I used to be able to get in and out of the grocery store with only spending 50 bucks to feed two people for the week. And let me tell you, that is not the case anymore. Groceries have gotten so, so, so expensive. So how can we get back to those days of cheaper groceries? Well, the first thing is we need these stores to stop price gouging us. But there are still ways to save money on groceries and here’s 7 of my best tips.
Ways to Save Money On Groceries Tip 1: Use apps to lower your food costs
The two apps that I really like are the Too Good To Go app and the Fetch app. Too Good to Go is amazing and it really speaks to my trash panda heart. Too Good To Go is an app that different restaurants and stores can sign up for to sell you food that they have leftover at the end of the day for a significantly discounted price. Now the thing is, is that it’s kind of a grab bag, you don’t know what you’re going to get. But you know, it’s going to be cheap as hell.
One of my absolute favorite restaurants is Tiff’s Treats. They participate in a lot of cities with Too Good To Go. And that means you’re gonna get really delicious cookies for half the price. It’s a fantastic idea if you’re having people over and you want a cute little dessert, but you don’t want to break your budget.
The Fetch app is also a really good app. After you go the grocery store, you buy your stuff, you then scan your app and submit it to Fetch. Fetch is then going to give you points and you turn these points into gift cards. So yes, there’s an upfront cost with Fetch, you gotta pay for the groceries first, but down the line, it saves you big money.
Ways to Save Money On Groceries Tip 2: Get the most out of each item
Not to sound like a grandma transported from the 1800s, but we are all throwing away a lot of perfectly edible things simply because we’re not used to eating them. Let’s take a squash, for example. A lot of us eat squash, but I’m willing to bet very few of us are eating the seeds that we’re scraping out of a squash, even though the seeds are totally edible. And if you toast them up and sprinkle a little seasoning on them, they’re very delicious snack.
So let’s start thinking about how we can get more out of what we’re already buying. To continue using my squash example, once you’ve eaten everything you can out of the squash, don’t just toss it in the trash, you can compost i! Stick it in the backyard or contribute to your city’s compost and use that to turn it into more food down the line.
Ways to Save Money On Groceries Tip 3: Shop flyer or app sales
Almost every grocery store has a flyer or an app now because we’re living in the digital age! The app or the flyer will show you the weekly items that are on sale. Shopping those items instead of sticking to a pre-ordained list in your mind is a really good way to cut down on how much you spend at the grocery store.
Ways to Save Money On Groceries Tip 4: Use beans and lentils
I am sick of the beans slander! I’m sick of it beans and lentils are delicious. But here in the United States, they have this really crappy image of being like poor people food. I’m not going to get into the weird dynamics of the phrase poor people today, that’s another post. But this idea like people often talk about rice and beans as if “You don’t want to eat anything delicious. You’ll just be sitting at home eating rice and beans.” And to that I say, “Sir, rice and beans are delicious. What are you talking about?” Beans and lentils are incredible sources of protein. They’re really, really cheap. And depending on how you cook them, they are really delicious.
I think there’s a lot of classism and more than a pinch of racism in the way that we talk about beans in the United States. And I’m sick of it. I spent a good amount of time last year in South America and you know what was in every single restaurant, rice and beans. And you know what was delicious every time I ate it? Rice and beans. If you’re just opening a can of beans and nuking them in the microwave and then dumping them on a tortilla with some cheese, yeah, that’s not going to be super delicious. You have to take a little bit of time and properly cook and season your beans. Move beyond just salt and pepper people because there’s a lot of delicious flavors out there.
To cook beans, it’s really easy. You can do it in a slow cooker when you’re at work. You don’t have to be slaving over a stove, I promise. The same is true for lentils. Lentils come in a variety of flavors. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and with a variety of flavors.
Ways to Save Money On Groceries Tip 5: Stretch expensive items like meat
I don’t buy meat to eat at home, but I know a lot of people do. And I know meat is a very expensive item. So try and get more bang out of your buck by stretching your meat. And you know where this leads me? Right on back to lentils baby! You can use lentils as a meat substitute, or as a way to stretch your meat.
So for example, if you’re making a chili and you want to put ground beef in it, you can have the ground beef that the recipe calls for, stick the remainder of the beef in the fridge, save it for another recipe and instead replace that with lentils. This is going to give you more meat overall. It’s also going to keep your protein for that chili recipe really high because lentils are chock full of protein. This kind of supplementing will really help you save money at the grocery store.
Ways to Save Money On Groceries Tip 6: Buy things you’ll actually eat
Number five: buy things you actually eat and use y’all. I need us to be honest about the bagged salads, or maybe it’s the grapes or the eggplant but you know what I’m talking about! The thing that you buy because you think you should eat it, but you end up throwing it out every single week. Aspirational shopping is a huge problem when it comes to food waste and when it comes to wasting your very hard earned dollars. Just personally, I know there’s a lot of foods out there that are having a trendy moment or that are good for me, but I am not going to eat it.
For example, brussels sprout and collard greens. I’m sorry, I don’t like them. I’m definitely never going to cook them by myself at home in a way that they would need to be tasty to me. So like why bother buying them? Just because I saw some lady on Instagram make a really cool looking glazed brussels sprout dish? I’m not that lady. I don’t have that skill set. I’m not going to waste my money by buying brussels sprouts.
Being honest with ourselves about what we will and will not eat is a huge opportunity to save money at the grocery store. You don’t need to be wasting $6 pop on those bagged salads, if they’re just going to end up in the trash every single Sunday.
Ways to Save Money On Groceries Tip 7: Buy unprepared or unpackaged food
This tip is not for my chronically ill girlies or my single parents or my booked and busy people. This is for people, like me, who have the time and energy to be doing a lot of meal prep and DIY cooking at home. Pre-made or pre-cut food is always more expensive than buying the respective, unprepared counterparts and making it at home. You’re paying for the convenience of not having to peel and slice your own squash. Now if you need to buy the pre-prepared stuff, great, go for it. I’m not here to judge. But if you’re looking to save money, this is an area to do it in.
You can save money by buying your own squash by buying your own avocados and turning it into guacamole. You can even supercharge your savings by doing this by buying these separate ingredients in bulk, then meal prepping big meals and then freezing the food. So for example, my partner and I are huge fans of this butternut squash soup, which we eat a lot in the spring, summer and fall. I often buy a couple of butternut squash, all the ingredients, make a huge batch of it and then stick half of it in the freezer, so I can come back to it a couple of weeks later.
And I’m like oh my gosh, look at this free food here! Now I don’t have to go grocery shopping this week. This saves money because if the price of butternut squash goes up in the ensuing weeks, it doesn’t impact me because I got my butternut squash back in the day when it was still cheap.
Let me know in the comments if you have other money saving tips and if you’re more of a visual learner, you can check out the full video below!
1 thought on “7 Ways to Save Money on Groceries”
Great tips! This caught my eye because I also wrote a post on 7 ways to save money on groceries, so to supplement your excellent list, here’s some more ways to beat inflation: https://www.financialfives.com/post/7-top-ways-to-save-money-on-groceries