The easiest and quickest way to save on groceries is to meal plan. When you have a plan and specific ingredients to buy, you’ll spend less. Be sure to make a list! For breakfast and lunch, purchase one or two ‘fresh’ options for the entire week, like bagels or salad kids. You can prevent waste and still have a little variety by keeping shelf-stable options available, such as granola bars, or cans of soup. Don’t forget to have a plan for leftovers. Reuse them in other dishes, or put a “Smorgasbord Night” on the weekly menu!
Want to Meal Plan like a Pro? Check out my Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning!
Utilize Discount Grocery Stores
When brand-name doesn’t matter, choose a discount grocery store. My family loves Aldi. They are committed to providing high-quality groceries (organic and non-GMO options are plentiful) at rock-bottom prices. Commit to getting as much as possible from your favorite discount store, and then purchase any other name-brand or specialty products at the higher-priced grocery stores. To keep me organized, I like to have two shopping lists, one for Aldi, and one for Hy-vee or Kroger.
Do a Taste Test (or a Switcharoo!)
You can save tons of money on groceries by using generic condiments and kitchen staples. If your family insists that the name-brand ketchup is irreplaceable, do a little taste test to see if you can convince them the generic, discount grocery store brand is the same. Or, you can simply refill your existing ketchup bottle with the cheaper version and see if they notice!
Let me just give you a couple of examples from my local grocery stores so you can see the savings! Aldi brand 30oz mayo is $2.09, and the same size Hellman’s is $5.99. Aldi brand 38oz ketchup is $1.09. The Heinz variety is $3.29. Aldi brand 20oz yellow mustard is $0.89. French’s yellow mustard is $2.69. These savings can add up quickly!
Use a List
Always shop from a list. Don’t wing it when you’re in the store. If you don’t have a list to work from, you will more than likely splurge on multiple impulse buys. Commit to only buying what is on your list. If you see something you want, add it to your list for next time. Then between visits, you can think about if it’s something you really need.
Are you overwhelmed by having to pull together a grocery list? Check out my 4-Week Tired Mama Meal Plan, which includes printable menus, shopping lists, and more! It’s TOTALLY FREE.
Order Online & Pick Up for Free
Many stores offer online ordering and free pickup (usually with a minimum purchase). Utilize this service! Online ordering total game-changer for your budget (and will-power). It’s almost always free, it will save you loads of time, and you’ll avoid spending any extra cash on items you don’t really need. Most of the time you don’t even need to leave your car – they load it for you!
Leave the Kids at Home
Don’t bring your kids to the grocery store unless you absolutely have to (and if you have to, use that online ordering feature!). Kids are a huge distraction when you’re going through a store. They can cause stress and anxiety, which may cause you to make bad choices. Do yourself a favor. Avoid the added pressure and leave the kids at home.
Keep Household Items Separate
This might seem counter-intuitive, but hear me out. Household items, such as toothpaste, cleaning products, etc. and paper goods, like toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc. Are often more expensive at the grocery store. Instead of including these items on your grocery list, keep these items separate. Do your research and find the best price. Then schedule regular shipments of the items. You’ll have to guess at the frequency at first, but eventually, you’ll know how often you need to replenish these items. Then you’ll never have to think about them again! They will just show up when you need them, and you’ll pay the absolute best price. Some retailers, like Amazon and Target, will get you an additional percentage off your purchase for subscribing to their monthly or quarterly shipments!
How do you save on groceries? Do you have any genius tips that save you tons?! Let me know in the comments below!