how to save money on groceries?

Ashwin Honawar

Updated on:


Groceries. Who doesn’t need them? Surely, people like you and I need groceries and we buy them several times a month too. Groceries generally consists of fresh or processed food products, cereals and grains, flour, sugar, cooking oil and some household cleaning items.

Their importance can be understood from the fact that an average US household spends between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of their monthly income on buying groceries, says Statista. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a household of four persons spends an average of between $700 and $850 on groceries every month.

In 2022, retail stores in the US sold a whopping $848 billion worth of groceries, according to the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

Shockingly, a US household of four also wastes between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of their groceries- mainly food items they buy- every month. Of course, these might not be fresh purchases but what’s left over from their grocery shopping during previous months.

That means, a household spending $850 per month, throws away groceries worth $212.5 every month, which is a sheer waste of their hard-earned money, says the Department of Environment.

Regardless whether or not you waste groceries, there are always ways to save money on shopping for such items. Using these ways can help slash your monthly grocery expenses considerably and save some precious money.

Sounds interesting? Continue reading further.

In this article, I will write about some of the best ways to save money on groceries in 2024.

Best Ways to Save Money on Groceries

It’s very easy to justify expenses on groceries because they mainly consist of food items- either processed foods, grains and cereals or cookies, bakery products, fish, meat, poultry or fresh produce. Food, as we already know, is a basic need for all living creatures, including humans. Spending on food is therefore justifiable.

However, if you wish to save on these food bills and household cleaning items, among other grocery items, here are some of the best ways that you could try.

Also Read: How To Get Free Food Delivered With No Money? 10 Ways

1. Plan Your Meals

1. Plan Your Meals

You can save a lot of money on your grocery bills simply by planning the meals your family and you would consume during the week.

That helps you to buy only the necessary items and cut out impulsive buying or stockpiling what you would not be using right now. Planning your meals reduces the chances of your groceries being stored for long, getting spoiled and ending in trash.

2. Make a Shopping List

Make a Shopping List

Most Americans nowadays do not use a shopping list. Instead, they visit a store and simply buy whatever they want, without any planning or even knowing if they would use those groceries. The end result is a waste of groceries which translates as a waste of money.

Instead, a shopping list made carefully and with a lot of thought can help you purchase only those things that are absolutely necessary for the household and reduce the chances of wastage or being carried forward to the next month. A shopping list can also help you to create a budget for groceries every week or every month.

3. Use Budgeting Apps

Use Budgeting Apps

There are several free budgeting apps available on Google Play and Apple Store. These apps are easy to download and install and simple to use. They come with various heads for expenses or you can create these heads according to needs.

Allot a fixed budget for your grocery shopping every month. That way, the app alerts you whenever you’re nearing the limit of that budget. Of course, you can override this budget if necessary but you would generally get a clear idea if you are overspending and have an opportunity to curb that extra expense.

These apps can be connected to your bank account, credit card or debit card for better tracking of expenses.

4. Use Coupons and Discounts

Use Coupons and Discounts

Look for coupons and discounts online through couponing websites, store websites, loyalty programs, newspapers and ads and some of the apps on your mobile. You can save up to 20 per cent on your grocery bills by simply using these coupons, codes and discounts.

Millions of Americans simply ignore these coupons or are reluctant to use them for whatever reasons. At the same time, millions of Americans who use such coupons find they can save considerable amounts of money on their grocery bills.

5. Buy Generic Brands

Buy Generic Brands

Buy generic or store-brand products instead of those from famous brands. Usually, these products are of comparable quality or even superior. However, they are available cheaper because their manufacturers do not spend money on advertising and promotion.

Some such brands bear the name of the store such as Walmart. These products, though cheaper than other brands, usually deliver the same quality, if not better. Almost every large store in the US promotes groceries under its own brand at lower rates.

6. Weekly Sales and Promos

Weekly Sales and Promos

Superstores such as Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Albertsons and others have weekly sales and promos. Some also have them daily. These weekly sales are usually on select items and are available only on a particular day of the week.

