Top Tips to Save on Groceries: A Beginner's Guide to Shopping & Eating Healthy on a Budget

Jun 10 2022
When it comes to grocery shopping, at this point, we're pretty much pros. Here are some of the top money-saving tips we've discovered over the years…

A Few Starter Tips…

Stick with store-brand products for basics. Think oats, almond milk, egg substitute, plain yogurt, canned goods, simple condiments, baking ingredients, etc. Not only are these generally cheaper, but there may also be store loyalty-program discounts as well.

For foods that won't go bad quickly, buy in bulk. If you have the storage space, opt for the larger package, like a giant bag of store-brand oats. If a common pantry or freezer item is on sale, consider buying extra. And if there are specialty foods you order online regularly, order a bunch at once to save on shipping. (You can also save cash with Subscribe & Save options on Amazon and other online retailers.)

Hit the bulk foods section for nuts & grains. Switching up our use of the word "bulk," the bulk foods section—tubs of loose nuts, dispensers full of dry grains, etc.—can be your friend. Check prices before you start filling your bag, and weigh as you go. Skip the prepackaged pouches, and divvy nuts into snack-sized containers or baggies at home.

Consider scaling back on meat. Let's face it, meat can be pricey. If you're looking for tricks to trim your grocery bill, try skipping meat for a day or two a week. Meatless Monday, anyone?

Never forget: Eat before you go to the grocery store! Shopping hungry is a recipe for coming home with a lot of items you didn't really need. Or skip the temptation and preorder your groceries for pickup. Many stores offer this as a free service.

The Big Chill…

Choose raw frozen chicken breasts. Instead of buying precooked chicken for convenience, buy it raw and frozen. You can pop the frozen chicken straight in the Instant Pot!

Skip pricey fresh basics and go for frozen alternatives. Large Costco-sized packages of frozen meat and seafood are good investments that save you money in the long run. And if you can never get through fruit fast enough—we're looking at you, berries—a big bag of frozen fruit will cover you for a while.

Freeze leftovers before they go bad. If you have food you know you're not gonna get to, get ahead of it. Click for the best ways to freeze leftovers for later (useful for saving leftover ingredients too)!

Two words: frozen avocado. Stop stressing over avocados and their 5-second window of optimum ripeness. For the same price as a couple fresh avos, you can get a bag of peeled frozen cubes that work great for anything that calls for it mashed.

Stay Fresh…

Assess your produce needs. How many fresh fruits and veggies does your family realistically go through weekly? Cut down on what ends up in the trash. It takes a little extra attention and planning, but it's totally worth it.

Shop seasonally. Seasonal produce is in higher supply. Stores want to sell it faster, so they'll often price it to move. Here are some good summer picks for now; research what's in season near you any time of year!

Use delicate produce that goes bad quicker early in the week. Again, berries, we're looking at you. Also: spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Buy salad greens by the head vs. bagged versions. Bonus: Your leafy greens will last longer when you chop them at home, especially when stored properly! Nobody likes sad brown lettuce.

Pro Tools…

Check out Imperfect Foods. They sell fresh produce (plus a ton of other products) that's lightly blemished, undersized, or overstocked. Otherwise, it’s totally fine. What a great way to cut down on food waste! See if Imperfect Foods delivers in your area. Another good option is joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program to get local produce at a better price than stores.

Sign up for the loyalty programs where you shop. Most grocers have them, and the savings REALLY do add up.

Download the Fetch Rewards App. It doesn’t save money, but it gives you gift cards for uploading receipts. Ooooh…

If you shop at Target, apply for the RedCard. Save 5% on every purchase and get other deals exclusive to RedCard members. Since their grocery department keeps getting better and better, that's a total win.

Apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa. You get cash back for all purchases even outside of Costco.

Chew on this:

Happy National Herbs & Spices Day, June 10th! Try this basil-spiked Grilled Chicken Caprese Salad ASAP.

Your friends want to save money as well! Pass it on…

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