How To Save Money on Groceries (And Waste Less)

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With food prices spiking, our food budgets are being pushed to their limits. In this article, you will find the absolute best tips to save money on groceries without giving up the foods you love!

Flat-lay of fruit, vegetables, nut, greens and essential products.

As inflation becomes a problem worldwide, the number one issue for many is the cost of food, which is rising at its fastest rate in more than 40 years.

There are many expenses we can cut from our budgets in times of stress, but there’s one thing we cannot change: we have to eat!

And I am here to share my favorite ways to take control of your grocery bills and save money while still enjoying delicious and healthy meals.


Follow the simple tips below, and you will be well on your way to putting hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year back in your pocket.

15 Top Tips To Save Money on Groceries

1. Plan your meals

Although I love cooking, before I discovered meal planning, I always had the wrong veggies in the fridge, and I ended up throwing away and wasting food.

With meal planning, life in the kitchen gets much simpler, and you only buy what you will use.

Think about what you need in advance and check what you have left in your kitchen.

This is a simple way to eat healthy food while saving a lot of money on meals and avoiding things going to waste.

If you have never tried meal planning, start by downloading the free meal planner below.

2. Write a food shopping list and stick to it

Once you have planned your meal ideas, come up with a list of all the missing ingredients and quantities required.

Think about everything you need, and stick to the list when you go shopping!

If an item is not on your list, you don’t need it, so don’t buy it!

By writing a grocery list, you will save money shopping!

A perfect example is this list for a vegan dinner meal plan.

3. Eat before you go grocery shopping

If you are hungry, you’ll be tempted to buy more snacks, sweets, and food you don’t really need.

Your stomach will drive you, and to avoid that, make sure you only go food shopping after a healthy and filling meal.

I swear this will help you stick to your list and save money!

4. Shop less often

I used to go food shopping 3-4 times a week, just passing by my local grocery store on the way home after work.


You end up buying unnecessary stuff. Reduce the number of times you go shopping. I suggest a big shop once a week.

This will save you time and money, as you won’t be tempted over and over again to overspend on extra food and impulse purchases.

5. Buy seasonal

If you want to stay healthy, you need to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. To keep the costs down, try only to pick products that are in season.

Seasonal food is always the best choice for many reasons. It’s cheaper, it’s healthier, and it tastes better.

6. Buy more frozen vegetables and fruit

Speaking of frozen produce, did you know that the average American household throws away about $1,500 of food every single year?

That’s more than they spend on gas, property taxes, household heat and electricity, or clothes!

Much of this cost comes from produce that goes bad before it can be eaten and ends up in the trash.

That’s why one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is buying more frozen vegetables and fruit, which can last for months, instead of days, in the freezer.

How much could you save? Check out the story of Jen Glantz. She saved a whopping $100 per week buying frozen veggies and fruit instead of fresh produce!

7. Eat less meat

Meat doesn’t have to be at the center of every meal!

Meat is really expensive, and it’s okay not to have it with every meal. Plus, by now, we all know that eating too much meat isn’t good for you.

If you love meat, try to have a meatless day each week (veggies noodles are amazing, or try a healthy lunch bowl) and increase it to a meatless meal each day.

You will see a massive difference in your grocery bill, and I promise you, you will feel much better too.

Substitute meat for beans and lentils, as they are a great alternative in casseroles and pasta dishes.

8. Get money back using grocery store apps

Shopping less often is one thing, but did you know that when you shop for groceries, you can get 5%, 10%, or even 20% cash back or more simply by using cashback apps?

Considering the average American household spends about $5,000 per year on groceries, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars with almost no effort!

These are my favorites:

One of the best apps to save money while shopping online.

Get cash back by taking photos of your receipts.

Scan you receipts and get gift cards.

Save money and reduce waste by buying food nearing its expiration date that would otherwise be thrown out.


You’ve probably heard that Rakuten is one of the best apps to save money while shopping online, but it is also a great way to get cash back at the grocery store.

All you have to do is download the app, then link your account to your credit card. From there, check out their In-Store Cash Back offers, select one from your favorite grocery store, then, when you make the purchase in store with your linked card, you will receive cash back automatically in your account!

Join Rakuten here!

Fetch Rewards

Like Ibotta, Fetch Rewards allows you to scan receipts from grocery store purchases to earn rewards.

The difference is that these rewards come in the form of points redeemed for gift cards instead of cash. This may seem like a downside. However, many available gift card choices are for places where groceries can be purchased, meaning you can earn rewards on groceries you buy with your rewards!

Better still, Fetch Rewards doesn’t partner with stores but with brands, meaning you can scan a receipt from pretty much anywhere you shop.

