15 Easy Ways to Slash Your Grocery Spending and Save Big

cut grocery spending in half with simple tips, tricks, and strategies

Grocery spending can feel like you’re fighting a constant battle against rising prices and unexpected expenses. Luckily, there are simple ways to ease this burden. By adopting clever strategies, you can significantly reduce your grocery bill. Without sacrificing quality or convenience.

Imagine leaving the supermarket with a full cart and still having money left in your wallet. How?

Changing small habits can make a world of difference. Dive into this list of 15 easy ways to slash your grocery spending and watch your savings grow.

1. Plan Your Meals

Start by deciding what you’ll eat for each meal throughout the week. Think about your schedule and choose meals that fit. For example, plan quick and easy dinners on busy days.

Write down breakfast, lunch, and dinner for seven days. Include snacks if needed.

This not only keeps you organized but also helps you avoid impulsive buys. With a set menu, you won’t be tempted by other items in the store. You’ll stick to what you need.

List Necessary Ingredients

grocery list and monthly meal planner ideas

Once your menu is set, list all the ingredients required. Group items by category such as produce, dairy, and meats. This organization makes your shopping trip quick and efficient.


  • Produce: tomatoes, lettuce, onions
  • Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Meats: chicken breasts, ground beef

Check Before Shopping

Before heading to the store, check what you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.

It’s easy to forget the jar of pasta sauce or the frozen veggies at the back of the freezer. Use sticky notes or a whiteboard to keep track of items that need to be used soon.

2. Do a Rotating Meal Plan

rotating meal plan

Putting my family on a recurring meal plan was a game changer in my home.

Why is it so helpful? Because it makes the grocery items needed consistent. You know exactly what you need from week to week or month to month. So it’s easier to look for sales or stock up at good prices.

3. Set a Grocery Budget

Look at your overall income and fixed expenses such as rent, utilities, and transportation. What remains is your flexible spending, which includes groceries.

Next, review your spending from the past few months to get an idea of your typical grocery costs. Aim to set a new grocery budget that is realistic but also challenges you to spend less.

Pro Tip: You might find it helpful to break down your budget into weekly amounts to make it more manageable.

50 30 20 budget template worksheet pdf and example

Related: 50 30 20 Budget Rule

Track Grocery Expenses

Once you have a set budget, the next step is to track your grocery expenses. Save all your receipts and input the amounts into a spreadsheet or budgeting app. This practice helps you see exactly where your money is going and identifies any areas where you can cut back.

Bonus: Many budgeting apps allow you to set spending limits and will alert you if you’re getting close to your maximum. You can create cash envelope categories for this too.

Regularly reviewing your tracked expenses is crucial. At the end of each week or month, compare your actual spending to your budget. Tracking helps you stay accountable and becoming aware is the only way you’ll be able to make adjustments.

4. Use Coupons and Discounts

Every week, grocery stores release flyers that highlight sales and discounts. These flyers can often be found in the store, in your mail, or online. Make it a habit to review them before heading out to shop.

food in a bag to cut your grocery shopping spending bill

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Many grocery chains offer loyalty programs that reward regular shoppers with exclusive discounts, points, or cash back. Signing up is usually free and can be done online or in the store.

Leverage Cash-Back Apps

Cash-back apps provide another excellent way to save on groceries. Apps like Ibotta, Rakuten, and Checkout 51 allow you to get money back on purchases you’ve already made. After shopping, simply upload your receipt to the app to redeem offers.

These apps often have bonus deals that can double or triple your cash back, especially when combined with store sales and coupons.

5. Switch Stores

This is one simple move that can save you hundreds.

Most stores carry exactly the same thing, but what you pay can vary in extremes. Our local grocery store is far more expensive than Aldi, Walmart, or Warehouse prices. Consider only buying what you love most at expensive stores, and then going to discount places for the rest of your groceries.

6. Avoid Impulse Buys

Before you go grocery shopping, take the time to create a detailed list of the items you need. Try to list it by sections, so you know exactly where to go. This helps you avoid wandering through the aisles and getting tempted by items that catch your eye.

Ordering groceries online is one of my favorite ways to avoid impulse buys. I’m not nearly as tempted to buy junk food on the website as I am in person!

Also, it may sound simple, but not shopping on an empty stomach can dramatically reduce impulse purchases too. Hunger clouds your judgment and makes you more likely to grab snacks.

7. Buy in Bulk

top 10 things to buy at Sam's Club

Buying in bulk can reduce your grocery spending by allowing you to leverage discounts on larger quantities. This approach is especially effective for non-perishable items and when shopping at wholesale retailers (Sam’s Club and Costco).

