How to Save Money on Groceries – My Top Tips


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
Every frugal family is looking for ways to stretch their money. One of the ways to do that is to save money on groceries. Now here’s the thing, just because you’re trying to look for ways to save money on groceries, that doesn’t mean you need to cheap out. Cheap products aren’t very good, and the irony here is that if you buy cheap items, you might end up having to spend more money in the long run!

So my first piece of advice on how to save money grocery shopping is don’t be cheap. But that doesn’t mean you should buy whatever product catches your eye. The key here is to maximize your dollar and get stuff that is actually of good quality.

Saving money on groceries also means you’ll have more money for other necessities like clothing, medicine, tuition, debt payments, savings, and investments. By practicing the money-saving tips I’m about to share with you, I’ve been able to afford other stuff. So no complaints there!

Okay, if you’re looking for the best way to save money on groceries, read on! I’ll be sharing my own personal techniques that I’ve picked up over the years of frugal grocery shopping!

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Don’t Buy Stuff That’s at Eye Level

This might seem like a strange way to save money, but it actually makes a lot of sense: products that are displayed at eye level command higher prices. And that’s because this is the sweet spot, visually. Shelves at eye level are considered prime real estate. I’ll let this article from HowStuffWorks explain it:

"You’re most apt to notice items right in front of you when shopping. Call it human nature. It’s no wonder that distributors and manufacturers pay a premium price to put their products on shelves at eye level. This prime product placement zone is where the most expensive products are usually found. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid falling for this trick. Avoid that middle section! Pretty simple, right? The next time you go to the grocery store, force yourself to scout out groceries on shelves up high and down low; this is usually where the less expensive brands are displayed."

That means if you are looking for ways to save money on groceries, buy items that are above or below the line of sight. They’re cheaper, and not any better or worse than the products displayed at eye level.

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Use a Cashback Rewards App

A cashback app is the closest thing you can get to earning free shopping money! When you install a cashback app on your phone – my favorite at the moment is Ibotta – you can get a percentage of the money you spend back. So it’s basically like having a built-in rebate program whenever you shop.

The only catch here (if you can call it a catch) is that you will have to shop at the establishments listed in the app. But that’s not a problem for me. I’m naturally a creature of habit, and it’s good to get forced to shop in places I don’t normally go to. And that has actually helped me discover new, more affordable items!

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Buy the “House Brand”

I’m willing to bet you’re familiar with this concept – even if you don’t actually use the term “house brand.” Basically, a house brand is midway between a branded item and a generic one. It’s usually produced by the grocery itself, hence the term “house brand.” Since groceries spend very little on marketing and advertising their house brands, these are usually pretty affordable. Doing so will amount to great grocery savings!

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Use Online Coupons

My mom used to be a dedicated “couponer.” She was actually the one who introduced me to sites like Krazy Coupon Lady, which compiled info on discounts from all over the internet. With regular coupons, you had to wait for the newest newspaper or magazine issue to arrive, and clip out the coupons yourself. With a couponing site like Krazy Coupon Lady, bargains are being updated in real-time, meaning you can expect new and fresh discounts right before you head out to do your groceries.

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Buy in Bulk

This saving technique might not be for everyone, but if you can afford to buy in bulk, you should definitely do so. You might think you’re paying a high price at the beginning, but in the long run, it’ll be totally worth it. When you add up the price of the items had you bought them individually, the price of buying in bulk will be much lower. And that’s why I always recommend buying in bulk.

You will have to make space in your home for the items you’ve purchased in bulk, but that’s a small sacrifice to make for the savings you get. I would also recommend sticking to non-perishable items when buying in bulk. This includes stuff like kitchen towels, cleaning fluids, and hygiene products. If you need to buy food in bulk, stick with canned goods and bottled items – in fact, I have an emergency pantry filled with canned food. Do not buy vegetables or raw meats in bulk – unless you’re planning on cooking for a really big party!

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Shop After Eating

When you go to the grocery hungry, there’s a big chance you would subconsciously buy stuff to satisfy your appetite, instead of buying the stuff you actually need. And that leads to overspending. So the best time to shop is actually after meals.

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Use a Rewards Site

This grocery money-saving technique is a bit left-field since it doesn’t actually include saving money per se. But when you earn money on a rewards site, you can use that money to buy groceries. And that in itself is pretty awesome!

There are a lot of rewards sites out there, but I recommend ZoomBucks, since they offer really fast payouts – like, 48 hours! That means I can expect to get my earnings on or before grocery day.

Members earn money – or one of many gift card options – by answering surveys, watching videos and completing offers. Really easy tasks to do!

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