Buying during these sales and promos could help save about five per cent to 10 percent on your grocery bills. In some cases, such promos are also available daily. However, the flipside of daily promos is the hassle of shopping every day for cheap products.

7. Shop through Cashback Websites and Apps

Shop through Cashback Websites and Apps

Ibotta, Rakuten, Fetch Rewards, Checkout 51, Savingstar,, Dosh and Shopkick are some of the websites and apps that provide cashbacks on your grocery shopping. They work in two ways. The first, shop for groceries on the stores they feature on the app or website and get a cashback or instant discount.

The second way is to upload your grocery bill by taking a picture, through a feature on the app. These cashback websites and apps could help you save up to five per cent on your grocery bills. They provide cashbacks on eligible items on your bills.

8. Bulk Shopping

Bulk Shopping

Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club are some of the stores where you can shop for groceries in bulk. It’s possible to buy both food items and non-food items or household needs in bulk. If you’re able to team up with friends, neighbours, colleagues or relatives, you can buy in bulk and divide the shopping according to needs.

Or, simply buy non-perishable items in bulk and save a lot of money. Bulk shopping could help to slash seven per cent to 15 per cent off your grocery bills. However, never stock up on perishable items by buying in bulk because they tend to have an expiry date. These include food items and fresh produce.

9. Rewards Programs

Rewards Programs

Most superstores have rewards programs or loyalty programs. Credit cards and debit cards too come with loyalty programs. Therefore, check if any cards that you hold have provided you automatic enrolment to a loyalty program.

If you are a member of such a rewards program or loyalty program, you can get discounts of five per cent to seven per cent while shopping for groceries.

Other such programs could provide points for every dollar you spend at a participating store. These points are worth their value in hard cash and can be redeemed to get discounts on groceries.

10. Avoid Impulsive Buying

Impulsive buying happens when we shop at a store or online without having a clear idea of what to buy. We simply feel that something is essential, add it to the cart and buy. This could also occur when we find something at a cheaper price and decide to stock it.

Often, impulse buying happens due to curiosity to try something new that might be available at the store. Such impulse buying can be harmful to your finances. This is where a shopping list made with careful thought comes in handy.

These are some of the best, time-tested and proven ways to save money on groceries in 2024. There are a few tips on how to save money that you would spend on groceries too. I will write them for you to try.

Tips to Save Money on Groceries

These tips are important because they could actually help prevent wasting money unnecessarily on your groceries. That would also help save money on groceries during weekly and monthly shopping.

  1. Always compare prices at different stores. All online stores display their prices. Buy where it is cheaper, even if that means shopping for groceries from two or more places. Therefore, look for bargains and cheap prices. However, also check the terms and conditions to get that stuff at cheaper rates because some often come with attached strings
  2. Be careful when shopping online: Nowadays, most people shop online for groceries. However, a word of caution. Unless you are sure that the store offers free delivery and does not apply packing or handling charges, it is worth shopping online for groceries. Sometimes, the packing and handling as well as delivery charges can make your grocery shopping an expensive affair.
  3. Utilize Leftovers: You can stop wasting the 25 per cent of your money spent on grocery shopping simply by consuming leftovers instead of wasting food. The ideal situation is when you don’t have leftovers. Yet, if you do have them, utilize and consume them to save money on groceries.
  4. Freeze Perishables: You can deepfreeze certain kinds of perishable foods and prevent them from going to waste. For example, certain kinds of fresh produce as well as fish, meat and poultry can be deep frozen and consumed later. However, follow the proper procedures for deep freezing that you can find online. If that is not possible, buy smaller quantities for a meal or two only and use them immediately.
  5. Buy Smaller Quantities: If you’re not going to consume large quantities of something, it makes a lot of sense to buy smaller quantities or smaller packs. You can always buy more when necessary. This prevents the unused quantity from the pack from going to waste and landing in the trashcan.

Wrap Up

Saving money on grocery bills is not any rocket science or a difficult task. As you can see from the above ways, it is very simple. All it takes is a willingness and some effort to start saving on grocery bills. You can try one or more of these ways and make a large difference on your grocery bills from now.

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