5 New Ways To Save on Groceries You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

Mature man looking and choosing product in the supermarket freezer stock photo
FG Trade / iStock.com

As food prices continue to rise — with the Feb. 14 Consumer Price Index report showing a 0.4% rise in food at home month-over-month — you may be looking past obvious ways to cut your grocery bills.

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Fortunately, even if you’ve already downloaded all the cash-back money-saving apps you can, clipped coupons and joined warehouse clubs like Costco to save money, there are still a few more tactics worth a try.

1. Get Freezer Friendly

You may not find incredible deals like chop meat for 99 cents a pound anymore (with the average price of ground beef closer to $4.64 per pound, based on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report), but you can still snag deals if you watch store flyers or use apps such as Honey to find the lowest prices.

Make Your Money Work for You

When you do find sales, especially buy one, get one free deals, stock your freezer. Just make sure to wrap meats tightly and use freezer bags for storage. Beef, veal, lamb and pork should last 4 to 12 months in the freezer, ground beef up to four months, and poultry as long as a year, according to FoodSafety.org.

2. Try Your Hand at Meal Planning

Stocking up on sales also means an opportunity to meal plan and cook for the week. This can save you time and money. It’s typically cheaper to cook in batches, since food in bulk costs less per pound. Plus, you’ll have less food waste, which also saves money.

If you aren’t the type who can eat the same meals every day for a week (or even a few days in a row), cook food in batches and freeze it for later meals. According to Reader’s Digest, meal planning has the potential to save you roughly $500 per month.

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3. Have a Leftover Day

Meal planning can help eliminate leftovers. However, if you aren’t the type to think that far ahead, use one day of the week to heat and eat all your leftovers. This could mean turning leftover taco meat and cheese into a casserole, or letting everyone in the family pick and choose from their favorite leftovers. You’ll create a smorgasbord of foods at your dinner table, which can be a lot of fun for kids.

Make Your Money Work for You

4. Shop at Off Times

Saving money at grocery stores can take time. When you shop, read labels and compare unit prices — not the total retail price. You may find a larger box of cereal or crackers costs less than the smaller one. But only buy the bigger item if you will eat it or can store it safely.

Shopping at off times gives you more of a chance to compare prices without pressure, according to The Kitchn. Merlin, a participant in the website’s “Grocery Diaries” feature, said, “It gives me more time to look at things and I’m not dealing with the stress of having to stay out of, or getting in, people’s way.”

Use Google Maps to find out when your preferred store is the least busy.

5. Don’t Store Hop

You might think you can save money by shopping the sales at a variety of stores each week. But in truth, you’ll burn more gas, spend more time shopping and increase the urge to impulse shop. After all, every store will have enticing specials you don’t really need. And isn’t it easier to walk past just one grocery store bake shop, with those enticing pies and muffins, than three?

Of course, you can take this to an extreme and shop online through Instacart, Amazon Fresh or any grocery delivery service. But you’ll then pay delivery surcharges and higher prices. If you prefer to shop in a store, choose the one with the best sales for that week or lowest prices overall on the staples you buy regularly.

Make Your Money Work for You

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As grocery prices continue to rise, it takes some savvy shopping skills to save money. By planning ahead and following these tips, you may find that your family is not just eating cheaper, but also eating healthier. And that can pay big dividends in the future.

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Make Your Money Work for You

About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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