Here are 8 easy ways to save money on groceries! These grocery shopping tips are not only easy to start but will help you reduce food expenses without couponing!
Life is expensive & so is food! I’m not kidding! Groceries have gone up 9.4% just from last year! While I only cook for myself & my husband (who is always hungry haha), I make most of our meals at home, which means that most of my grocery trips are pretty expensive. With that said, I do love to go grocery shopping & I’m always trying to think of ways to stretch the amount of money I’m spending on food each week.
Below, I’m sharing 8 easy ways to save money on groceries in 2022 & beyond – without using coupons! I have nothing at all against coupons, but I have never personally used them. The extent of my couponing is taking advantage of Amazon Prime deals at Whole Foods haha! These money savings tips are all extremely doable & are things that I do each & every week. I hope that these tips will help you stay organized with the things you’re adding to your cart each week, reduce food waste, use what you already have, & of course, cut down on the amount of money you’re spending on food!
How to save money on groceries
1. Write a shopping list & stick to it
I think the #1 way to reduce your food expenses is writing out a grocery list & sticking to it. I personally prefer a handwritten list, but you can also write one out digitally, such as using the notes app on your phone! Writing a shopping list helps me save money because I’m not wondering around the store grabbing random things in hopes that it will come together to make a meal. My list includes everything I need to make my meals for the week (more on this next). In full honesty, I usually do add on a few extra things here & there, like snacks that I don’t write down on my list but usually always grab. But other than that, I stick to my list!
2. Plan out your meals
On the day that I go grocery shopping, I sit down & plan out our meals for the following days of the week. I usually buy enough food to make 5 dinners at home, breakfast, & a few lunches. I cook at home a lot, so your meal plan might look different than mine, depending on your lifestyle & schedule. There are a few recipes that I like to consistently make but most days, I like to keep my recipes fresh & different. I browse Pinterest, any recipes I saved on Instagram, & some of my favorite food blogs to plan out our weekly meals.
Planning out meal ideas has been a really simple way that I’ve been able to save money on food because once I have my meals planned, I write out my grocery list based on exactly what I need to make the meals on my list! This helps me avoid getting stuck with pantry items or produce that I don’t need for that specific week.
3. Shop your pantry
Shopping your pantry is one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries because you’re using what you already have! It’s not uncommon to forget what we have in our freezer, pantry, or even fridge. I’m definitely guilty of having boxes of pasta, rice, chicken broth, & canned foods sit in my pantry for extended periods of time. So before you head out to go grocery shopping, take inventory of what you already have, so you don’t end up buying more than you need or double of something! If you’re utilizing a shopping list (which I highly recommend), browse your pantry & fridge looking at your grocery list & check off anything written down that you already have & don’t need to buy!
4. Shop at multiple grocery stores
I’m a big fan of doing your grocery shopping at multiples grocery stores in order to save the most money. Especially if the stores you’re going to are in close proximity of one another, it’s definitely worth it. I feel super lucky because my Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods are right next to each other & the local farmer’s market is on the way to both! I’ve shopped at different grocery stores over the years, but this is how I’ve been shopping in recent years & it works well for me.
After I make my grocery list, I first go to my local farmer’s market to get the majority of my fresh produce. If you have a fresh market near you, I’d definitely suggest doing the same. Not only is the produce so good & fresh, but in most cases the produce is much less expensive than popular supermarkets. Then I head to Trader Joe’s. I really love shopping at Trader Joe’s because they have a great variety of food for really awesome prices. Most items are very reasonably priced. I do the largest bulk of my shopping at Trader Joe’s.
And then I go to Whole Foods. Whole Foods is definitely the most expensive option for grocery shopping but as someone with a variety of food sensitives & allergies (I’m Celiac), I like to grab a handful of things from Whole Foods like dairy free cheese & butter, gluten free/vegan bread, salad dressings, & snacks. Whole Foods is always my last stop & I grab anything I couldn’t find at the farmer’s market or Trader Joe’s there.
5. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
A great way to avoid buying things that you don’t need, is to not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. If you are hungry when you’re stocking up for the week, you most likely will be shopping with your eyes, loading up on sugar or snacks, & buying things that you want to eat right away. Anytime that I go grocery shopping, I also like to bring along my Hydroflask filled with water & my go-to electrolyte so I’m not tempted to buy a $4 beverage that I don’t necessarily need haha!
6. Avoid processed foods
Believe it or not, healthy foods are not always the most expensive option. Processed foods definitely creep up in price. When I do my grocery shopping, I try to focus on as many whole food ingredients as I possibly can. Not only will this help you cut down costs on your grocery bill but it’s also a much healthier option.
7. Opt for frozen items
In most cases, you can find some gems in the frozen food aisle for a great price! Especially if you shop at Trader Joe’s, they have an awesome frozen food selection. Fruit & veggies are great to grab frozen! On the topic of utilizing your freezer, don’t forget to freeze items in your fridge, or left overs to avoid wasting food! For example, if I have some bananas on the verge of being too ripe or some spinach in the freezer that is on the verge of wilting, I’ll just stick them in the freezer! I keep a Stasher Bag full of frozen bananas to conveniently add to smoothies. And any frozen greens (like spinach) are also great to add to smoothies, as well as, any sautéed veggie medley.
8. Don’t overbuy produce
When produce goes bad, it’s essentially like money going down the drain. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this, I know I have! This is why I love to go to the store with a grocery list & really specifically plan out my meals. Only buying what I need to make the meals on my meal plan helps me to not overbuy fresh produce & drastically reduces my food waste. I like to keep some items in the fruit bowl on my counter so they’re in plain site. Keeping my produce organized in my fridge also helps to remind me of what I have before I go shopping or what I need to use first!
I hope these tips for saving money on groceries is helpful for anyone looking to cut down food costs! Do you have a favorite way to save on groceries? If so, drop it in the comments – I’d love to hear!