8 Strategies To Save Money On Groceries
We’ve all noticed the effects of higher inflation this year, especially at the grocery store. The price of food has risen anywhere from 7-10% over the last 12 months (Oct 2021 to Oct 2022). So I hope my strategies will help you start saving in small ways that will add up over time. By being […]
We’ve all noticed the effects of higher inflation this year, especially at the grocery store. The price of food has risen anywhere from 7-10% over the last 12 months (Oct 2021 to Oct 2022). So I hope my strategies will help you start saving in small ways that will add up over time.
By being a member of the Cooking Club, you’re already saving money on groceries (and time and energy!) by having your meals partially planned out for you. Most recipes are also super flexible, making it easy to substitute based on what you have or what you can find at your grocery store (make sure you read the substitutions section).
Keep reading to learn more strategies that you can use to save on groceries!
1. Plan your meals and make a grocery list
Each week I send out menus of 3-4 recipes along with a grocery list that leaves space for you to add in other groceries you need for other meals/snacks. Taking a few extra minutes to sit down and plan out the rest of your meals for the week and adding what you need to the grocery list will prevent you from buying things you don’t need or having to make another trip to the grocery store. Always stick to the list!!
“NatalieCooks is not only a healthy, delicious and incredibly convenient way to feed my family of 4, but her meal plans and weekly grocery lists have saved us about $200 a month! The streamlined approach to a weekly plan with pre-made grocery lists leave little room for waste and adds so much value to this cooking club. I can’t recommend it enough!!”
— ANNIKA K.
2. Stock up on pantry staples and buy in bulk
At the very bottom of your weekly PDFs, there is a “Pantry Staples” list that’s there for you to reference when you make your grocery lists in case you’re running low on any staples. I would go through that list (and add any of your other staples) and make sure you have a good back stock of everything.
Buying things that you can find in bulk is usually cheaper than buying the packaged version. Having a well-stocked pantry will also save you grocery store trips and reduce the amount of packaging you waste. This is where a Costco membership can be super useful, but many grocery stores have bulk sections as well.
3. Use a cash-back credit card or app
If groceries are a big expense for you, it’s worth considering getting a credit card that gives you cashback on groceries. I use this American Express Blue Cash Preferred card that gives you 6% back on all grocery purchases. There are also apps you can use like Ibotta or Checkout 51 that will give you cashback for groceries along with other categories (here’s a full list of apps).
4. Be flexible with ingredients
As I mentioned, most of my recipes are super adaptable. So if you’re at the grocery store and a certain vegetable is on sale for cheaper than the vegetable you planned to buy, swap them out. If ground pork is on sale and you were planning to get ground chicken, swap it for pork. Maybe you can find out what’s on sale for the week at the grocery store and make swaps based on that. If you ever have questions on how to swap in a specific recipe, you can always post on the Facebook group or email me!
Another easy and usually cheaper swap is buying some frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones. I always keep my freezer stocked with frozen broccoli and frozen spinach. Other great things to buy frozen are cauliflower, corn, peas, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash.
Read this blog post about How To Make Substitutions in Recipes for some tips!
5. Make sure to read the unit price
It can be easy to look at two bags of rice or two brands of jarred olives and buy the cheaper one, but make sure you look at how many ounces or grams you’re getting for that price. For produce, it is either priced per pound or per item. I often will weigh my veggies to get an idea of how much they will cost based on the weight (cauliflower weighs a lot more than broccoli!). If it’s priced per item, I’ll try and find the largest one to get more bang for my buck!
6. Switch to store brands
Generic or store-brand items are often a lot cheaper than the branded versions. It’s worth trying the swap to see if there are some products you won’t mind switching to. Things like olive oil, vinegar, almond milk, cheese, canned beans, or laundry detergent are examples that come to mind.
7. Eat seasonally
There are a lot of reasons to eat along with the seasons and one of them is that it is usually a lot cheaper. Grocery stores usually put produce items on sale that are in season. When you’re eating produce that had to travel less of a distance or was grown locally, the consumer cost is usually lower.
Check my post on 4 Reasons to Eat Seasonally along with the “what’s in season” blog posts for each season.
8. Reduce your meat consumption
The largest price increases at the grocery store are for meat according to a consumer price index. Eating meat on a regular basis (especially now) can put a big dent in your wallet, so it’s worth considering finding ways to reduce your meat consumption and swap it out for plant-based options. Be sure to check out the “substitutions” section in my recipes where I give instructions on how to make it vegetarian.
For tips on switching to a more plant-based diet, read my post about How To Get More Protein Without Meat.