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6 Ways to Save Big at the Grocery Store

Have you been to the grocery store lately? You’ve probably noticed that your dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to, thanks to quick rising inflation in recent years. If you are anything like me, this is cause for much frustration, but what can one do? Bite the bullet and swipe the card right? It may be time to think again. In fact, there are many ways in which you can save big at the grocery store. If you're willing to put in a little ground work you can lighten the burden of maintaining a well-stocked pantry. Here are 6 ways to save money at the grocery store.

Plan Ahead: Never shop without a list

When it comes to saving money, planning is always going to top the list. It is no different with grocery shopping. The more effort and detail you put into planning, the more efficient a shopper you become. Begin by planning every meal for the week. This is tedious but worth it. Simplify the process by eating the same meal for breakfast and lunch all week (sounds boring but you can always switch it up each week). Remember to include every ingredient you need on your list. Unplanned shopping trips for forgotten items can lead to unexpected expenses. If you do need to go out to get something you forgot be sure to make a list for that trip too. When you shop without a list you make it that much easier to splurge on whatever excites your eye in the moment. If you ever find yourself walking into the grocery store without a list, you have made a mistake in your planning and you risk spending money you did not intend to spend. All it takes is a couple of times and you've overspent on your grocery budget. Plan ahead, plan thoroughly, and stick to your plan.

Utilize Coupons

News flash: coupons are cool! They are also readily available from a number of resources. Many grocery stores offer coupons on receipts or printed out at the point of sale. You get coupons in your mailbox every week. If that is not enough you can even find printable coupons on the web. Check out websites like or You will find coupons for all sorts of everyday products you already use, as well as discounts and freebies for food. Again this will take a little extra effort but the payoff can amount to hundreds of dollars in monthly savings. There is no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed of whipping out your coupons in the check out line, and your wallet will thank you.

Don’t Shop at Eye Level

If you don’t already know it, grocery stores use various strategies to encourage increased spending. From the lighting, the music, and the location of products, it is all scientifically planned out. The dairy products are almost always in the very back corner so you can see everything else on your way to get your butter and milk. Popular products are also often placed in the middle of the isle, so you do not miss taking a look at all the other items the isle has to offer. Another strategy used by grocery stores is to put the name brand more expensive products at eye level, hoping you will grab these products. Moral of the story, be a smart shopper. Stick to your list, and buy the off brand products. Don’t shop at eye level.

Buy in bulk

Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money on your groceries. Most of us live close enough to a Costco or a Sam’s Club, and the yearly membership fees are fairly inexpensive. The key here again is planning, because this will take some research. Always check the unit price. In most cases you will find you save more per unit by purchasing bulk products. However, not everything should be purchased in bulk. Sure, you love strawberries, but will you really go through 10 pounds before they go bad? Try it out, and see what makes sense for you. If you plan well there can be big savings by stocking up with bulk products.

Loyalty programs

Most grocery stores offer some kind of loyalty program at no cost to you. These typically come with better prices on a lot of products as well as cashback rewards. Some also come with gas perks. Since you will be shopping anyway, you might as well take advantage of the free loyalty programs available to you.

Shop Clearance

Did you know food goes on clearance? Believe it or not it does. Many grocery stores put deep discounts on products that are approaching the expiration date. You can often find discounted meat, produce, and bakery products. As long as you make sure to use up these items before they go bad, it's a great way to save some money at the store.

I hope you will give these ideas a try. They have certainly helped my family save money at the grocery store. Remember, the more you can save in one budget category, the more money you will have in your budget to pay off debt and prepare for your future. Your efforts will be worth every penny saved.

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