Home & Lifestyle Tips, Money Saving Tips

How we Save Money on Groceries (& How You Can Too!)

Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Keep your Budget under Control - Trying to keep your Grocery budget under control can be a real struggle. But there are ways that you can shop for good quality products and still stay under control. And no - I'm not talking about extreme couponing. In fact, this post is not about coupons but rather how to shop wisely and getting more bang for your buck.

How many times have you come back from the grocery store wondering how the heck did you just buy only 10 items but ended up paying more than $100?! Let’s face it – Trying to keep your Grocery budget under control can be a real struggle. But there are ways that you can shop for good quality products and still stay under control.

And no – I’m not talking about extreme couponing. In fact, this post is not about coupons but rather how to shop wisely and getting more bang for your buck.

First things first – I find grocery shopping to be one of the most boring chores ever. Now don’t get me wrong. I do spend a lot of time once I’m at the store, but just the thought of going to the store for our weekly supplies can sometimes stress me out. 

Plus when you are trying to make healthy choices but still want to stay under budget, things can get a little overwhelming. I have read and seen too many shows about people who do extreme couponing and wish it worked for me. But then again not everyone has the time or patience to hunt down coupons that can slash their grocery bill by more than half of what it’s supposed to be.

Here are some ways that have worked for us and that has helped us to reduce our spending on grocery –

Shop more than one store

I know it’s convenient to head over to your nearest grocery store to get all your weekly supplies.

We have a King’s supermarket like two minutes away from our home. While I love its convenience, I know that I can get better prices in other stores like Shoprite or Walmart. I even try shopping at discount grocery stores like Aldi and Costco at least once a month even though these stores are not that close to my home. 

Also, we cook a lot of Indian food and we prefer to get all our spices from an Indian store. Even dry goods like beans, lentils etc are slightly cheaper in ethnic stores as opposed to the big box stores. 

Shopping at more than one store also helps you to take advantage of the sales that may be going on in a particular store that your favorite store might now have at that time.

Store your coupons wisely 

Like I said, I’m not into extreme couponing, but whatever little coupons I have, I store them in a handy little coupon organizer (that I got from the Dollar Store). But guess what? Every time I headed to the grocery store, I used to forget the coupons at home. So frustrating, right? I know!

That’s when I decided to keep my coupon organizer in my car’s dashboard. This way even if I end up taking a different purse, my coupons are always in the car and I don’t have to worry about reminding to take my coupons before leaving my home.

Speaking of coupons, if you are not taking advantage of mobile apps like Ibotta, you are seriously missing out on some savings.

They have rebates on everyday items like milk, onion, bread, banana etc – things you would normally buy and is one of the easiest apps to use.

Shop on a full stomach

One of the most important rules while doing grocery shopping is to not shop on an empty stomach. 

When we shop on a hungry stomach, we end up doing a lot of impulse purchases like grabbing a bag of chips or candies.

Even it’s too early for lunch or dinner, just grab a quick bite before heading to the store so that you won’t get ‘hangry’ and don’t buy unnecessary things that weren’t on your list, to begin with.

Free Grocery Pick up

Speaking of impulse buys, many times we fill up our carts just because we see something on display or they are handing out free samples. Many stores like Walmart have started Free Grocery Pick up.

Start taking advantage of it so that you can truly stick to your list and not end up buying things that you don’t need or just because you saw it while shopping.

Remember that Free Grocery Pick up also means saving your precious time to do other productive things.

Purge your Pantry & Freezer

A while back I had challenged myself to not do grocery shopping for 2 weeks straight and that was the time I used everything from my pantry and freezer – right from dry goods like beans, lentils, rice and pasta to frozen meat and veggies.

I was honestly surprised that I could still put together a decent meal without having to go to the grocery store for 2 straight weeks. Think meals like pasta, lasagna, chicken and rice, rice and beans, stir fried dishes, mashed potatoes etc.

Fewer trips to the grocery store = less money spent.

Freeze your Fruits

Fruits can go bad quickly if not eaten on time. Extend the life of your fruits by freezing them if you notice that they are going to over ripen soon. I always do it for pineapples, bananas, and berries so I always have fruits to add in my smoothies.

Start your own garden 

There are so many people that I know who grow their own veggies and I really admire them for their hard work and patience.

While I don’t really have a green thumb, you can totally grow a  few easy veggies in your own home even if you don’t have a huge backyard.

For starters, I tried growing green onions which were like the easiest things ever. You don’t even need soil for them. Just put the green onion heads in a glass of water, keep it near a window and they’ll grow back within a week.

Romaine lettuce and herbs like basil and mint are also very easy to grow and maintain with just a little bit of care and attention.

Homegrown veggies = less money spent at the grocery store.