Download Fetch Rewards here!


With the Ibotta app, you choose in-store grocery discounts before you shop, then take a photo of your receipt with your phone and upload it to the app once you make a purchase. From there, you will receive cash back in your Ibotta account.

It’s that easy, and since Ibotta partners with over 1,500 grocery brands and retailers, there are so many opportunities to earn cash back as you shop.

Get started with Ibotta here!

Too Good To Go

Not-so-fun fact: the United States throws out between 30-40% of its food supply, an average of 1 pound of food per American per day.

Too Good To Go is the app trying to address this food waste problem by partnering with thousands of grocery chains, food retailers, and restaurants around the country to find a home for food nearing its expiration date that would otherwise be thrown out.

For shoppers, it is another great way to get a great deal and save money on grocery purchases. All you have to do is use the free app to find local grocery stores, then buy $4, $5, or $6 “surprise bags,” which contain three times the value of perfectly good food which simply can’t be sold the next day.

Check out Too Good To Go here!

9. Shop online

You don’t even have to go to the grocery store to save money every time you shop for groceries.

I can’t stress enough how much my life changed when I started getting groceries delivered to my doorstep using grocery delivery services.

But how do delivery services that cost money save you money?

First of all, time is money; every minute you don’t spend walking the aisles of the grocery store or standing in the checkout line is time you can spend doing other things you love.

Plus, you save money on gas because you don’t have to drive to the grocery store.

And you will not be tempted to put more things in your cart once you are there. I find it’s much easier to stick to your list if you shop online!

Instacart and Amazon Fresh are great options you can try out. And once you do, I swear, there is no going back!


Instacart allows you to shop for groceries at numerous retailers, then have one of their personal shoppers pick up your specific items and deliver them to your door in as little as one hour. Of course, they charge for the service – usually about $3.99 for the delivery fee, a service charge, and whatever tip you give the driver.

So how does Instacart help you save money on groceries?

First, they have numerous special promotions and coupons, which you can browse on their website and apply every time you make an order.

Plus, Instacart recently partnered with Ibotta, meaning that by linking your accounts from both platforms, you can receive all of Ibotta’s cash back every time you use Instacart.

Amazon Fresh

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members in cities across the United States and selected locations in Europe and Asia.

Amazon Prime members will receive 10%-20% off on several food items when shopping through Amazon Fresh.

You can also use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save feature, a subscription service where you choose products to be delivered weekly or monthly; for each product you choose, you will receive 15% off.

This might be perfect if you buy the same thing over and over or if you love meal planning.

And if you really hate the idea of paying for delivery, order groceries through pickup/drive-up, so you are less tempted to pick up other random things while still saving time.

10. Buy store brands

Supermarkets and marketing campaigns trick us into buying more expensive options, but often what you get is the same product with nicer packaging and higher prices.

As we care about what’s inside the box and not about how pretty it looks, always try store brands and find out if you like them as much (or even more) than branded products.

They are often even produced by the same company as the most expensive options!

My favorite options to buy from generic brands for a lower price:

  • Basic ingredients like flour and sugar.
  • Cereals: they might not have the fancy packaging of branded cereals, but store-brand cereals can be a healthier version on top of a good deal. Check the ingredients; they will often have less added sugar and additives!
  • Canned produce like chickpeas, beans, and lentils.
  • Frozen produce like peas, corn, and broccoli: branded frozen produce can cost twice as much as the store brand!

11. Go homemade

Cook as much as possible from scratch.

It helps for three reasons:

  1. It’s much healthier as you avoid ready meals, full of bad fats, salt, and sugar.
  2. It saves you money! By buying whole basic ingredients, you can spend much less.
  3. It brings the family together: cooking and preparing a healthy meal is one of the best ways to spend quality time with your kids and family, and nothing compares to eating a delicious meal around the table, prepped with your own hands.
Different types of lunch bento boxes on the table.
Make your own meals, like these incredibly good bento boxes for lunch

12. Buy whole

Buying whole is often much cheaper than buying smaller portions.

For example, buy a whole chicken and cut it yourself. Avoid buying pre-packaged vegetables.

A head of lettuce costs much less than a small pre-packaged salad bag, and it’s not full of chemicals and washed so many times that it’s lost half of the goodness in it!

13. Check the price per unit

Grocery stores and food brands are great at disguising the real cost of food.

Always check the unit price to find a better deal, which is usually on the price tag (tiny, under the actual price of the product, so that most people won’t notice it!).

Buying a bigger package or products in large quantities isn’t always more cost-effective. Get your phone calculators out and figure out the best deals.

14. Organize your fridge

If you want to do your grocery shopping on a budget, don’t underestimate the difference that an organized fridge can make!

