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How To Save On Groceries

Updated 2/27/2020

Shopping for groceries is a necessity but those items in your cart can result in a painful punch to your wallet during checkout. Here are a few simple steps to help you save money when you shop for groceries.

Join a reward program

Retailers are catching on that a reward or loyalty program is great for business. A quality reward program keeps existing customers happy and attracts new ones. If you find yourself frequently stopping by the same store for food and other items, check to see if they offer a reward program. Here’s how they work:

  1. You sign up or create an account with the store.
  2. Every time you shop, you earn points at that store which can later be redeemed for special offers, additional savings, and more.

The best part is, these programs are free to join. However, a word of caution when redeeming those earned points. Oftentimes, the offers and deals available to you are for a limited time only. So, when you’re able to cash in on extra savings, it’s in your best interest to do it sooner rather than later.

Use digital coupons

The days of sitting down at the kitchen table and clipping coupons is not as much of common practice as it once was. Instead, many grocery stores and retailers offer digital coupons as a part of their shopping rewards or loyalty program. Typically, you will need to log in or create an account with the store. After that, you can load the coupons you want onto your grocery store rewards card and redeem them at the cash register when you shop. Filter which coupons you want when you search by brand or category.

For example,

Kroger digital coupons

Publix digital coupons

Safeway digital coupons

Earn cash back rewards on these gift cards:

Kroger Gift Card

0% off

Safeway Gift Card

2% off

If you like to shop around and don’t have a go-to grocery store, you can also find printable coupons online. Popular sites for printable coupons include

P&G everyday

SmartSource

Redplum - which is becoming RetailMeNot Everyday

Buy foods in season

Have you ever wondered why pears were consistently on sale for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden it switched to strawberries? Well, it probably has to do with the seasonality of the fruit. Not only is buying in-season produce a way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, but it’s also a good way to save on your grocery bill. Search online for seasonal produce charts. They are a helpful tool as they list in-season produce that will be readily available in your area and less expensive. If your starting to get more involved in the meal prep movement, buying foods in season can make planning your menu for the week so much easier.

Ask for or use gift cards

Ok, quick question. For your birthday you want __? If you’re one of those people that answered, nothing or meh, this is your opportunity to ask for a useful gift. Why not ask for a grocery store gift card to help you save on everyday items you need!

On the flip side, do you have someone you struggle to find a gift for every year? Or, are you wondering what to give a new homeowner, parent, or recent graduate? Giving a grocery store gift card might seem boring but instead of a knickknack that’s just going to collect dust or a sweater they’ll only wear once, a gift card is something they will actually use and appreciate.

Earn cash back rewards on these gift cards:

Vons Gift Card

0% off

Albertsons Gift Card

0% off

Whole Foods Gift Card

0% off

Use what you have

Long story short, eat what's in your fridge, and use existing items in your pantry. This may sound like a no-brainer but when you stop to think about the amount of food you throw away in a week, you may be surprised. Let’s say your grocery store had a BOGO sale on meat and you couldn’t help by buy a turkey and a pot roast. On Monday, you cook the turkey. On Tuesday, you throw the pot roast in the crockpot with some veggies. Wednesday comes around and your fridge is filled with all of these hearty leftovers. What do you do? Here are some suggestions:

1. Freeze it.
Go on and pick apart the turkey. Put all of the meat into a resealable freezer bag and use the rest of it at a later date.

2. Create a new meal.
Your pot roast leftovers include the meat itself, carrots, potatoes, and onions. With just a few more ingredients, you can make a delicious stew.

3. Pack your lunch.
Assemble a turkey sandwich or be the envy of the office when you reheat that pot roast in the breakroom. Either way, bringing in leftovers from the night before is a smart way to cut back on eating out for lunch.

Ultimately, the trick for saving at the grocery store is to stick with a plan. Impulse buying is so easy, especially when it comes to food and drinks. One minute you’re picking up oatmeal and the next, there are 2 bags of potato chips in your cart. Make a list of items you need and incorporate a few of these tips into your shopping habits to save money on groceries.

 

What tips do YOU have when it comes to saving on groceries? Let us know in the comments below. 

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I often get coupons on fresh produce and meat at Kroger. If you sign up for their card and check the box for mailed coupons, you can get them. I get $1 off coupons for every $5 I spend on fresh produce and meat. They also run deals on the meat often with the card. I ended up scoring 6 pounds of really nice chicken breasts for $2.69, since I also bought steaks and they were on huge discount.