We all know that the cost of groceries adds up fast. Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to save a small fortune on groceries these days.
Here are a few neat ways to save money on groceries a couple of which you probably never thought of.
The Best Grocery Savings Tips Around Include:
- Shop Around
Even though food deserts are a growing problem, most Americans have access to a variety of grocery stores. Visiting all the stores in your area can lead to some huge savings.
In the grocery market I am most familiar with (Denver); Safeway usually has the best deals on meat, Sprout’s the best deals on vegetables, King Soopers (the local Kroger’s outlet) the best deal on dairy, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) the best prices on cleaning supplies, and Trader Joe’s the lowest condiment prices. Shopping at different grocers can be a bit of a hassle but it can save you big.
- Buy your Groceries online
This seems counterintuitive but taking advantage of online grocery delivery and ordering schemes can save you money.
Modern stores are sophisticated marketing machines designed to make you buy as much as possible – so the less time you spend in them, the less money you will spend. When you order online, you can get just the stuff on your list, and there will be no incentive for impulse buying.
- Save Time and Money with Grocery Delivery
If you take advantage of delivery services you will not have to spend money on fuel or carfare for the shopping trip. Other savings include less wear and tear on your vehicle.
A more important saving is time. You can spend the time you now use for grocery shopping for more important stuff like work, study, family, hobbies, exercise etc. Even if you end up vegging in front of the TV; or playing League of Legends, in the extra time you might save money – because you will not be at the store to spend it.
Some delivery options to consider include:
- Many grocery items are available through Amazon Prime; which costs around $12a month, and features free two-day delivery. Amazon is testing a two-hour Prime Now Delivery option in Los Angeles.
- Instacart offers delivery from a wide variety of grocers; including all the Kroger brands, in many markets.
- Safeway offers grocery delivery in some markets.
- Walmart Grocery Delivery is supposed to serve up to 40% of Americans by the end of 2018.
- Target offers grocery delivery through Shipt in select markets.
- Google Express offers grocery delivery from a variety of stores including Costco Wholesale.
- com has a vast selection of groceries and offers free two-day shipping on all orders over $35.
- Order and pick-up your Groceries
These options are almost as convenient as delivery and often cheaper. Walmart offers discounts on online orders that you pick up.
- Check out the Discount Grocers
The German-owned discount grocer Aldi is no-frills but it is reputedly the cheapest supermarket in America.
Aldi stores are small, have limited hours, and will require you to rent a cart; but Clark Howard claims they are the cheapest grocery store in America. Aldi operates 1,600 stores in 35 states, and it has aggressive expansion plans, but it is not everywhere.
Other super-cheap grocers to look for include; Aldi’s arch-rival Lidil, Trader Joe’s (which has tremendous prices on condiments, beer, wine, and gourmet items), Sprout’s (the cheapest vegetables around), Fresh Thyme, Fareway, Winco, and Meijer.
- Buy groceries at Locations besides Supermarkets
Dollar stores; like Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Big Lots, and the 99 Cent Store, often have better prices on some food items than many supermarkets.
Low-cost high-quality dry goods found at dollar stores include; hot sauce, pasta, canned meats, canned fish, sauces, condiments, canned soups, candy, cookies, canned vegetables, snacks, spices, mixes, and in some cases bread. Be careful because stocking is often bad, and outdated items are sometimes found on the shelves.
Check the freezers too because some dollar stores are now selling high-quality name brand frozen items at low prices. Check the dates and be leery of the non-frozen items in the coolers; because dollar stores are not that good about checking dates. Dollar store prices on items like milk and eggs are often higher than those at supermarkets.
Other non-supermarket food sources to consider are club stores like Costco, B.J.’s and Sam’s Club. The sizes are large but so can the savings. Deals are sometimes available at farmer’s markets as well.
- Use the Card
Discount cards like those offered by Safeway and Kroger brands can save you a lot of money.
Safeway’s card regularly gives me electronic coupons that give $2 off on $10 or $15 dollar purchases of meat, produce and dairy products. It also occasionally offers $20 off on $100 grocery purchases.
Kroger’s Reward points can give you up to $1 off on a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel if you use them. So don’t laugh at the card, sign up for it and use the electronic coupons. Definitely, use the app or website to load as many of the electronic coupons as possible they can save you a lot of money.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is to be creative and think out of the box when you go grocery shopping. If you give a little thought to your shopping and change your habits you can cut your grocery bill and still eat well.