Easy Ways To Save Money On Groceries

Everyone likes to save money, right? I certainly do. The fact is that the economy has hit a lot of us pretty hard, so we have to look for little ways to save money wherever we can. Over the years, I've picked up a few hints on how to stretch your grocery budget. Many of these tips came from my mother, but some came from my work in retail and promotions. Plus, anyone who has ever been to college knows the limit of a dollar! While I'm sure some of you know a lot more about this than I do, we can all use all the help we can get!
Here are some of my ideas:
-Buy your meat in bulk, and freeze what you aren't going to use right away. My husband and I like to get 3-5 lb packages of hamburger meat at a time. I will then cut the meat in pieces that are roughly a pound apiece, wrap each pound in aluminum foil and put them in the freezer. This way, we can make one hamburger meat package last for several weeks rather than having to buy each pound individually every week. It also makes portion sizing easier. The same can go for steak, chicken and pork.
-Don't be afraid to try the store brands. Many generics and store brands are either manufactured by the national brands, or are identical in quality. In fact, I've found several store brands that are better than the national brands!
-When you buy a jar of spaghetti sauce, wash out the container when it's empty. Then, buy your spaghetti sauce in cans rather than jars (most grocery stores will sell them for much cheaper), and just pour the can into the leftover jar. Much of the time, it's only the new container you are paying for when you buy the jars. This really helps when you buy store-brand sauce, although some national brands are also available in cans.
-Plan your meals in advance before you go to the store. This can help you narrow down a list and stick to it. Having a plan for your meals can help you make sure everything you buy will be used before it goes bad. This is especially important with dairy products and produce.
-Coupons, coupons, coupons. We might not think to visit the websites of our favorite brands, but they often have good coupons you won't find anywhere else. This can save you lots of money on things like cat litter, baby food and allergy medicines. Sites like couponmom.com and coolsavings.com have tons of printable manufacturer coupons that most stores will accept. Also, some grocery stores such as Kroger now feature digital coupons that can be downloaded for use on customer discount cards. Check out the store's website for details.
Hopefully you'll be able to use some of these ideas next time you plan a trip to the grocery store. I invite all of you to share some of your tips as well!


  1. I'm definitely an advocate to buying the store brands too! Saving the jars to the spaghetti sauce and buying cans the next time is a great idea--wow! The things I would have never thought of. I know I need to start using coupons, I've just convinced myself for so long that it's too time consuming.

  2. The picture above this post is hilarious-and accurate!

    Wendy, do you have any 'frequent shopper' discount cards at your grocery store (i.e. MVP discount card for Food Lion, Kroger Plus)? We have those, and the store sometimes sends us coupons in the mail based on what we have bought in the past. No clipping involved, and they're more likely to be relevant. Also, some stores have a machine out front where you scan your shopper's card and it prints out coupons just for you. That might help, it does for me.

  3. Such a vastly different culture. Daily market shopping is something I have to do most of the time.