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8 Tips How to Save Money at the Grocery Store During Periods of Inflation

The grocery column on the family budget is always going to be high. Here are 8 budget-friendly ways my family has learned to save at the grocery store.

Did you know that food is one of the top five expenses for most families in the United States? Last year, our family spent $14,400 on groceries. We are a family of 7, so we spend more than most do; however, this year I have been combating rising prices and smaller packaging. The price of meat, dairy, and staples have increased faster than most families can keep up with, but there are some steps that can be taken to save money – and the savings do add up.

8 Tips How to Save Money at the Grocery Store During Periods of Inflation

How can I save at the grocery store? The first thing I did for my family was to develop a weekly budget. We decided that $300 a week was our family of seven’s magic number. Once we decided that was our budget, we stuck to it. Here are some other tricks we did get to save a buck.

  1. Join a wholesale club like Sam’s or Costco

When the prices climb higher for individual items at the grocery store, it is important to switch from itemized shopping to buying in bulk. When joining a wholesale club, it is necessary to purchase a club membership or to remain a member the following year, but that money is easily made up through the savings received. Look at the monthly grocery list and pinpoint items that are frequently purchased. For my family, it was toilet paper, paper towels, stock, some canned goods, and medication. In addition, items that were on special with significant savings were purchased and stored, such as olive or avocado oil.

  1. Join the grocery store’s loyalty program

Our family shops at Kroger’s, and the loyalty program saves us money on grocery items and gas, which are two budget items that have increased this year. Signing up is completely free and the discounts are deducted automatically when checking out. According to their tabulation, this year I have saved $1777.31. How did I do that? I use their electronic coupons, the coupons they mail me for being a customer, and I pay attention to the items they have placed on special for that week. Plan the week’s meals and needed household items around the store’s savings.

  1. Take full advantage of paper and electronic coupons

It is easy to maximize grocery savings by collecting paper and electronic coupons. I don’t get a Sunday paper that has coupons, but my mother-in-law does. Do not feel bad asking friends or family members for paper coupons that they are not going to use. Most people would love to share the coupons they aren’t going to use because they do not want the savings to go to waste. Also, grocery stores loyalty members have access to digital coupons that load to the loyalty card and are automatically applied when checking out. A word of caution: do not cut coupons for items that normally do not get eaten or used – that adds up to spending more. I have learned this lesson the hard way.

  1. Compare prices to other stores

While I prefer to shop only at one store because it is convenient, if another store nearby has a decent special, then I will go to that store to take advantage of it. Always go where the special is because it will keep more money in the bank. It only takes a few minutes to browse online specials at places like HEB, Aldi’s, or Walmart.

  1. Make a grocery list and don’t deviate from it

Plan weekly meals based on the week’s grocery specials, and then make a grocery list. Do not go to the grocery store without a list because it will end up being more expensive than what was anticipated. If an item is on sale and wasn’t on the list, avoid it until the next trip. If kids frequently add things to the grocery cart, leave them at home. I have learned that mine add at least $40 to the final bill by asking “Mom, can I have this?” or “Mom, I need this for school.” Do everything possible to avoid impulse shopping.

  1. Purchase on sale items

If an item is discounted and it is an item that is regularly consumed, stock up on it while it is cheaper – but make sure it is on the grocery list. One thing I did was allot $30 for bulk items. Last week our Kroger had bags of chips on for 10 for $10. With five kids at my house, I bought 10. I may go back tomorrow and buy 10 more. That would save me $15.80. In addition, I will not have to purchase chips for at least a month. Sale items are placed on the website and on the store’s flyer. The sale items are usually located at the front of the store or at the end of an aisle.

  1. Stay away from pre-packaged foods

It is cheaper to buy vegetables whole and chop them or to purchase frozen vegetables. Kroger’s normally has their store brand frozen vegetables on 10 for $10. My only exception to this rule is onions. I hate to chop onions. It is also cheaper to buy a block of cheese and shred it than to buy the pre-packaged shredded cheese.

  1. Purchase store or generic brands

Too many people believe that name-brand items are better than the store brand. It isn’t true. Seek out the store brands or generic brands because they will lead to money savings. Stores often place the name brand items at eye level, so start looking above or below for the store or generic brands. I promise that the taste of Kroger’s butter crackers is close enough to the Ritz crackers that I don’t even mind the difference. Also, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits are close enough to the brand name that most people wouldn’t notice a difference – just a difference in price. Check out the difference between brand pricing versus store or generic pricing when it comes to paper towels or toilet paper. I would much rather stock the pantry with the store brand and save a lot of money.

The grocery column on the family budget is always going to be high – even as children leave the nest. Setting a budget, sticking to the budget, and taking advantage of saving opportunities, will produce savings at the end of the month.


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This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on November 4th, 2021