You might need frugal grocery shopping tips, but that doesn’t mean you have a ton of time to dedicate to saving money. Here’s how to juggle it all!
Sometimes life catches you by surprise.
Maybe a big change comes along that you weren’t expecting.
Or you wake up in a cold sweat and realize that something has to give. You can’t keep living paycheck to paycheck.
Most of the things you spend money on regularly are hard to change quickly. But there’s one area that you have more control over.
So you begin to look for frugal grocery shopping tips. Soon you find yourself face to face with ideas that seem…
Why does this have to be so hard?!
Well, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be!
I know, because I do all the grocery shopping for our family of 8. It’s a challenge, for sure!
Raising a lot of kids doesn’t leave much extra time…and being frugal often demands using time instead of money.
But there is a way to balance saving money and saving time for busy families like ours. Read on to get all the frugal tips!
Frugal Grocery Shopping for the Rest of Us
You know…the imperfect people. 😉
It took me 17 years to figure out the most effective way to save money (while still raising kids…we’re up to 6 now, so time is pretty valuable to me).
Make a List
Grocery shopping with a list is a great way to save both time and money. You’ll spend less time wandering the aisles, because the list allows you to shop with purpose.
And you’ll save money by not buying a bunch of stuff you “might use” or “it seems like a bargain” or “now I have a sudden craving”.
But making a list can be time consuming!
Well, here are two tools that can make this chore easier. (Don’t worry, they’re both free!)
One is this grocery shopping list template. Use this to keep track of the things you buy regularly.
Every time we run out of something, I open my phone and add that “something” to my Cozi shopping list. Use this tip and you’ll always have your list with you!
Choose Your Store (Stores?)
Many money saving bloggers swear by shopping at multiple stores.
But is that really the savings it seems to be?
Well, that depends on a few things. The most important thing is you.
Do you have the time to keep up with shopping multiple stores? Once you calculate the money you can save, you might decide that doing this “pays” well enough to make it worth your time!
But before you worry about that math too much, let’s take another thing into consideration…and that’s your willpower.
Shopping store after store demands that you say no to all the “great buys” that catch your eye time after time.
So if you don’t have the strength to say no to every impulse buy you see for a couple of hours, you might want to skip this one.
If willpower is your weakness, you’ll save more money by sticking with one favorite store. (Especially if you choose a discount store like Aldi.)
Here are some rules you’ll want to follow if you chose to shop multiple grocery stores for the best frugal buys:
- Stick to your list. (Make a list for each store you’ll enter)
- Know your prices.
- Loss leaders (usually the big bargains on the front of a store’s weekly ad) are often good buys at each store.
- Check on things you buy often. For instance, tortillas (a staple in our home) are nearly always cheaper at Aldi than Kroger.
- Try this list of the cheapest foods to buy.
- Learn where the clearance section is. More importantly, study the prices to make sure the clearance rack is really a bargain at each store.
- BUT don’t wander! Looking for deals in store after store is a sure way to wear down your no-impulse-buys willpower.
And when it comes to crazy seasons of life (when you’re pregnant and too tired or sick to cook, for instance) remember that using a service like Kroger Clicklist is the frugal option compared to pizza delivery (again)!
Newspapers have become a thing of the past in most households. So actual paper coupons have also become rare.
That means the days of sorting and clipping have also gone!
My new favorite way to save on groceries is Fetch. It’s a free app…all you do is send them a picture of your receipt and you earn points automatically every time.
They even offer “freebies” where you get points for the full value of the thing you bought.
You turn those points into rewards. Get gift cards for dining out or (my favorite), Amazon!
Another easy way to keep up with coupons is to visit the websites of your favorite grocery stores weekly (or however often you grocery shop).
When you’re settling in to watch your favorite show, take a minute to click around the digital coupons and add the ones your family will use to your card.
Also, be sure that you completed the sign up for loyalty cards at your favorite stores!
Some grocery stores will snail mail coupons for the things you use the most. If they don’t have your address, you’ll miss out on some nice deals that are no effort.
Yeah, meal planning can be a real hassle. But it doesn’t have to be.
Buy Ingredients, Not Meals
Sometimes my kids walk into the kitchen and insist that we have no food.
Then I follow them in there, baffled… as I open a full fridge and pantry.
What they’re looking for is expensive prepared foods (and let’s be honest, they mostly want junk food).
What we have are all the ingredients you could need to make any number of meal options!
You might not have time to make everything from scratch. But even if you just replace a few prepackaged things with a homemade version, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Plus, if you get your kids or spouse interesting in a fun cooking show (there are plenty on Netflix and even YouTube), they may be excited to try some new things in the kitchen! Win/win!
Shopping for groceries can save you a lot of money thanks to these simple frugal tips!
When you see these savings with your very next paycheck, you’ll be hooked on frugal living, simplified.
So be sure you also check out these 50 Frugal Living Tips (many that you can also use right away!).
How do you save on groceries?