Skip Nav
Hocus Pocus
Here's What These 8 Hocus Pocus Filming Locations Look Like Now
35 Facts You Learned in School That Are Completely Wrong
22 Unique Gifts That Will Leave Recipients Saying, "Wow, You're So Thoughtful!"

Ways to Lower Your Grocery Spending

How to Trim the Fat From Your Grocery Bill

Grocery prices have definitely become noticeably higher, and whether it's from the price of milk, produce, or even boxed Kraft and Kellogg products that's pushing up your bill there comes a time when you can't ignore the added strain on your budget. Between the greater global demand for food items and higher oil prices that make transporting grocery goods more costly, we need to find ways to cope with the higher prices since they don't seem to be moving any time soon. SmartMoney has come up with eight of them, so hopefully there are a couple that you can apply to the way you grocery shop and help cut your food costs.

  1. Stockpile: While buying an armful of peanut butter at once is unnecessary, if your favorite brand is on sale now then it's better to buy a jar now then one at full price in two weeks.
  2. Explore the store: Take time to compare prices around the store for the items on your list. For example, if you're in the market for cheese then check out the cheese counter, the deli and the dairy case.
  3. Try store brands: Did you know that most store-branded goods are produced by the same manufacturers that make the name-brand items? For example, Birds' Eye frozen veggies also makes store-brand versions, but a 14-ounce package of the store-brand broccoli is 44 percent cheaper than the brand name.

There are five more on the list so just


  1. Buy must-go foods: Ask the supermarket staff when they mark down items that are approaching their sell-by date or have become less attractive, like bruised apples or crushed bread.
  2. Shop on Sundays: Consumers who combined their coupons from the Sunday newspaper and the weekly sales circular reported saving an average $678 annually.
  3. Think outside the supermarket: Find bargains at drugstores and pharmacies (for milk and meds); Superstores (for snacks, cereals, and cleaning supplies); Online (often there's free shipping on bulk items); Warehouse clubs (for alcohol, prescription medications, and pantry staples), Discount grocers (for anything); Surplus stores (for dry goods.)
  4. Check unit prices: Buying the bigger size isn't always the best deal.
  5. Become a coupon connoisseur: Join your supermarket's loyalty club because many offer bonus sales and check online coupon sites.


Join The Conversation
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
eeeyore, I write out my lists according to the store layout too. It definitely makes the grocery shopping trip more efficient. I'm also a big fan of coupons! I saved $40 today with coupons and in-store deals.
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
these are great tips, esp when you are buying for a family. but when you are single, living alone....sometimes it just takes too much time and not really worth the money saved.
eeeyore138 eeeyore138 9 years
Each week we pick meals for each night of the week and write it down. Then we check the recipes to see which ingredients we have or need to buy and add to the grocery list. We then add fruits veggies lunch and breakfast foods. Then i'm a big nerd because i rewrite the list according to the store layout. It only takes a few minutes but saves so much searching time and I rarely have to backtrack. Having a list saves soooo much $, we do not let ourselves impulse buy, so no cookies for me :-/
moss1080 moss1080 9 years
It seems like lately in order to get the best deals I am spending way longer in the store so that I can compare sizes and prices. Ugg
bethany21 bethany21 9 years
ur_momm- I hear you! My husband always insists on going down EVERY aisle!!! And of course that means we pick up extra items, despite my very well-thought-out list... I would rather not eat apples than buy bruised ones, and crushed bread is incredibly difficult for making grilled cheese- trust me! One piece is all wonky shaped, so the cheese is not totally covered and it sticks to the pan...just don't buy crushed bread!
tee0206 tee0206 9 years
I saved a TON of money when I was a temp at the headquarters of a certain, large, natural foods grocery chain! I worked on the same floor as the buyers, who always had tons of samples from vendors up for grabs. I'd go home with a grocery bag full of freebies about once a week. Gosh, I miss working there...
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
I do all of this already and my bill is still high. I hate the grocery store so much!!!!!!
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i'm a diligent coupon clipper, BUT, since i usually shop at trader joe's they're not all that useful. hahaha.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Most of these are great ideas, but I don't agree with getting discounts for things like bruised apples. Personally, aesthetics are still important to me and I don't want to buy something that is less pristine just because it is cheaper.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
ur_mommmm - There's a fine line. I live with a picky eater, so I almost always refuse to do my shopping without him. It's better to buy what he wants than to buy things that don't get eaten, I guess. For myself, I always buy generic. But I didn't even know until recently that a lot of things in the deli are actually much cheaper than the package cheese/meat.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
there's this website called '' i think and they have all the sales/deals/coupons at a store near you (you put in your zip). it was designed by this woman who became great at saving money while shpping and really - if you think about the things that you use most often, it's a GREAT Way to shop.
Tami715 Tami715 9 years
Nancita, I totally agree with you on the generic versions of some things being better. I'm so in love with the Malt-o-Meal bagged cereal, Marshmallow Mateys. So much better than Lucky Charms and a lot cheaper!
nancita nancita 9 years
Good tips. I totally agree about the generic items. There are some things for which I always get brand name, but other times, it really doesn't matter. Sometimes generic is even better!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
ur_momm---Soooo true! Sometimes it drives me crazy to shop with the SO! 99 cent stores are great for canned goods.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
yes, do the shopping yourself with no men/kids! Also a lot of dollar stores have the same stuff a supermarket has. Just make sure you pay attention to the dates and make sure you aren't buying something that you can get for LESS in the supermarket. A lot of times I will go to the dollar store before I go to the supermarket. Saves some.
ur_momm ur_momm 9 years
my advice: DON'T BRING THE BOYFRIEND!!!!!! seriously this is what happened monday: BF: hey they have fruity cheerios (compares it to box of fruit loops) then throws the fruity cheerios in the cart. ME: this is 5$ and the fruit loops are only 2.50 for the same thing!!! *argue argue argue* ends with boyfriend pouting and claiming he DOESNT NEED ANY CEREAL! and refusing to pick up anything else for himself the whole rest of the time we are there. then we get home and complains he has no cereal. Actually, i guess that made the groceries cheaper in the end :P Too bad he has a car and i dont...
imLissy imLissy 9 years
Oy, I used to pay $80 a week in groceries, lately it's been more like $100 and we seem to be buying less stuff. I already follow most of these, but I guess I gotta kick it up a notch.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
*:OOPS: sorry I wasn't finised w/ my post. I was gonna say Great tips Savvy! :)
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I would also have to say to eat in groups. A few friends of ours always get together for dinner because we use the same amount of food, but there are no leftovers that would just sit in the fridge to get thrown out.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I love coupons!!! You better believe I shop agressive. I have to get more bang for my buck. Thanks for the post Savvy!!!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Ahhhh grocery shopping is the WORSE!
Is a Disneyland Pass Worth It?
How to Save Money Without Trying
How to Save Money at Whole Foods Hot Bar
Affordable Wedding Favors
From Our Partners
Latest Afforable DIY & Organization
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds