Grocery shopping is expensive.
There is really no way around it. Your people need to eat. You need to eat. And that inevitably requires buying food over and over and over again. All the costs can really add up, and that’s why I wanted to share my own personal favorite hacks for saving money at the grocery!
1) Use Ibotta
Ibotta isn’t really the new kid on the block anymore when it comes to couponing apps. Odds are you’ve heard of it. If you haven’t started using it, let me tell you. Start today. Stop reading, pull out your phone, and download Ibotta. You won’t regret it!
You know all those coupon apps that have that am-I-about-to-be-scammed feel? That’s not Ibotta. Ibotta has a clean and user-friendly interface and you get real money without any guesswork.
Ibotta sorts deals by store. Simply select the store you want to shop at, scroll through the hundreds of options for rebates available, and tap on the ones you want to purchase. After your shopping trip simply scan in your receipt and the money will be added to your account within a day or two. Once you have at least $20 built up (which isn’t very hard to do, especially if you use this code and get an up to $20 sign on bonus: “nmqavg”) you can have the money sent to your PayPal or emailed to you in the form of a giftcard.
It really is that simple!
2) You Know The Drill – Make a List!
Once you’ve used apps like Ibotta to get the best prices on the products you already buy, you’ll need to avoid racking up costs with impulse buys. I am a huge fan of ordering your groceries online. Many stores including Walmart, Target, Meijer, and Kroger have started offering free grocery pickup. When you order your groceries online, you’ll see exactly how much they cost before you get to the checkout – it’s much harder to do that staring at a cart full of groceries and approximating how much they’ll cost.
But even if you’re not a fan of having others pick out your groceries, having a list and sticking to it can make a big difference! All those little extra splurges add up over time.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but I’d actually recommend writing one small splurge down on your list. The problem with impulse buys often isn’t the price of the individual product, it’s the quantity! But I also believe that shopping should be fun, so go ahead and put that pack of Oreos on your list so you have a special treat when you get home while still sticking to your budget and list.
3) Be Smart About Your Protein
Meat is expensive. Conventional wisdom would say to simply eat less meat and instead fill up on cheap, carb-heavy fillers like grains and pasta. But there has been so much research lately showing the health benefits of eating more meats and veggies and fewer carbs. And if you’ve tried Keto or any similar diets, you’ll have noticed a spike in your grocery bill. How do you reconcile the two!? One way is to pay attention to the kind of meat you get.
If you’re a red meat girl, try getting a large pot roast. The price per pound is typically cheaper than some of your already chopped up stew meats and steaks, but with a good knife you can cut it up yourself. Also, buying meat in bulk and freezing what you don’t use can also get you a better deal than buying the smaller portion sizes with the jacked up prices.
4) Shop At Aldi
Another great way to save on meat, and all your other groceries, is to shop at stores like Aldi. I realize you may not have access to an Aldi, but if you do, give it a try! Their meat is better quality than the meat I normally buy at the supermarket and I’ve found many delicious “Aldi brand” snacks and canned goods.
If you don’t have an Aldi near you, see if there’s a cheaper grocery store you can go to for your basics, and try some off-brand products if you’re normally a name brand kind of person. Not all off-brand products are good, but some of them may surprise you!
5) Look Into Your Favorite Store’s Rewards Program
This last tip will have varying results based on where you shop but look into the rewards programs at your favorite store. Walmart has a great program called the Walmart Savings Catcher that searches other store’s ads for you and credits your account with the difference. If you’re a Target shopper like me, it is definitely worth looking into the Target Red Card. You get 5% off your entire purchase every time you use your card.
Target also offers some in-app coupons, as do stores like Fresh Thyme. It’s worth taking a quick glance at your favorite grocery store’s app to see if there are any deals hidden in there.
I hope these tips help you get a little more bang for your buck on your next grocery trip!