Grocery Shopping Tips

Learn how to fill your shopping cart without draining your bank account.

Grocery Tips banner

If your grocery store trips are beginning to add up in a way that it is dramatically affecting your savings and budgeting, it's time to make a change. But grocery shopping doesn't always have to drain your wallet.

Avoid impulse buying

Although this is obviously easier said as a concept than done in reality, sticking to a pre-planned list is essential for budgeting. Grabbing an enticing dozen donuts from the bakery department will definitely throw off your entire order price, as well as your weekly meal planning.

According to a Marketing Science Institute study, 65% of items found in baskets while shopping in a group are unplanned. Also, consider shopping without the kids for a more hassle-free and cheaper experience.

Coupon choice

Understand your store's coupon policies. Can coupons be doubled and even tripled? Determine if there is a grace period on expired coupons, as well as mobile coupon opportunities and ads in your weekly newspaper. Although finding coupons every week may be tedious, it's always worth the savings in the end.

Create a list of cheap and easy meals

Balance prices as you plan each week's menu. By understanding prices and budgeting out less expensive meals, mixed in with more pricey buys, your family will still be eating well. Who knows? Maybe grilled cheese and tomato soup will turn into a family favorite dinner.

Plan ahead

Take an inventory of all items in your pantry, and be sure to use them before their expiration date hits. Taking stock of the pantry, freezer and cabinets monthly gives you a sense of what you already have and what you need. Don't be a part of the 25% of Americans who toss groceries regularly. Even giving a quick peek in the pantry before leaving for the store is better than not looking at all.

Sales, sales, sales

Although not everything you need is on sale every week, planning ahead, checking the circulars and purchasing beforehand is vital. If the brand name isn't on sale, look for its cheaper substitute there or at another store. Likewise, shopping in a few different locations for the best deal can also make a difference.

Use our “Monthly Spending” calculator to develop a budgeted plan for the best savings possible of your everyday expenses.

How Much Am I Spending Each Month »