Diet and Nutrition Healthy Eating Tips

24 Money Saving Food Shopping Tips

grocery store

Shop ’til you drop is what I always say.  Grocery shopping is no exception to this rule. Food shopping can get costly.  So these 24 food shopping tips can help you stay within a food budget.

24 Supermarket Savvy Food Shopping Tips

Food Shopping Tip #1

Let Competition Work For you.  Loyalty to one store will not get you the best food deals. Each local supermarket has their own special deals. Instead of one grocery, you may have to stroll down the aisles of different stores to get the best food prices.

One easy food shopping tip to follow and 3 points to explore:

  • Some stores have everyday low prices. However, it doesn’t mean competitors do not have even lower prices for the same item. There are foods that may be less expensive in certain stores all the time.
  • Seek out stores that offer double coupons
  • Let stores work for your business. Sign up for in-store coupons to be texted or emailed to you directly.
  • As stores compete with each other, they will offer different types of deals: Bargain pricing on different foods and the same foods; Earning points towards free food; support for making better food choices; and a host of enticements to get you to walk through the door.

Food Shopping Tip #2

Get to know the store managers. The meat department may have weekly “managers specials”. The bakery department is more likely to mark things down at the end of the day. The same is true for the fruit and vegetable department.  The store staff can help you too; just ask what days are best to shop and save the most.

Food Shopping Tip #3

Browse the circulars for the best deals. Then build a shopping list.  stick to the list. If you stray and buy more than what is on the list, your shopping bill will be more.

Food Shopping Tip #4

Buy low. When prices are low buy higher amounts of non-perishable items, frozen foods or recipe ingredients that allow you to prepare dishes that store easily. Purchasing in bulk can get you enough product to last until the next sale price in order to avoid ever paying full price.

Food Shopping Tip # 5

Coupons, coupons, and more coupons. If you do it right, the store pays you to take their groceries. The coupon project is a great resource. Additionally, if you are lucky, some stores will accept competitors’ coupons.

Food Shopping Tip # 6

The big wholesalers provide BIG savings on paper goods, non-perishables or toiletries. Spend less and get more at Target, BJs, Costco or Walmart.

Food Shopping Tip # 7

Don’t waste food. Use bones from chicken or meat to make soup. Cut and peel broccoli stalks, do not throw them out. Share your food stretching secrets with us. There are many more ways you can use all your food.

Food Shopping Tip # 8

Do-it-yourself. When you slice, dice and cut your own food, you save labor and preparation costs. Although it costs you a little time, it will help pad your wallet.

Food Shopping Tip # 9

Before cooking more, eat the leftovers. It is a big waste of money if you have to throw out moldy fruits and veggies or any meal. Try scheduling a day for eating what’s in the fridge before reloading the fridge with more food.

Food Shopping Tip # 10

Shop in your own pantry, it’s free. The food on the shelves in your pantry sits there, use it before buying more. Instead of just doing weekly shopping wait until the cupboards are bare.  Then you will actually need the food you buy.

Food Shopping Tip # 11

Are you hungry? Then don’t go food shopping. You put your weight and your wallet at risk. You are less likely to make impulsive food buying decisions if you are not hungry. Therefore, eat before you shop. Otherwise, it is more likely you will buy and eat more food.

Shopping Tip # 12

Stay strong when walking the grocery aisles. Stores are in business to entice you to spend money. Food products are strategically organized so that you have to walk through the aisles of “extras” to get to the food staples like meat, and milk. Keep your blinders on and move fast, try not to fall into this trap.

Shopping Tip # 13

Be a smart shopper. If you do walk down the wrong aisle at the wrong time, think before you splurge.  Indeed buying a “2 for $5 deal” bag of chips is a deal food companies want you to believe is valuable. Yet, if you do not need the chips, you spend $5 more than you would have by avoiding the purchase. So, save money. The truth is big bags of chips are filled mostly with air. Thus, instead of two bags filled with chips for $5, you actually get 1 full bag of chips, NOT such a good deal!

Shopping Tip # 14

Bring kids when you have the time to educate them on smart shopping. Otherwise, leave them at home. If you bring children with you, your food bill will escalate in the blink of an eye. If you bring them along, agree on what they can buy before you walk into the store.

Shopping Tip # 15

Reading the tabloids can be a hazard to your wallet. Keep an eye on your goods as they travel down the conveyor belt. If you are reading the tabloids, you are missing a chance to catch the food stores pricing mistakes (either mislabeled or cashier key-in ). I catch a few almost every week,

Shopping Tip # 16

Got a calculator? Check the unit prices. The unit price will tell you how much an item costs per measure. For example, it will tell you the cost per pound, ounce or quart.  I love the detailed visual and explanation from Choose My Plate. Unit pricing is very helpful shopping too. After checking the unit price,  compare these prices with sales or coupon items. The unit price for food may be less than the sale price on a more expensive item.

Shopping Tip # 17

Generic brands are more affordable and do not necessarily translate into less quality or less taste. Don’t believe me, do a taste test. Once you take the food out of the can or package, many times it’s all the same.

Shopping Tip # 18

Be alert! Sometimes higher priced, name brand sale items are less expensive, or the same price, as a generic brand.

Shopping Tip # 19

Bigger is not always better. We all know that buying family size products can save us a pretty penny or two. However, on sale, smaller sized food items can yield more in total food quantity and still be cheaper than larger sizes depending on the sale.

Shopping Tip # 20

Before you make your final choice scan the shelves. Lower cost items are usually placed on higher or lower shelves. More expensive items are conveniently placed right at eye level. So look before you make the purchase leap.

Shopping Tip # 21

Grow your own garden. Garden fresh food tastes better. When you grow your own garden, you avoid eating the pesticides used on larger farmed foods. Additionally, it costs almost nothing to plant a few seeds vs buying produce from any store.

Shopping Tip #22

Select Frozen fruits and veggies. Frozen foods can cost less than fresh and they are just as nutritious.

Shopping Tip #23

Look for seasonal and holiday deals. Prices are slashed for the holidays, New Years’ Day, July 4th,  Halloween or Valentine’s Day. For example, turkey, stuffing, and cranberries are cheaper the day after Thanksgiving. It is the perfect time to buy non-perishables for the following year. Items such as decorating kits for Easter, paper goods can are just as good for next years holiday. Frozen food sale items can be frozen for months ahead and used for an upcoming family event.  

Shopping Tip #24

Read labels and stick to eating recommended portion sizes. Control the bill and your waistline by sticking to recommended portion sizes. Overeating can be costly. Eating less can save your waist and your money.

Shopping Food Tip Wrap up

Save money with these 24 money saving supermarket shopping food tips. By saving money on the food bill, you can allocate the cash savings to other items. Maybe even use the savings for a trip. As an educated consumer buying groceries, you will eat well and still be able to lower the food bill.

How do you manage your food bill? Please share your money-saving secrets with us. We need more suggestions to help build these 24 tips to 50.

#Valerie Goldstein # Lower Food Bill #Coupon #Save Money Food Shopping #Food Shopping Tips

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.