Here are some money-saving tips and tools that will take a healthy bite out of your grocery bill!
1. Make a Grocery List
While this may sound trivial, sticking to a list will help keep you focused at the grocery store.
Remember, there are lots of people involved in the configuration of grocery stores and the vibes, advertising, and emotions (yes, emotions of the grocery store) trying to get you to spend more than you planned.
Have you ever walked down your usual snack aisle and thought, “Look at that new display, what is that right there? OH! It’s Organic Truffle Potato Chips! I love truffle. Organic is GOOD for me. Potatoes are a Vegetable. This. Is. DESTINY.”
In goes the bag of truffle potato chips and heck, maybe some of those pumpkin spice cookies and pumpkin pop-tarts, and let’s give the pumpkin oatmeal a try too because it may not be here the next time I’m back.
While it is so good to indulge yourself every occasionally, remember that these are small little bits that can throw your budget off track if you’re watching numbers.
If you enjoy couponing, find stores that have double coupon deals.
Harris Teeter is a grocery chain that will double coupons up to $2.00, so hello, up to $4 off a product!
You have to be careful with the feeling that you’re getting a good deal so it makes you buy things you weren’t planning, so this method can end up costing you more. Seek out friends who have leftover coupon sections from their weekly papers and check and see if you can find things you need.
3. Check the Weekly Flyer/Specials
Check out the store’s weekly flyer and find the deals that week. Many times you can find the flyer online and can plan what you want to grab for your week at the store.
Sometimes I can swap one of the meals for the week with something that was on sale and that changes things up from our traditional meals.
Occasionally, I can find some special things I can throw in the freezer to have on hand. Many times the weekly special requires you to have a store card (not a credit card) to take advantage of the deal. Sign up for it and keep it on a ring in your car to take into the store or, usually, you can just put in your phone number.
4. Price Compare
Before we buy most things, we compare prices and sometimes this goes for food items. Check out what different stores sell items for.
I have nutritional bars that are $1.99/bar at one store , and $2.99/bar at another. You better bet I will stock up when I go to the store that has a less expensive item. There are large price differences that make a difference!
5. Generic or Store Brand Items
One of the best ways I save money on my groceries is to buy the store brand or generic labels.
Guys, I cannot explain how much mark-up there is on certain items. We love love love the Kroger Simple Truth Organic brand vegetables and dry goods. Even their bread is fantastic and we have never had one bad tasting or bad quality item from them.
I love that we can get GOOD quality ORGANIC food for the price of conventional items. For example, Kroger’s Simple Truth Organic Pasta sauce is $2.29, but you can buy conventional pasta sauce from traditional brands for at least $2.99-$4.99.
6. Eat LESS Meat.
I’m going to feel the burn from some people but this is a HUGE cost savings.
Meat is especially expensive, friends.
Not to mention beef is terrible for the environment, and red meat has been implicated in a number of health issues.
We try to make sure that we have at least one meat-less meal per week. Meatless Mondays are a wonderful thing for your wallet and health. Your wallet, mother earth, and your health will thank you.
If you hunt and are able to secure venison, you can reap some great savings and stock your freezer with wild game for pennies on the dollar.
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and ibotta are our current top two money-saving tools that we use to cut down our grocery bill. We’ve been using the Blue Cash Preferred Card for almost 2 years, and we started using ibotta a few months ago.
7. Blue Cash Preferred
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is a secret weapon when it comes to slashing your grocery bills because it provides 6% cash back at supermarkets for up to $6,000 of spending per year. This gives us $360 back on the first $6,000 at supermarkets, and 1% back after that. The Blue Cash Preferred Card also provides 3% cash back at gas stations.
The cash back on the card is received in the form of reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. This is so much better than my previous card where the only way to get the cash back was to request a check from the credit card company. Now you can shop, collect reward dollars, and use them to pay your credit card bill.
You can review the current offer details for the Blue Cash Preferred Card here. There’s an annual fee, but the up-front statement credit more than covers it for 2 years. Make sure you are getting the below offer if you decide to apply through my link, which will be $50 dollars better than some other offers currently out there. And be sure to spend $1,000 in the first 3 months as a card member to get the $250 statement credit.
So far this year we’ve received $313 cash back on a total of $11,142 across the 6%, 3%, and 1% categories, for an average 2.8% back. Not bad!
Last year we received $566 back, which included a $150 statement credit for signing up. Now that statement credit is $250!
ibotta is a smartphone app that helps you get cash back on your grocery bill when you take a picture of your receipts with the app. (You can also use the app on your computer if you prefer.) We just used it to get $3 dollars back on Bud Light…how can you say no to that? The app will help you find deals on certain items which frequently change. Sometimes these items are newer items to the market and you can try them for less with ibotta.
After you sign up for an account (and claim a $10 welcome bonus through our link) and download the app, you can select your favorite stores and desired rebates, then go shopping, and afterward make sure to a take a picture of your receipt within 1 week. That’s it! Then you receive cash back and you can cash out after your account reaches a minimum of $20. We’ve been cashing out through Amazon gift cards, and you can also cash out through PayPal, Venmo, and a host of retailers.
You can frequently find larger rewards on ibotta for special purchases. Even if you don’t find anything you want on the list of grocery items, sometimes there are generic items that they will pay you for. For example, 25 cents back on any grocery item, 25 cents back on bananas, 50 cents back on any brand of bread. Take advantage of these! It’s surprising how fast they can add up. Apply through the links in this post or the picture below to claim a $10 welcome bonus!