With gas prices going up more and more every day, any deal is appreciated. Saving money at the grocery store is a great way to make budgeting less stressful.
There are plenty of strategies to reduce expenses during your weekly trip to the store. With a little planning and a few hacks, you could be cutting your grocery bill in half in no time with these nine ways to save.
Check What You Already Have
The contents of our pantries can get forgotten if we don’t go through them every once in a while. The next time you’re about to make your grocery list, take a thorough inventory of what’s in your pantry and refrigerator. You might be surprised at what you find.
Plan recipes around those ingredients so you can use what you already have rather than spending money on more food.
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Walk in With a Plan
Before you go shopping, plan out your meals for the week and write down exactly how much you’ll need to make them. Once you’ve made your grocery list — stick to it! Don’t be tempted by sales or bakery goodies in the front of the store. Go in with a solid list and only buy what you came to get.
Use a Grocery Store Rebate App
Next time you need a coupon, you don’t have to go through your junk mail. Simply download an app to find savings.
Ibotta is a great app to start with. Using Ibotta, you can add items to “your list,” then submit your receipt from the grocery store and receive cash back on certain items. You can also use the app to get cash back from online retailers.
Dosh is another app that offers you cash back from stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club, in addition to popular restaurants. The app Checkout 51 enables you to browse offers at your favorite grocery store so you can get the best deals. You can upload your receipt to get cash back, as well.
Enroll in Store Loyalty Programs
Pretty much every grocery store has a rewards card now. They’re usually free, and they can help you save hundreds over the course of a year.
You’ll get access to members only discounts, and you can sign up for email alerts to make sure you always know when the sales on your favorite items are happening.
Use a Credit Card That Gives Cash Back for Groceries
If you’re looking for a new credit card and trying to save money on groceries, there are plenty of cards that will give you cashback on grocery purchases. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card gives you 6% cashback on purchases from U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 a year.
Additionally, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card gives you 5% back at Whole Foods and 5% back on Amazon purchases, so you can get just as much cash back on your online purchases as you do for your groceries. Plus, you have the option to order groceries online if you want.
If you’re not a member at Costco or Sam’s Club, you’re missing out on huge savings. Yes, you have to buy in bulk, but for items that aren’t perishable, this will help you save a lot.
Try to supplement your grocery store shopping with a membership to one of these wholesale stores. Wholesale prices can be $10-20 cheaper than in the grocery store, plus you can stock up for the entire year.
Know Where To Look
Grocery stores set up their aisles in a way that tries to convince you to spend more. If you know how to shop, you won’t fall into this trap.
Anything that’s displayed at eye level is most likely going to be the most expensive. Look above and below those items for the cheaper versions. Your best deal is likely going to be the generic brand, but that option is never going to be the one you see first. Take some time to look a little harder and you’ll get a better deal.
Avoid Pre-Packaged Items
Prepackaged items like sliced cheese, premade salads and veggie plates cut down the amount of preparation you need to do — but they also jack up the price. If you can handle a little extra prep work in the kitchen, and you’ll see the savings reflected on your grocery store receipt.
Shop in Season
When you’re looking at a recipe, make sure the foods are in season. If they aren’t, buying them at your local grocery store is going to cost a lot more. Research recipes that use food that’s in season so you can spend less when you go shopping.
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