Save your herbs

Herbs like mint, cilantro, basil etc can wilt quickly causing your money to go down the drain. Instead, you can freeze them with a little olive oil in ice cube trays and use it whenever you are cooking.

Look up and down

If you didn’t know this already – Grocery stores are very smart when it comes to product placements.

Most of the times the slightly expensive items are at your eye level as that’s where you will naturally tend to grab things from, especially if you’re in a hurry. 

So if you aren’t doing this – next time, take a look at the top as well as bottom shelves and compare prices before buying.

Say No to Convenience

You know those peeled garlic cloves or those cut up fruits in cute little containers? However tempting and convenient they might seem, just don’t buy them if you are trying to stick to your budget. They may sound like a good deal but many times you end up paying far more than what you’d normally pay for.

These are some of the easy ways by which we try to save money on our grocery and stay under budget.

What are your favorite ways to save money while doing grocery shopping? I would love to know.

Pin for Later – 

How to Reduce your grocery budget and keep it under control - Trying to keep your Grocery budget under control can be a real struggle. But there are ways that you can shop for good quality products and still stay under control. And no - I'm not talking about extreme couponing. In fact, this post is not about coupons but rather how to shop wisely and getting more bang for your buck.

 

Related Posts | How we Save Money when Eating out (& How You Can Too!)

7 Smart Ways to Save Money Online

 

XOXO

Smiling Notes

 

28 Comments

  • Reply

    Erika Kind

    August 2, 2017

    Very good tips. I always make a list… and stick to it… just my boys don’t… lol!

  • Reply

    apronstringsotherthings

    August 2, 2017

    Great tips! I’ve used many of these ideas over the years to be able to feed a large(ish) family on a small(ish) budget. We moved last year and are not able to have a garden any longer. I’m hoping to join a CSA next year to get baskets of fresh produce at a more reasonable price.
    Stopping by from this weeks linky party at Classical Homemaking!

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      August 4, 2017

      Feeding a large family on a smallish budget can indeed be challenging. Kudos to you for mastering that trick. Thanks a lot for your kind comment.

  • Reply

    Rhonda Sittig

    August 4, 2017

    Great helpful ideas Sha!! We planted a little garden this year and have piles of tomatoes right now!! So fun to use them in meals straight from the yard. Great post!

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      August 4, 2017

      Wow! I’ve never attempted to grow tomatoes but I would definitely love to do it someday. It must be so awesome to have tomatoes straight from your very own garden 💕

      • Reply

        Rhonda Sittig

        August 6, 2017

        Tomatoes must be pretty easy to grow– because we have bowls-full and are not good gardeners!! We definitely killed our berry bushes! Fun to hear form you! xo

        • Reply

          smilingnotes

          August 11, 2017

          That’s good to know. Maybe next Spring I should try growing tomatoes 👍🏼 This year I have planted jalapeño, lettuce and spring onions and so far they are doing great. Fingers crossed 🤞🏼

          • Rhonda Sittig

            August 11, 2017

            Hope it all grows well!! Happy Harvesting!! xo

  • Reply

    Carol ("Mimi")

    August 6, 2017

    Great tips for staying on a budget! Thank you for linking up at The Blogger’s Pit Stop Link Party. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      August 7, 2017

      Thanks a lot for your kind comment as well as for sharing, Carol. Have a great week ahead.

  • Reply

    Freda @ Aromatic essence

    August 8, 2017

    Great tips as always! Couldn’t agree more with you on the not shopping on empty stomach part, I end up doing that and getting all the calorie loaded stuff 😀

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      August 9, 2017

      Hahaa I agree, Freda. I’m the same… the moment I feel hungry, I end up grabbing things like cookies, chips etc 😝

  • Reply

    This post made the most clicked list on the Blogger’s Pit Stop. Congratulations on a quality post.
    Kathleen
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      August 9, 2017

      Wow! That is so awesome! Thanks a lot for hosting the Blogger’s Pit Stop!

  • Reply

    Loretta

    August 9, 2017

    Great tips n’ tricks. I have yet to challenge myself to use up all the staples in our pantry for a couple of weeks at least. I keep that in mind but have never done it. I think I’m going to have to put that into practice soon 🙂

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      August 12, 2017

      You should really give it a try, Loretta. It really made me think of the various ways I can use up things in my pantry 🙂

      • Reply

        Loretta

        August 14, 2017

        I made myself a promise to clean up my pantry staples for the next 2 weeks 🙂

        • Reply

          smilingnotes

          August 14, 2017

          That is awesome, Loretta! I’m so happy to know that..and hope you enjoy the process 💕

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  • Reply

    Himali Shah

    August 14, 2017

    Super awesome tips for spend thrift shoppers like me 😀 😉 The first one – buying from multiple stores is the best as it helps you find the best deals !

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear what you think