How To Save Money On Groceries: 12 Tips For When You’re On A Tight Budget

By Melissa Cook Reviewed by Nima Vahdat Updated Dec 13, 2023
How To Save Money On Groceries: 12 Tips For When You’re On A Tight Budget

With strategic planning and savvy shopping, you can save money on groceries without sacrificing the quality of your meals.

If you feel like your recent grocery runs are costing more, you’re right.

Recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) delivered unwelcome news to Americans: The food index increased 0.3 percent in October, after rising 0.2 percent in each of the last 3 months.

The continued elevation of food prices has compelled many consumers to exceed their typical grocery budgets, with the report highlighting that 4 out of the 6 major grocery store food groups experienced price hikes.

But navigating the aisles of the grocery store doesn’t have to be a financial strain. 


  • Strategic Shopping Is Key – Make informed choices, and be mindful of your spending to maximize savings on groceries.
  • Plan Ahead – From meal planning to utilizing rewards, foresight is your ally in the quest to save money on groceries.
  • Financial Wellness – Cutting down on grocery expenses is not just about filling your cart; it’s a step towards financial stability and debt relief.

How Much Do Americans Spend on Groceries Each Month?

Inflation has taken a toll on food prices, especially in the grocery sector.

According to the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey from BLS, Americans spend $779 on food per month, with almost two-thirds ($475) being spent on groceries.

And unfortunately, there is no relief in sight.

12 Tips To Maximize Your Savings On Groceries

To help you stretch your money, here are some tips and strategies to trim your weekly grocery store expenses.

Shop Your Pantry

Before heading to the store, take stock of what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. 

See what kinds of meals you can prepare with the ingredients you already have.

Doing this will help you avoid unnecessary duplicates and ensure that you’re using what you already own.

Avoid Online Grocery Shopping

While online grocery shopping offers convenience, it may also lead to impulse purchases. 

Opt for in-store shopping to have better control over your selections and to take advantage of in-person deals and discounts.

And choosing the right timing can make a difference. 

According to many experts, Wednesdays are considered the optimal day for grocery shopping. This is when stores typically restock their shelves and offer discounts on items that didn’t sell the previous week.

Compare Prices Across Stores

Prices for the same products can vary between different grocery stores. 

The grocery store closest to your home might not be the cheapest. If you tend to purchase from the same grocery store every week, it may be time to switch things up.

Everyone loves a good bargain. Some of the cheapest grocery stores in the United States include Costco, Walmart, Aldi, Market Basket, WinCo Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Food 4 Less. 

Take the time to compare prices and choose stores that offer the best value for the items on your list.

Make a Shopping List and Stick to It

Create a grocery list based on your meal plan and stick to it. 

Impulse buys can quickly add up, and a well-thought-out list helps you stay focused on your needs.

It can also spare you from the need to make an additional trip to the grocery store when you realize you’ve forgotten something important.

Bring Your Own Bag

Some stores such as Target and Whole Foods Market offer discounts on your total grocery bill just for bringing your own reusable bags. 

How cool is that?!?

Besides being eco-friendly, this simple habit can contribute to small but consistent savings over time.

Consider Generic Labels

Grocery stores strategically position expensive, name-brand items at eye level, enticing you to spend more on premium products. 

To save money, check the top or bottom shelves where you can often find more affordable generic brands, such as the store’s own label, that offer comparable quality and taste.

Generic or store-brand products often provide a more budget-friendly alternative to name brands. Consumer Reports suggests that store brands not only match the taste and quality of name brands but also come at a lower cost, typically 20–25 percent less!

Compare ingredients and give generic labels a try to find cost-effective options without compromising quality.

Look at Expiration Dates on Sale Items

While grocery items on sale can be enticing, check the expiration dates to ensure that you’re not purchasing more than you can use before the products expire.

The expiration dates are usually approximate, giving you some flexibility, but it’s safer not to take any chances.

Make a Meal Plan

Planning your meals for the week helps you buy only what you need, reducing food waste and preventing unnecessary trips to the store.

Spending a couple of hours in the kitchen on a quiet Sunday afternoon can pay off by saving you time, money, and alleviating a few headaches throughout the week.

Avoid budget surprises by involving the whole family in meal planning and shopping. Allow your kids to participate in the process and even turn it into a fun grocery store scavenger hunt. 

Shopping with a well-thought-out plan and teamwork makes it much simpler to stick to your budget.

Pay Using a Grocery Rewards Card

Some credit cards offer cashback or rewards specifically for grocery purchases. 

Selecting the appropriate credit card at the checkout can enable you to accumulate rewards, which can then be utilized to reduce your overall bill.

Use a grocery store loyalty card to earn benefits on your regular shopping. By signing up, you can enjoy member-only discounts.

Buy Products in Bulk and Freeze the Extras

Buying non-perishable items in bulk often comes with a lower unit cost. 

For perishable items, if you’ve purchased more than you can use before it spoils or reaches its use-by date, consider freezing it. This way, instead of letting it go to waste, you can utilize it at a later date.

There are lots of freezer meal recipes on the internet.

Join a Wholesale Club

Consider joining a wholesale club like Costco to access bulk discounts on a variety of products. 

If you have a sizable family, becoming a member of a wholesale club could be a smart move. 

However, keep in mind that bulk buying may not suit everyone, as it requires a higher upfront expenditure, despite the overall savings.

Evaluate the membership cost against potential savings to determine if it’s a worthwhile investment.

Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach

This may seem obvious, but research shows that shopping when hungry can lead to impulse purchases. 

Eat a meal or snack before heading to the store to make more rational and budget-conscious choices.

Clip Coupons

Coupons are a classic way to save money on groceries. 

Look for digital or paper coupons for items on your list and take advantage of discounts.

Closing Thoughts On How to Save Money on Groceries

Saving money on groceries is top of mind for many American households. 

By incorporating these practical tips into your grocery shopping routine, you can trim your expenses and contribute to your overall financial well-being. 

Saving money on groceries is not just about managing your food budget; it’s a step towards financial stability.

At Americor, we understand the importance of managing your finances wisely. 

As America’s trusted source for debt relief solutions, we aim to empower you with financial knowledge that can lead to informed decisions, whether it’s about savings, investments, or managing debt.

If your debt has become unmanageable and you have difficulty making your debt payments each month, then you should consider a free consultation call with one of our certified Debt Consultants, who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.

By taking proactive steps today, you can put an end to your financial stress and work towards a brighter financial future. 

Remember, there is always hope for debt relief, and our team of experienced professionals are ready to guide you on your journey to regaining control of your finances.

For more information on Americor’s debt relief services, contact us today to see how we can help you eliminate your debts, and get on the fast-track to becoming completely debt-free!


Melissa Cook

Melissa has a degree in English and marketing from University of California Irvine. She is a creative and accomplished content writer and editor with comprehensive experience developing rich, compelling content for a variety of websites. With her expertise in writing a broad range of content, combined with outstanding interpersonal skills and commitment to exploring innovative ideas, Melissa has done an excellent job developing content for blogs, articles, social media, and the company website. When she is not writing, Melissa spends most of her time cooking, traveling the world, and catching her favorite Broadway shows.