When you have a family to feed, buying groceries every week can put a huge dent in your budget. Yes, as moms, we want to feed our kids healthy foods, fruits, and vegetables — but you don’t have to go broke in the process.
That’s why I’m always looking for easy ways to save money on groceries. But I don’t always have time for clipping coupons.
Regardless, we still are able to keep our grocery bill below $100 every week for our family of 6! Today, I’m going to show you easy ways you can save money on groceries too without coupons.
- The Best Grocery Savings App for People Who Hate Coupons
- 5 Ways To Simplify Meal Planning For Beginners
- 75 Frugal Ways To Save Money Every Month
That’s right — you don’t need to carry around a binder full of coupons to drastically cut your grocery spending! (woohoo!)
1. Make a meal plan
Before you do anything, it’s best that you sit down to plan what your family is going to eat this week. You need to have a plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s easier to eat the same things for breakfast and lunch (if you can) so you can have more room in your budget to experiment with dinner. But I will tell you, there will come a point as you start meal planning where you will run out of meal ideas (it happens to the best of us).
When you get to this point, you can join the $5 Meal Plan. It’ll save you more time AND money planning meals!
Because you get custom premade weekly meal plans with delicious and affordable recipes delivered straight to your inbox every Friday for only $5/month! Trust me. It takes the headache out of meal planning and you still save a ton of money on food!
You can learn more about the $5 Meal Plan here. (Plus, you can get two weeks worth of meals for free!)
2. Make a grocery list and stick to it
Once you know what you’re going to eat for the week, it’s time to pull out a pen and paper or a note app on your phone to make your grocery list.
Write down everything you will need to grab from the store. As you’re making your list, be sure to check your pantry, freezer, and fridge for things you may already have that you won’t need to buy.
Making a grocery list is not only good for keeping you focused while you shop, but it’ll also help you get in and out of the grocery store faster!
3. Eat before you leave the house
Ever been sitting in line at the checkout and grab a Hershey’s bar because you were hungry? You’ve just spent an extra $1.28 that wasn’t in your grocery budget or on your grocery list.
That’s why stores strategically place tempting foods like candy and cold beverages at checkout because they want to entice you one last time — and it works!
So before you head out the door make sure you aren’t shopping on an empty tummy to keep from overspending.
4. Go shopping alone
I remember being a kid and before we walked into the grocery store my mom would always have the “don’t-ask-for-nothing” conversation with us in the car.
Because as moms, we know that when you bring kids (or your husband too) to the grocery store with you something always mysteriously finds its way in the cart that shouldn’t be there. And it’s hard telling your kids no when they give you puppy dogs eyes and a “please, mommy with cherries on top.”
But when you leave the over-spenders at home, you’ll make it easier on yourself to stick to your grocery list and stay on budget.
If you have a really tight grocery budget (I mean like you can’t afford to go a penny over), then you need to be adding up every item that goes in your shopping cart.
I’ve had to do this several times – trust me, it’s not as embarrassing as unloading everything on the conveyor belt and it’s time to pay but your card won’t go through.
Crunching numbers as you go will help you stay on budget and make better choices about the items you grab to put in your cart.
6. Ditch bottled water
Did you know that when you buy bottled water what you’re really paying for is the plastic? I think bottled water is one of the biggest rip-offs in grocery stores.
You can save more money drinking water straight from the tap with a filtered water pitcher. And if you need to take your water on the go, I recommend these stainless steel reusable water bottles because it’ll keep your water cold for HOURS — you’re welcome!
7. Grab the frozen vegetables
I prefer to stock up on frozen vegetables like broccoli, corn, and green beans instead of buying them fresh because they’re still healthy and are a fraction of the cost.
Plus, you can steam them over the stove or in the microwave when you’re ready to cook with them!
8. Buy meat that’s on sale
I tend to only buy chicken and ground turkey because they’re cheaper than buying beef, pork, or fish. But you can still save money by buying them in thinner cuts of meat and when they’re on sale!
Meat that’s nearing its sell-by date will also be cheaper than any other selection on the shelves, so you should look for those items too. I actually scored two individual one-pound packages of ground beef for $1 each by taking this extra step!
9. Only buy what you will consume
Buying in bulk won’t always save you more money on groceries. So when you see those 10 for $10 sales you don’t have to buy all 10 items to get it for $1 each.
Just buy only what you will consume — unless you consume a lot of it, then it’s worth stocking up.
10. Stick to store brands
This tip is a no-brainer especially if you’re trying to save money on groceries without coupons. Everything you grab should be a generic or store brand — from bread to condiments.
If you do end up grabbing an item that isn’t generic (like cereal because your kids can taste the difference — ha!) then you can still save money by using digital coupon apps like Ibotta. It will put money back in your pocket after checkout!
All you have to do is send them a picture of your receipt using their free app! You can learn more about how to get Ibotta refunds on groceries here.
11. Try different grocery stores
When I was growing up, my parents ALWAYS shopped at Aldi because it was the only grocery store that had items at prices we could afford. Now that I’m grown and married with kids of my own, I like to shop at Aldi too!
Because they’ve come a long way with better quality foods and the same low prices. But I’m a HUGE fan of grocery-shop-hopping.
I like to do this to find the best grocery store prices in my area, and most times, I find prices so low that it feels free!
My two other favorite stores I like to shop at to save money on groceries are Save-A-Lot and Walmart.
12. Or order your groceries online!
If you want to save time AND money on groceries, you should absolutely look into ordering your groceries online!
I love love LOVE Walmart’s FREE grocery pickup service because I save so much time (I mean, I get to grocery shop in my pajamas! Who does that?) AND make sure I’m not overspending since I can see my cart subtotal the entire time.
Here’s how it works:
- First, you download the Walmart Grocery App and sign in or create a free account
- Choose your Walmart Grocery Pickup store
- Select a day and time slot for your pickup — side note: you may not be able to order and pick up your groceries the same day, so it’s best to order your groceries one-day before you need them just in case.
- Search for the items on your grocery list and add them to your cart
- Checkout and wait to be notified that your order is ready for pickup!
It’s also worth mentioning that you need to spend $35 or more to order your groceries for pickup, and prices are the same as they are if you shopped in the store!
You’ll have a one-hour window to pick up your groceries, and when you arrive, someone will load your bags for you in your trunk.
There are no hidden fees. No tipping. No getting out of your car. NOTHING to it, but to do it!
It’s your turn…
The next time you go shopping, I dare you to implement any one of these tips (or combine them all!) and see how much money you will save!
You can also check out our cheap $50/week meal plan for a family of 5 here for even more ideas.