My biggest trick to avoid wasting food and consuming all products before they expire is following the example supermarkets use.

Always move the food that expires first to the front of the fridge (like vegetables, meat, and fresh cheese like ricotta or mozzarella), and move products with a longer shelf life to the back (like condiments, hard cheese, and drinks).

Check your fridge at least once a week to move things around.

If you bought something that is nearing its expiration date but can’t cook it yet, put it in the freezer.

Bread is a great candidate for this, as are bananas, which can be frozen and then used for baking or smoothies.

Did you know that both cheese and milk can be frozen for months, then thawed and used as if you’d just purchased them from the grocery store?

Freezing foods also works great for leftovers. You might even cook extra, then freeze and save it for a later date.

I like to do this with soups or grains like rice and quinoa.

15. Make a budget

If you know how much you are spending and how much you would like to spend, make a budget.

Decide how much you want to spend per week and stick to it. There are families of four that spend as little as $20 a week!

This is probably a bit extreme, but I just wanted to point out that the sky’s the limit, and you can really spend less and still eat well if you plan for it!

There you have it: the best tips to save money on groceries

Following these incredibly easy tips will dramatically reduce your grocery budget without giving up the healthy and delicious foods you love.

And once you’ve mastered the art of saving money on groceries, check out my guide to getting paid for all your shopping!

Let me know how it’s going in the comments below, and for that matter, don’t be afraid to rant about inflation down there, either!

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  1. For me going to the grocery store more often saved me money. I only buy what I need, when I need it. Going once a week caused me to buy too much and throw a good portion of it away, especially lettuce. I can see how it would cost more money if you go in 2-3 times a week without a plan. But I go in knowing exactly what I want, and I only buy those items. I agree with you on all other points though!! 🙂

    1. Hello Oakhippo!
      Thanks for your comment 🙂 I can see why, if you are organized, going more times can be helpful. But as you said, I agree that this works only if you actually have a plan and you are good at sticking with it!

  2. Tip #1 cut it budget in half immediately! Good post! Thank you!

  3. Such great advice! For me, the challenge is to keep challenging myself! I love to eat healthily, but the grocery budget always seemed out of control! In fact, I even started grocery shopping every-other-week! I know, it sounds crazy! But it works! you just gotta take a risk. Just from cutting back on how much I go to the grocery store (just like you mentioned) I’ve been able to decrease my grocery budget by $200 monthly and it’s finally predictable and consistent!

    1. Thank you so much, Grace!
      I agree, the less you go to the grocery store, the more you save! And you’ll be less tempted to buy stuff you don’t need! 🙂

  4. Nicole-Marie Alvarez says:

    I absolutely love this post!

    I was running low on funds when I was living in Spain and really didn’t want to transfer more money over so I had to learn how to cut down my spending. I was so shocked at how much you can save/do when shopping for food the smart way!

    It’s really eye-opening and kind of fun. I’s like a game to buy things cheaply, to save, and to make sure you can make meals with what you have and not throw things away. FEELS SO GOOD!

    Nicole |

    1. I know, it’s incredible how much you can save! Sometimes you think “Oh, it’s just an extra dollar” but when you add everything up you can save so much money!!!

  5. monikalifebreu says:

    Food has gotten more and more expensive but I found that batch cooking, eating less meat and eating seasonal made a huge difference in how much we spend on food. It’s not yet where I want it to be but we are getting there slowly! Some good advice!

    1. Thank you Monika! I completely agree! Eating seasonal, buying less meat and batch cooking really help. I try to cook more during weekends and prepare the basic ingredients so during the week I’m able to make quick healthy meals!

  6. I enjoyed this post!

    I find that food can take up a lot from your pay check especially for those who eat out often.

    I must that I’m quite spoiled (not proud at all) because I live close to my parents so they’d always ask my bf and I to go over for dinner after work (it’s like a must to them). They always end up cooking a lot. On top of that, my mom would still pack us the leftovers for lunch. Sometimes I feel like I’m a little school girl… lol 😅 But it does cut the decision making process. I wouldn’t have to think about what to eat during work.

    Btw, I love your point on eat before you shop. It actually works! Sometimes I don’t even want to enter the store because I’m so stuffed that I don’t want to think about food. It’s more like, “get it away from me!!”

    Anyways, I like reading posts like these because I find it challenging when it comes to saving money in food. I’m definitely no expert in this area!

    1. Thank you! Yes, food is one of the biggest items in our monthly budget. We are trying to reduce it and we are doing pretty well with groceries, following these tips. We still need to work on the eating out part.
      We love good food and we are so busy running around that sometimes is just easier to eat out.
      But we are getting better and better at it!