How to Save Money on Groceries: 7 Essential Money-Saving Tips

Everyone wants to know how to save money on groceries. Food prices have skyrocketed, and everything you can do to cut your grocery bill helps. I've come up with a few tips that have helped me cut down on my grocery bill and be more strategic about how I buy and cook my food.

For most of us, food will always be one of the most significant parts of a monthly budget, along with things like housing, transportation, and taxes. That's why cutting down your grocery bill can be very challenging because eating is an obvious essential.

Meal planning and shopping your pantry

1. Start meal planning

The very first thing that you want to start doing is to start planning out your meals. Have you ever bought a bunch of groceries that went bad in your fridge because you never knew what to do with them in the first place? Or more likely because you just got tired and lazy during the week and ended up ordering takeout? It's okay; we've all done that. 

While meal prep can seem like something that only fitness and health gurus do, planning your meals can benefit your body and your wallet. Before your next grocery trip, check your pantry and your fridge to see what ingredients you already have at home that you can pair with some new ingredients to create delicious meals that you can prep for later that week. 

Being resourceful and utilizing every ingredient you already have in your kitchen can help you save some money and reduce food waste, which also helps the environment.

How to cut down your grocery bill

2. Buy groceries online

The next tip I wanted to talk about is buying groceries online. I don't remember the last time I went to a grocery store to buy food. I think part of it concerns the pandemic, but even before that, I have discovered many benefits of grocery shopping online.

I remember back in the day; I used to always go to a grocery store. Maybe I would have a few items in mind that I needed to get, but then I would always get excited and distracted by everything I would see around me on shelves and end up buying a bunch of junk, like snacks and drinks that I wasn't planning on buying.

 Since I started shopping online, I no longer get distracted by everything because it's not directly in front of me, and I tend to stick to my grocery list. Another nice thing about online grocery shopping is that you can look at your cart before you check out and see what is in your cart and the total that you will pay. That way, you can decide if this is the stuff I need and if I am currently sticking to my food budget. 

Aside from the monetary benefit, shopping online saves you at least an hour weekly that you can use on things like exercising or building a business. 

Ways to save money on groceries

3. Shop the bottom shelves

I wanted to share the following very simple tip: to shop bottom shelves at the store if you still prefer to go to a physical store.

Brands tend to pay extra money just to put their products on shelves that are at your eye level in grocery stores. Brands do that because that gives the products more visibility because it's the first thing you see when you enter an aisle. 

What happens is that those products tend to be more expensive because somebody needs to cover that extra cost. However, nine out of ten times, there's no difference between the quality of the products you would pick up at the bottom shelf and those that you would pick up from those highly desired shelves. 

Buying produce in season

4. Buy produce in season

So the next tip is to buy in-season produce. Produce that is in season tends to be significantly cheaper than produce that is out of season. I also think it's important because produce that is in season tends to be sourced more locally, which means it's usually fresher and more sustainable versus produce that is imported and shipped from somewhere far away. 

Buying groceries in bulk

5. Buy in bulk

Tip number five is buying in bulk whenever you can. Buying in bulk can save you long-term, even though you sometimes end up paying more money upfront. 

If you divide all of that by cost per use or price per ounce, you will see that it is significantly cheaper to buy food in bulk. A lot of nonperishable foods like rice, beans, quinoa, oatmeal, or whatever are things I always try to buy in bulk whenever I can because I know that I will spend way less money in the long run.  

6. Use coupons

A lot of online food retailers will offer different coupons and promotions, especially when you are a first-time customer. 

Keeping an eye out for coupons and discounts can save you a lot of money in the long run. Aside from discounts, you can also check for buy one, get one free deals. 

Couponing at Walgreens

For an example, take a look at this tutorial on Walgreens couponing for beginners.

7. Use cashback apps

My final tip is to use cashback apps. I know that spending money to save money can sound counterintuitive, but if you have ever tried apps and websites like Rakuten Or RetailMeNot, you will know exactly what I'm talking about. 

I'm not telling you to spend more money than you plan to. However,

whenever you are shopping for essentials, it makes sense to use a cashback credit card or a cashback app because those are the things you would be buying anyway.

Whenever I place a big order at Walmart or Instacart, I use Rakuten, which gives me between 1% to 10% cashback on almost every purchase. 

Cashback Apps

For some examples of how to use cashback apps, check out these tutorials on Brandclub, Miles, and Ibotta.

How to save money on groceries

You can cut your grocery bill by making minor changes to your routine. These are the ways to save money on groceries that pay off for me. Use one of the tips or all of them to get your grocery budget where it needs to be.

What do you do to save money on groceries? Let us know in the comments!

Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • Gainorhillegass Gainorhillegass on Oct 23, 2022

    Glad to know about less expensive items on bottom shelves! I am disabled and prefer to shop online through Walmart and get free pickup or delivery with my membership. Also save 5 cents per gallon of gas at Murphy's. I create a shopping list using my menu for the week on the site, adding to my cart over several days. I go back and remove or save for later some things to get the bill in budget. It is a handy tool. I recheck prices when I'm ready to check out. Some things will be cheaper, such as eggs. Produce in season saves money. Thanks for these tips.


    I live outside of a village which is too small to be called a town (true) in a very rural area which is peaceful and quiet and I have to use a wheelchair full time. One of our 2 markets has on-line shopping which allows me to make a list of sale and non sale items so I can meal plan for the week. I love being able to put everything I need into the cart and have husband pick it up. I plan to have it picked up on 2nd day of weekly sale to make sure they get everything in. Their app. lets me put everything I need in my cart. Husband picks up order and brings it home so I can put things away, Lo and behold, when putting things away, I find out that they do not have, on average, 20% of my order. I order and pick up on 2nd day of sale and they are already out! That throws all my meal planning right out the door. I allow for like product substitution but that never happens! Sale items on a flier are usually the lowest price and they will not substitute an item for one that is even 1 cent more, even though they temporarily have my credit card preapproved for a higher price variance. They will though substitute a beef flavor soup for chicken!! I get real made then. Produce, even in season, all summer is outrageous. I paid $3.48 for a tiny head of cabbage, which was about 4 1/2 inches wide, in prime cabbage picking season. A small yellow or zucchini squash will run about $1.60! Now they are wrapping every piece of produce or fruit (like each apple or orange) in plastic wrap! I believe it is so customers can't squeeze open or nip a small piece off to try the flavor. Price is increased and add to the weekly, almost daily, inflation price! When I saw the price of one, yes one, apple had increased to 89 cents, I removed it from my cart. A package of Oscar Mayer hot dogs which were $2.40 ($2.00 on sale) are now $5.98 and inflation, as they say, is only 8-9%, so these hot dogs should only be $2.62(!) and not $5.98. I'm glad the government says inflation is only temporary and changes for the better, will start occurring in January. As seniors, we are on limited finances and look forward to 2023!! Yes, for real! ! ! !