10 Quick Ways to Spend Less Money on Groceries


If you are looking for ways to squeeze more money out of your budget, one of the best places to start is your grocery bill. It is amazing how much money can be saved when you really lean in and pay attention to every dollar spent on groceries. I have created a list of 10 quick ways to save money on groceries that you can start today.

how to spend less money on groceries

When we were on our journey to becoming debt free, lowering our grocery bill was priority number one. We learned a lot along the way and still put most of these tips in practice today.

Implementing these 10 quick ways to save money on groceries may take some time initially but it will become second nature if you stick with them.

10 Quick ways to save money on groceries

Grocery stores are marketing machines. And when you shop after a long work day and you are tired, it is easy to fill your cart with items you think you need and get on your way.

But those items can suck the life right out of your bank account. That’s not what we are going for. You work too hard for your money, let’s steward it well. Ready? Let’s do this!

1. you must make a meal plan

Now, please don’t let this scare you, meal planning does not have to be hard. It is as simple as it’s name suggests. That is, planning for your meals. You will want to have your calendar available so you can look at what you have going on for that particular week and plan accordingly.

If you have a busy evening scheduled, plan an easy meal or even a slow-cooker dinner. If you have a free night, you might be able to spend a little more time making dinner or try a new recipe.

2. look through grocery store fliers for sale ads

Prior to really paying attention to what we were spending on groceries, I never gave all those mailers that came to my house every Tuesday a second thought.

But, taking the time to see what was on sale every week, helped me to meal plan according to low priced items.

For example, if chicken at your favorite store is on sale, then plan for meals using chicken that week. You can also use the sale ads to stock up on pantry staples to have on hand when you need them.

3. pay attention to the price per unit

Do you ever notice how grocery stores have sale price signs in bright neon yellow? These displays catch your eye rather quickly. But, what they don’t show you is how much you are paying per unit.

For example, if a 28 ounce can of tomatoes costs $1.29, the price per ounce is $0.046. The price per ounce is generally listed on the shelf tag. It is important to know the price per unit (in this case per ounce) because a smaller size of the same item can actually be more expensive.

As I mentioned before, it may take time to consider the price per unit, but if you keep at it it will become habit.

4. don’t be afraid to shop store brands

Many people shy away from store brand items for fear of sacrificing quality. However, what many people do not realize is that stores often get their food from major food manufacturers at a cheaper price.

They are then able to sell these items at a lower price but branded as their product. Many loyalty rewards are offered on store brand purchases. Another win!

5. avoid boxed or processed dinners

Not only are processed dinners unhealthy for you, they are also expensive. These convenience items may save time to prepare but will hurt your budget.

I try to stick with the “semi-homemade” (remember the Food Network show?) method. Here, most ingredients are fresh and only a handful are packaged like pastas, tortillas, and cereals.

This method is much more budget-friendly and better for your health. Here is my shameless nurse plugin…if you must buy prepackaged food (no judgement, here) choose low sodium options.

6. to save money on groceries, stick to your list

Once you have planned your meals for the week (see, step 1), create a list of grocery items you will need from that list. Again, this will entail some prior planning on your part.

But, creating and sticking to a list of needed items will help reign in over-spending and lower your grocery bill.

Grocery stores strategically place items and products in their stores based on consumer psychology. They study the behavior of shoppers!

Arm yourself with your list in hand and don’t get sucked into their marketing schemes.

Related Post: 10 Ways to Stop Impulsive Spending

7. buy produce that it is season

Planning your meals around produce that is in season is extremely cost effective. The quality of taste is noticeably different as well.

The store mailers we discussed earlier will also have in season produce items on sale.

Depending on where you live, you can save a lot of money buying fresh seasonal produce since those foods are not needing to be shipped from other regions.

When in doubt, this is my go to place for checking what produce is in season so I can spend less money on groceries.

8. pay for your groceries with cash or debit card

One of the quickest ways to improve your financial picture is to stop using credit cards. People generally tend to buy more when using a credit card as opposed to cash.

Additionally, if you do not pay off that credit card every month and are making minimal payments your $100 grocery bill could easily add up to $150 with interest charges.

Using hard cold cash to pay for your groceries keeps you in the driver’s seat and in complete control of your spending. A debit card must also be used with caution because again you are not handing over your money.

Although it comes right out of your account as opposed to a credit card, you still need discipline to use a debit card properly.

9. avoid specialty stores for everyday food items

I love going into specialty food stores for specific items like cheese, meats, and spices. As someone who loves to be in the kitchen, these stores are like Christmas morning for me.

But, these are not places that I can afford to do major grocery shopping at. Instead, I save my shopping at stores like these when I have something special coming up like Christmas dinner.

I still allow myself the pleasure of indulging now and again on delicious specialty food items, but I do not shop these stores for everyday food items.

10. don’t shop while you are hungry and you will definitely save money on groceries

You have probably heard this before but it is worth repeating, do not shop for groceries when you are hungry.

I have done this before and I ended up buying what felt like the whole store. I also bought things I would not normally eat or cook. And guess what happened? Some of the food I bought ended up going bad because we had too much of it.

If you need to get your grocery shopping done and don’t have time to eat, grab a protein bar or almonds. Eat something that will hold you over so you are not shopping ravenously like I did.

Phew, we made it. Thank you for hanging in there with me. There is nothing more that I want for you when it comes to your money than to see you reach your money goals. I truly believe that getting your grocery bill reigned in can help you reach those goals.

I have given you a lot of information here. If you have any questions about ways to save money, please reach out me at thefrugalhive@gmail.com and I’d be happy to help you.

Happy shopping, and happy saving!!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *