I used to dread going to the store to buy groceries when I was little. I felt like my parents took forever in the store looking at everything in every aisle. Now that I’m older, I can see why. But time is precious for me and I don’t have much it because life is just hectic. Through trial and error I figured out how to save money on groceries whether I’m at home or at the store.
I’ll share with you some awesome groceries savings tip that I thought was genius! Honestly, some of the things listed below makes you wonder how people even come up with this stuff.
Before I begin, I want to let you know about my disclaimer. This page contains affiliate links and what that means is, if you sign up using my link, I may get a small commission for it. I only share products and services that I personally use and like.
How to save money on groceries before you even hit the store
1. Check your ads for the sales that are happening in the week
Take the time and look through your store ads. Make a note of the sale items you want to purchase, this will be your list. If you want to go above and beyond, you can find early ads online. This really helps me with planning my grocery trip a week in advanced.
2. Make a list of everything you need to buy
The main rule for creating a list is that you ONLY buy what is on your list. Don’t stray from your list or else you end up paying more.
3. Get your coupons ready for at the register savings
Now that you made your list, get your printer ready for printable coupons from coupons.com. If I see a really good coupon I’ll use multiple devices to print each one. Each device allows you to print 2 of each coupons. This is a great way to save money on groceries with coupons from the items you have on your shopping list.
Do you get the Sunday papers? Look for coupon inserts in there! Sometimes there’s some really good coupons in there that coupons.com doesn’t have.
4. Check your store’s loyalty cards for additional store coupons
Are you doing your grocery shopping trip at Safeway and you have a loyalty card? That’s great! Depending on the loyalty card, stores will offer additional savings in coupon form. For example, once in awhile Safeway has those $5 off $25 Just For You coupon.
5. Use Ibotta and/or Checkout51 for items that has cash back offers
These two phone apps are very similar and a lot of people prefer one over the other. I like to use both because when it’s time to upload my receipts for those cash back offers, you can upload the same receipt to both apps.
6. Eat before you leave the house.
Really, don’t leave the house on an empty stomach. If you go to the store hungry, you’ll be tempted to stock your cart with items that aren’t on your shopping. Have you ever gone to a Costco starving? I have. I ate any free samples that I came across and I would buy the item if I liked it.
7. Leave the kids and husband at home.
You’re ready to go to the store. You have your shopping list, coupons, and you’re well fed. The last thing you do before you leave home is tell your husband to watch the kids. You may find this funny but I like to go grocery shopping without my boyfriend. My son is fine since he really won’t ask for anything. My boyfriend on the other hand will stuff the cart with things that was not on the list. His excuse? “We’re going to need it.”
How to save money on groceries at the store
1. Look up and down.
I never realized this but their marketing strategy is pretty smart. Look at the top and bottom shelves at the stores, the eye-level ones are usually pricier.
2. Brand names are not always the best.
Just because it’s a brand name you recognize doesn’t mean it’s always the best. Try some off brand items. They’re cheaper and very similar to the pricer version of itself.
3. Try to avoid the inner aisles.
Another one of their smart marketing strategies, but stores have their aisles strategically placed for a reason. They want you to walk up and down each aisle where they hope you would grab items you think you need. Avoid as much as possible unless you absolutely need it and it’s on your shopping list.
4. Know where your clearance aisles are.
I know I’m going to contradict myself here but sometimes you need to check out the clearance aisles when you go grocery shopping. You may never know that the item you may need comes at a steal price.
5. Get a rain check when the sale item is out of stock.
This groceries savings tip is so useful. Rain checks will help you keep the sale price for the item you want. It especially helps when you still have the coupons for it. If I really want to stock up. I’ll bring my cart to the checkout lane and ask the cashier for a rain check. Then I’ll go to customer service and ask for another rain check.
6. Price match at Walmart
If the item you want is not stocked in the store, another way to still save is to take your ad to another that price match. Walmart does this and I did it all the time just because it was so convenient for me.
7. Watch your cashier and double check what they scan
Watch what your cashier scans and make sure your cashier gives you back the correct amount of change, because you better believe it, they can either help you save money on groceries or help you lose money.
8. Use Shopkick to scan barcodes for points and redeem for free gift cards
While you’re in the grocery store, make some time to scan specific barcodes and collect Kicks for it. Once you’ve built up enough Kicks you can later redeem them for free gift cards. See what Shopkick is all about!
How to save money on groceries at home
Now that you’re done with your shopping and finally back home. Here are some quick tips to help keep some of your grocery items last longer.
Wrap bananas with plastic wrap. It’ll last 3-5 days longer than usual. I tried this hack, now this might also vary depending on the weather. The area I live in is hot and sometimes our house gets humid during the day. Because of this weather combo, it ripens the bananas a lot faster.
Microwave to dry left over herbs and store it in a container. It removes the moisture making it last a bit longer.
Expiring milk? Make milk cubes and freeze them. Its the perfect hack to keep my sons milk cold longer in his thermos without watering it down.
Make herbs stay crisp for a week or longer. Store delicate herbs in cups of water, cover with plastic wrap, secure with a rubberband. Keep it upright and refrigerate.
Grow your own herbs. Moving into my own home made me realize that growing your own herbs is way cheaper than buying them in the store.
I hope this list of genius hacks on how to save money on groceries at home and at the store helped you as much as it helped me. A little goes a long way.
Have you tried any of the above hacks? If so, please share below!
Resources to check out:
- Shopkick – Earn Kicks for free gift cards by simply walking into a store.
- Checkout51 – Earn cash back on selected offers when you do your weekly grocery shopping.
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