Americans spend 11% of their income on groceries, according to the USDA. That’s a lot of money that you could be spending (or investing) elsewhere. Food is a necessity though, so it’s hard to figure out where or how you can save without feeling like you’re sacrificing or eating the same foods every day.
Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it seems. Here are the top ways you can save on groceries starting today.
Don’t shop without coupons. Even if you don’t get the Sunday paper or like to sift through coupons, there are other ways.
Clip coupons online on sites like Coupons.com, or go directly to your favorite store’s website. Many stores, like Target and Meijer, have apps. Once you download the app and join the store’s loyalty program, you can ‘clip’ coupons, scan your app at checkout, and save money.
If you don’t have time to clip coupons at home, use the app’s scanner while you shop and score savings as you go.
In addition to clipping coupons, use a cash-back app like Ibotta. You ‘clip’ coupons like you would on a store’s app, but you don’t scan anything at checkout. Instead, you scan your receipt when you get home and upload it into the Ibotta app. If you make qualifying purchases, Ibotta credits you with cash-back.
Once you hit $20, you can redeem your cash via PayPal or a gift card to the store of your choice.
If you plan meals, you’re more likely to save money by not eating out. If you plan meals around the week’s sales, you’ll save even more money. Start by planning meals around what you already have and then supplement with the items on sale that week. You’ll avoid paying full price and maybe try new foods too.
Don’t make meat your main course a few times a week and watch your grocery bill fall. Get creative – Pinterest is great for that, as is Instagram and even Tik Tok. Find alternative meals that don’t include meat but use other sources of more affordable protein as the main dish.
We’re programmed to buy the name-brands we know and love. Did you know most generic brands are name-brand products in generic packaging? In other words, you’re paying higher prices just to have ‘pretty packaging.’ Instead, add a few generic products to your list each week and see how much money you save and how little everyone notices. You may find a product here or there that you don’t like, but chances are you’ll like most of the exchanges.
Get creative with your groceries and you’ll save more money than you thought possible. It takes a little work and thinking outside the box, but with the right effort, it’s possible to save a significant amount of money on your groceries.