Finding creative ways to save money on necessities is a great way to impact your budget and free up money that you can invest or use for other things. We all need to eat, and many of us have families to feed as well. But the weekly/monthly grocery bill is one area where most of us can easily save money over and over again if we’re willing to make a few adjustments.
I do most of the grocery shopping in our family, and over the years I’ve found a number of ways to save money on groceries while still having plenty of good food to eat.
By shopping smartly and taking advantage of some available resources, you can easily save $100 or more every month on groceries.
In this article we’ll look at 30 specific, actionable ways you can start to reduce the amount you spend on groceries. Many of these tips are very easy to implement and won’t take much time or sacrifice on your part.
By the end of the article you should have identified a few specific tips that you can put into practice right away. I don’t recommend trying to do everything at once because it will be overwhelming. Start with a few, then once they become a habit look to add a few more ways to save.
Do you love to save money? If so, be sure to also read these articles:
- How to Save Money on Gas
- 14 Simple Ways to Get Free Walmart Gift Cards
- 10 Easy Ways to Get Free Starbucks Gift Cards
How to Save Money on Groceries
1. Pay with a Cash Back Credit Card
Many people will tell you to pay for your groceries with cash to avoid spending money that you don’t have. If you have trouble disciplining yourself with credit cards, I would agree that you should probably just use cash. But, if you’re able to shop with a credit card and not spend more than you need, it’s a great way to earn a lot of cash back.
Groceries are big expense every month for most families, and still a mid-sized expense even if you’re single. I try to maximize the amount of cash back I can earn from credit cards, and paying for groceries with the right card is a big part of that.
If you’re using a credit card be sure to use one that will give you the most cash back. A lot of cards give 1% cash back, but there are a few credit cards that will give you 2% cash back on all purchases.
Another option is the Chase Freedom Unlimited. With this card, you’ll get 1.5% cash back on every purchase (that’s a 50% increase over the standard cash back credit card). The Chase Freedom card only gives you 1% cash back on purchases, but each quarter there is a category that will earn 5% cash back. Most years there are three months out of the year when can earn 5% cash back on purchases at grocery stores. That adds up fast. Both of these cards can be an excellent addition to your wallet.
→ See a breakdown of the best cash back credit cards here.
2. Get Store Loyalty Cards and Use Store Apps
Almost every grocery store chain has some sort of loyalty program with a card that will give you discounts on certain items. With most of these stores you have to get their card in order to get the best deals.
Some chains also have their own mobile app that shows sales and allows you to use coupons without any clipping. If you shop at stores that have loyalty programs, be sure to sign up. And if you’re just passing through town or shopping at a store that you don’t normally use, try asking the cashier if they have a house card. In many cases they will, and you’ll still be able to get the discounts without your own card.
→ Related reading: How to Stack Rewards and Cash Back
3. Use Coupons
Coupons are probably the best way to save money on groceries. You can find coupons in the newspaper, in store flyers, and online or in apps. Of course, you’ll want to check the sale flyers for the stores that you normally shop at. Flipp is a website and app that has all of the weekly sales flyers, plus coupons. Coupons.com is also a great resource to get started with coupons, and they also have a mobile app.
4. Use Ibotta ($20 bonus)
Ibotta is a free cash back app that can save you a lot of money. It’s not exclusively for groceries, but there are a lot of offers for savings at grocery stores, as well as groceries at Walmart and Target. It’s pretty easy to find at least a few dollars that you can save each week. All you need to do is pick the offers that you want and then scan your receipt. Ibotta will credit your account once it has been verified (usually about a day) and you can cash out to PayPal or choose gift cards.
There are also some featured offers that pay you quite nicely. For example, this week I earned $5 in cash back just for making any purchase through Ibotta on my mobile phone. I spent about $39 at Walmart (enough to get free shipping) and I got $5. Those types of deals help your balance to add up quickly.