It’s hard to avoid spending money on groceries. Everybody has to eat. Food is one of our family’s largest monthly expenses. Most people use coupons to save money on groceries, but I hate coupons! I don’t like paper, and I’m not willing to spend the time finding coupons for the things that I actually need. Plus, I get tempted by the coupons for all of the treats I don’t need, and I end up spending more money. Has anyone else experienced this problem with coupons?
You can’t avoid spending money on groceries, but you can make sure that you eat well and spend less.
5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Groceries
Order groceries online
Ever since I discovered Walmart’s free grocery pickup, I have decreased our spending on groceries by over $100 per month. I started using Walmart’s service when I couldn’t get to the grocery store during the day with my twin babies and my toddler, and my husband often came home from work so late that I was too exhausted to go to the store in the evening. We would sometimes go days without essentials, like produce, just because it was so hard to get to the store. Grocery pick-up changed my life! Once a week, I order my food online, schedule a pick-up time, drive to Walmart with all my kids, and have my groceries loaded into the back of my car for me. The whole process is so easy, and it saves me a ton of time! Here’s $10 to try Walmart Grocery.
Now, you’re probably wondering how this saves me money. Well, let me tell you: When I create and review my online order, I can see my total adding up in my shopping cart. Seeing how much I’m going to spend long before I hand over my credit card is the easiest way (let’s be honest, the only way) I have stayed under budget grocery shopping. I only order what I need, and I can’t make any impulse buys from the display items and sale tags all over the store.
Walmart is not the only way to get groceries online. I use it because it’s a free service, and it’s available in my area. Peapod and AmazonFresh are two other services that deliver groceries to your door. Peapod is a great option if you live back east; they offer delivery and pickup. I can’t wait until AmazonFresh is available where I live! I already stock up with PrimePantry and Subscribe & Save through Amazon.
Only buy things when they are on sale.
When you buy the same staples over and over again, you begin to notice what the average price of each item is. Eventually, almost everything goes on sale! If there’s something on your list that you can live without, then don’t buy it until it’s on sale.
Then, when your favorite loaf of $5 whole grain bread is only $1.99, stock up! Buy a few and freeze all but one. If you’re always stocking up sale items that you eat often, you will save money in the long-run.
Utilize your freezer.
There are many foods that freeze well that you might not have thought you could freeze. These foods include meat, fruits and veggies, bread, cheese, butter, and complete dinners. Freezer cooking is by far my favorite way to save money while eating healthily. Once a month, my friends and I each prepare about 10 meals, freeze them, and eat them throughout the month. It is so much easier to feed my family when there is already a meal in the freezer!
My life-saving tool that makes freezer cooking extra easy is my Instant Pot. I don’t know how I would survive without it! It’s seriously the best thing since the microwave. The Instant Pot can take a meal designed for the slow cooker from frozen to ready-to-eat in 35 minutes! It can cook anything and everything faster than I could have ever imagined. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, you need one! Your life will be easier – I promise.
Meal Plan from your pantry (and freezer).
As you plan your meals every week, be sure to use ingredients from your stockpile. Avoid recipes with out-of-season ingredients or items that you’ll never eat unless you use them in one specific recipe.
Give yourself some flexibility in your meal plan. I like to make a list of five or six meals that I can make. Then, I choose one meal from the list to prepare the day of. Sometimes I like to let my mood choose our dinner instead of telling myself that “I have to make tacos on Tuesday.”
Take advantage of money-saving apps
Checkout 51, Ibotta, and BerryCart are the apps I use to get cash back on all of my grocery purchases. Checkout 51 is the reason I fell in love with using rebate-style apps. I stumbled upon it from a Facebook ad, and now I never make any purchase without using at least one rebate website or app. With these three apps, you can get cash back by submitting a picture of your receipt and claiming the offers that you purchased.
Checkout 51 offers cash back on grocery and household items, and they accept receipts from all stores. I have gotten cash back on milk, yogurt, string cheese, crackers, air fresheners, diapers, and so much more. I often get between $5 and $10 back on any purchase from this app alone. Since Checkout 51 worked so well for me, I started using Ibotta and BerryCart as well.
Ibotta has the greatest variety of products offered that I have seen on any of these apps. Not only can you get cash back on your everyday purchases, but you can also get rebates from clothing stores, restaurants, fabric stores, gas stations, etc. Ibotta’s offers are store-specific, but they have offers for every major store within a 50-mile radius of my house. I once got over $20 back from a routine trip to stock up on groceries and household supplies. Plus, you can get $10 for using Ibotta when you sign up through this link.
BerryCart is just like Checkout 51, but their offers are specific to health food items. They offer several natural and organic products that are unique to their app. Their offers are not store-specific, so you can submit a receipt for anywhere that you buy healthy food.
I love saving money, and I love living efficiently. I hope we can all meet our goals to save money on groceries and still eat well!