1. Alice vanadestine:

    My husband and I save lots of money by eating at home,taking our own coffe from home,intertaining at home”pot luck” people love it. I shop cheap,buy in bulk those things like I can,toilet paper cat food etc etc..do with out,substitute–when it doesnt matter. Leave out or use less when cooking(walnuts choc chips,)cook 3-4 loaves of bread at a time and freeze. we also have large garden and can, freeze,prepare and eat a lot of veggies. I also go early in the day and meet with managers in produce and ask for brown bananas or produce a little gone bad. great deals. I am always looking for more ways to save.

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  2. Joe Estelle:

    Another good tip is that when you shop never go shopping on an empty stomach. You’ll buy a bunch of things that you don’t need and end up throwing it out.

  3. I always look for coupons before going grocery store shopping.

  4. Leo:

    Good point about buying branded items with coupons. I have encountered several situations where it’s better to buy generic brands at regular retail price compared to discounted rates of branded products.

  5. I always enjoy running across tips like this. Now it’s time to head to the grocery store and put them to work. Thanks.

  6. mamie:

    Batch cooking staples is a great way to get cheap variety. Make the plain rice for 10, and brown (and drain) ground meat and then every evening you can build a dinner in half the time!

  7. would never have thought of craigslist. will check into that. thanks!

  8. Great Post. One thing that I do also is check the websites of the stores that I’m stopping at that week. Many times they will have extra coupons for items that are on sale, or ‘better’ deals for customers who have there loyality cards.

    Also, don’t forget to like your favorite stores and brands on Facebook and follow them on Twitter – many times this is where you will find unadvertised sales and coupons!

  9. Nora:

    Saving money on groceries doesn’t have to be difficult. You can even use things like daily deal sites to save money on groceries, which can find you huge discounts.

    A great site to use to easily find these deals is . They’ll send you a daily email with the best buys in your area, ensuring you can save money everyday!

  10. marci:

    Rule 1 – Grow what you can! Even container gardens can yield lots of good tasty food for you!

    Rule 2 – Cook once, eat twice. Try cooking double or triple batches and freezing the extra batches. Then you have “convenience” foods for those nights you are tempted to stop and grab a pizza or fast food. Less expensive to grab from the freezer!

    • I simply MUST get better at doing this. great reminder of the frugality of double/triple batching.

  11. Beth:

    Its amazing how much you can save when you combine sales with coupons. I’ve gotten toothpaste for free more than once and always pay less than $1 a can for the big 28 oz canned tomatoes.

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