But warning: Buying in bulk is not always cheaper! My family got into the bad habit of buying junk food (we ate more empty calories) and stuff we didn’t use in time. It wasn’t until we made a specific list of what we should buy in bulk that warehouse shopping became a money saver.

Items such as:

  • rice
  • pasta
  • canned goods
  • and household products like toilet paper and cleaning supplies

8. Select Store Brands

You can save around 25% by opting for store-brand products!

When comparing store brands with name brands, it’s essential to look at the ingredient list first. Often, the ingredients in store brands are nearly identical to those in more expensive name brands. But doing this ensures you’re not sacrificing quality for savings.

9. Opt for Seasonal Produce & Cheaper Foods

Choosing seasonal produce can save money and ensure fresher, tastier ingredients. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are often more affordable and offer better variety because they are at their most abundant.

Seasonal Chart Examples

SpringStrawberries, ApricotsAsparagus, Spinach
SummerPeaches, WatermelonTomatoes, Corn
FallApples, PearsPumpkins, Sweet Potatoes
WinterOranges, GrapefruitsBrussels Sprouts, Kale

Find Local Farmers’ Markets

Visiting local farmers’ markets helps you find fresh, in-season produce directly from growers. Typically, farmers’ markets offer fruits and vegetables harvested at their peak, ensuring top quality and flavor.

free printable grocery list for best healthy cheap foods on a budget

Related: Buy Cheap Foods That Are Also Healthy

10. Reduce Food Waste

Reducing food waste is key to slashing grocery costs.

Meal Plan Around Leftovers: Prepare large batches of staple recipes like soups, stews, or casseroles, which store well and can be reheated easily.

Get Creative: Turn roast chicken into chicken salad, or use vegetable scraps for making broth. Soups, stews, and stir-fries are excellent for using leftover veggies and meats.

Freeze Extras: Don’t let leftovers sit in the fridge too long. Freeze what you can in portioned containers to make future meals convenient. Just label and date your food, so it’s easier to keep track of later.

Store Food Properly

Fruits and Vegetables: Leafy greens do best in the crisper drawer, while potatoes and onions prefer cool, dark places.

Dry Goods: Make sure dry goods like rice, pasta, and cereal are kept in airtight containers to prevent them from going stale or attracting pests.

Refrigeration Tip: Keep your refrigerator organized and at the right temperature (below 40°F). This can make a big difference in preventing spoilage.

11. Embrace Plant-Based Proteins

Black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans are affordable and available in canned and dried forms. A can of beans typically costs less than a dollar and provides multiple servings. Nutritionally, they are packed with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals like iron and folate.

For instance, one cup of cooked lentils provides approximately 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber.

You can add beans to salads, soups, and stews, or use them as a base for vegetarian burgers.

12. Utilize Online Shopping

By comparing prices and using subscription services, you can find the best deals.

woman saving grocery: why can't I save any money

One of the greatest advantages of online shopping is the ability to compare prices easily across different retailers. Use comparison websites and apps to quickly see which stores offer the best deals on the items you need.

Pro Tip: Many grocery stores, such as Walmart and Amazon Fresh, often have special online-only discounts that you can take advantage of.

See if there are deals for buying in larger quantities, and keep a look out for seasonal sales and clearance items. Make sure to check if there are any added shipping costs, as they can sometimes offset the savings.

13. Understand Unit Pricing

Unit pricing helps you compare prices effectively, ensuring you get the best value. It involves calculating the cost per unit of a product.

To calculate the price per unit, divide the total price by the quantity or weight of the product. This gives you the cost per ounce, pound, liter, etc.

For instance, if a 92-fluid-ounce container of detergent costs $12.97, the calculation would be:

This method is simple but crucial in identifying the most cost-effective option. Be sure to account for any discounts or coupons, as they alter the total price and therefore the unit price.

14. Make a Bi-Weekly Shopping Schedule

Instead of making frequent trips to the grocery store, plan to shop every two weeks. This approach encourages you to plan meals ahead of time, allowing you to buy only what you need.

spend less on groceries  best tips and techniques

To make fewer shopping trips practical, focus on buying longer-lasting foods. Choose items with a longer shelf life or those that can be easily stored.

Examples include:

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables: These can be stored for months without losing nutritional value.
  • Canned goods: Soups, beans, and vegetables are versatile and durable.
  • Root vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, and onions can last for weeks if stored properly.

By selecting these items, you won’t run out of essential ingredients quickly. Additionally, you’ll reduce food waste, as longer-lasting items give you more flexibility.

15. Grow Your Own Herbs and Vegetables

Growing your own herbs and vegetables can significantly cut down grocery costs while ensuring fresh produce at your fingertips. You’ll need a good spot, some know-how you can find online, and consistency to get started. But it’s pretty cheap!

What’s Next?

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