Here are some simple ways to save money on groceries

UnSplash +

Shopping in stores instead of online can be beneficial for your budget

With inflation still on the rise, many consumers are looking for more ways to keep money in their wallets and spend less where they can – especially at the grocery store

Want to know how you can save money on groceries? Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews, offered her best advice with ConsumerAffairs on how to stretch your dollars the furthest at the grocery store.   

How to save big

Ramhold shared three top tips for consumers who want to save big on their next trip to the grocery store. 

  • Shop the sales. “This is the easiest way to save on groceries that won't really take any extra work from shoppers,” she said. “Take a little time each week to browse through the weekly ad of your preferred grocery store and try to meal plan around the items that are discounted. This is a good way to save on your regular trips but also a great opportunity to branch out and discover new tastes and dishes that you might not be inclined to otherwise.”

  • Embrace generics. “If you haven't been shopping generic brands, then you've been spending more than you have to on your groceries. A lot of store brands are just as good – if not better – than their name-brand counterparts and are a fraction of the cost, too. If you're hesitant to try generics, start small, and choose a few things on each trip that you can swap out to give the store brand a try. There's a good chance you'll find a cheaper version that you prefer for at least some of the items you try and even small savings will add up over time.” 

  • Spread your shopping out. “If you have the ability to shop at different stores, this can potentially be a good way to maximize savings on your grocery bills. However, the stores will need to be relatively close in order to keep the savings from being offset by having to drive around, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. You can also spread out your shopping to different days of the week as well, to take advantage of restocks or new ads and to avoid finding empty shelves.”

In-store vs. online shopping

While online grocery shopping has become popular, Ramhold isn’t quick to encourage consumers to go this route – especially if saving money is the goal. 

“In-store grocery shopping is going to be best for those on a tighter budget and with extremely specific parameters for items like meats or produce,” she said. “As long as you can physically get to a store to do the shopping yourself, it'll be a cheaper option than ordering online. 

“However, if you're prone to impulse shopping, visiting a grocery store might make it harder to avoid overspending. If that's the case, you may want to take some precautions like having a healthy snack and staying hydrated before you venture out to take care of your weekly shopping trip.

Save money when eating out

While grocery prices can add up, so can trips to restaurants. 

When it comes to eating out, Ramhold recommends that consumers opt for lunch out instead of dinner, take advantage of “kids eat free” promotions, and keep an eye on food holiday freebies. 

Many restaurants have lunch specials, which can help diners save money. Similarly, following your favorite spots on social media can help consumers find out when there are specials, freebies, or promotions. 

Take a Financial Relief Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.