8 Tips to Save Money On Groceries
Unless you have money to fling around chances are you could go for having a smaller grocery bill. Who doesn’t want to save money on groceries? These tips are easy to implement and don’t need any coupons.
For all of the price comparisons I’ve used regular prices at my Aldi or Kroger unless stated otherwise. Obviously your store’s pricing might be a bit different.
1. Buy spices in bulk.
Spices help food shine, but dang they can be expensive. Buying in bulk can reduce that cost. For more common spices your grocery store might have larger sizes. My Kroger carries chili powder in two sizes, and the larger size saves you 14%. Amazon and Costco are my favorite places to look for bulk containers of spices and they typically save you even more money.
My spice rack has regular sized spice containers that I refill from the larger containers. I’ll also use small mason jars or salt shakers for common spices mixtures I use (like turkey burger seasoning). I keep Old Bay in a shaker too. It’s fantastic on chicken nuggets, fries, and in Potato Pancakes.
2. Cook your own beans.
If you’ve never cooked dried beans it is so stinkin easy. Put them in a pot with enough water to cover. Stir a few times while they simmer on low until they’re tender, adding more water if necessary. It takes somewhere around an hour depending on the size of the beans. Often I’ll cook beans at the beginning of the week when I’m making something else. Then when I need them later in the week I don’t have to wait for them to cook.
Not only do you save money but you get to control the amount of salt. And can make your beans more flavorful. I like to add a clove or 2 of garlic and sometimes the caps of peppers (just fish them out later). You can also had onions, hot sauce, and BBQ sauce to impart your beans with the flavors you’re looking for. See this post for full details on how I cook black beans.
BLACK BEAN RECIPES: Cauliflower & Black Bean Burritos | Black Beans & Rice Bowl | Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos
3. Use ground turkey instead of beef.
My Aldi has a 1.2 lbs package of 93% lean ground turkey for $3.49 ($2.91/lbs). Ground beef usually starts at $3.99/lbs and goes up from there. That makes ground turkey 27% cheaper. To make it taste more like beef I add a beef bouillon cube in a little water when the turkey is browning.
GROUND TURKEY RECIPES: The Beefiest Turkey Chili | Southwest Turkey Burgers
4. Use half the meat.
I’ve found with kielbasa, I cut it into quarters lengthwise before a slice it. This gives little triangle wedges instead of half moons. If a recipe calls for a package of kielbasa I always use just half, like this recipe for Cheesy Broccoli Kielbasa Rice from Mom On Timeout. It occurs frequently in our meal rotation.
By using the 1.2 lbs packages of ground turkey from Aldi, you have a little more meat to work with when cutting it in half. These Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats from The Wholesome Dish that are all over Pinterest work well with half the ground turkey. Pizza Gnocchi is another favorite with half a package of ground turkey.
5. Or just don’t use meat.
Typically eating vegetarian is cheaper. Veggies, rice, pasta, and beans are all pretty inexpensive. These Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas from Don’t Go Bacon My Heart are the best in a time pinch. If I know I have a night that needs a quick dinner I make the sweet potatoes and black beans ahead of time. This Curried Lentils & Roasted Cauliflower recipe also has cheap vegetarian ingredients.
6. Buy stuff on sale, of course.
This is obvious but one that can be hard to stick to without some planning. Know the lowest sale price your store does on items you buy frequently. Then buy a bunch of those items when they go on sale. Pantry items are the easiest to stock up on because they have long expiration dates. At my Kroger here are some of my stock up prices:
|Item||Sale Price||Regular Price||Savings|
|1 lbs pasta (any brand)||$0.50||$1.00 – $1.89||50 – 74%|
|Bertolli alfredo sauce (15 oz)||$1.99||$2.49||20%|
|JIF peanut butter (16 oz)||$0.99||$2.59||62%|
|Gold Fish (16 oz)||$0.99||$1.99||50%|
|Pillsbury Grands & Crescents||$0.99||$1.79 – $1.99||45 – 50%|
|Luna & Clif Bars||$0.77||$1.00 – $1.25||23 – 38%|
|Pint of Ice Cream (B & J or HD)||$2.49||$4.99 – $5.79||50 – 57%|
I know I don’t have to buy a ton of pasta when it’s on sale, because between a couple of brands of pasta, it’s on sale every couple weeks. But peanut butter only hits that price once or twice a year, so I buy a lot. The alfredo sauce doesn’t have as high of a savings percentage, but I know it doesn’t go on sale for cheaper than that (at least not normally). It takes time to learn the sales at your store, but it’s worth it when you do. Don’t forget you can also ask your store for a rain check if they are out of an item you were hoping to stock up on.
7. Know what to buy at each store.
On a regular grocery trip I hit Aldi then Kroger. Aldi has a lot of basics and staples cheaper than Kroger. But Kroger has more of a selection than Aldi. I always buy shredded cheese at Aldi because the bags have 50% more cheese for a similar price. For other Aldi buys check out My Favorite Aldi Groceries. I always buy hashbrowns at Kroger because they keep sending me coupons in the mail for them.
8. If you can’t save, at least get some money back.
There are a lot of apps out there that can help you recoup some of the money that you spend on groceries – you just need to be willing to share your receipt (and thus your purchasing habits) with them. I keep all of these apps in a folder on my phone, along with my grocery list, Kroger app, and Aldi app.
In all of these I have linked or included my referral code.
- Ibotta – One of the more popular grocery/rebate apps. You search for referrals on products you buy, and your scan of the item and receipt verify your purchase. Every week there are ‘any brand’ offers which I take advantage of. They also have good beer rebates sometimes. Payment comes through Paypal, Venmo or a variety of gift cards. (referral code: idephdt)
- Checkout 51 – Another product rebate app. This one doesn’t have as many products I buy anymore. They have lots of good name brands, it’s just not stuff I regularly buy. You can request a check when you earn $20.
- Receipt Hog – This app lets you upload any retail receipts and you earn coins that can be redeemed for Paypal, VISA cards or Amazon gift cards. There are no rebates or specific products you need to purchase.
- Fetch Rewards – Similar to Receipt Hog you can earn for snapping pictures of your receipts. This app has bonuses for specific brands though. Rewards are a variety of gift cards. (referral code: D5HMB)
- Shopkick – While not specific to groceries this app allows you to earn kicks in store towards gift cards. You can earn towards gift cards just by opening the app in the store and/or by scanning specific items through out the store. (referral code: GIFT776917)
Lowering your grocery bill can become somewhat of a game. The higher your savings percentage the more you win!
What are your favorite ways to save money on groceries?