Ask just about anyone and they will tell you that their grocery shop does not rate highly in their list of fun activities. It’s a chore and whether we like it or not, sadly it is something that we all have to do. If you’re a daily shopper, weekly shopper, or an ‘as and when’ shopper, we’re all in the same boat with it being damn hard. To put it simply, it takes unnecessary amounts of time, you can’t find what you always need and it’s just so expensive. We’re in a cost-of-living crisis (sorry to remind you), so we need to shop smart and be savvy with our shop. 

We know that not everyone has a knack for hunting out the deals, and we can’t all be extreme couponers, but let’s find a happy balance and get ourselves some deals. Check out our top five grocery store hacks for saving money, planning your shop and saving time – because less time doing this means more time doing the fun stuff. 

1.Make use of coupons 

It doesn’t come as much of a shock to us, but as of 2023, a survey showed that 92% of U.S. shoppers were regularly looking to save on their groceries – and aren’t we all! Regardless of age, social status and income, we’re all looking to save some money, so searching out coupons is a crucial pastime. Whether you’re flicking through the paper reading about draft lottery one minute, you’ll be scouting out coupons the next, and that’s where the fun is! Coupons appear in all shapes and sizes, and where they may be hiding in a newspaper at some point, they’ll be cropping up on newsletters, subscriptions, retail apps and many other web pages the next time you look. Keep an eye out for your favorite stores, and sign up whenever prompted – that’s when the deals come rolling in. 

Never buy something that you do not need because there is a coupon available, only use them for things you need, otherwise it is not a deal, it’s an unnecessary spend. 

2.Shop the deals 

Buying groceries is expensive, we’ve established that. Shopping the deals is an important factor with a family, as it could save you hundreds of dollars. The average individual American spends around $415 a month on groceries, but this can be cut a fair bit when you seek out deals and make the right choices. 

Keep an eye out for weekly ads of your favorite food stores, as most Wednesday’s there are adverts with the hottest deals of the week. Jump on that as soon as possible and find out if there is anything you need – remember they sell out fast, so do it ASAP. 

3.Switch your brands and change your stores 

We know it’s easier to go to one store for everything, but economically speaking, you may not be getting the best deal. Save yourself some money and search out the best stores for your produce, as Safeway may be cheaper for one thing, and Trader Joes may be for another. Shop smart by doing your research first. Remember not to go out of your way and waste gas, you can just plan your routes depending on where you are heading on your day first.

Did you know that you can save 27% on your grocery spend by buying generic brands instead of the named ones? Mostly they have the same ingredients, just a more renowned name, so ditch the snobbery and save yourself some dollars – it’s just as good, if not better. Supermarkets put the more expensive brands that they want you to buy at eye-level, so look down and you’ll be making a saving. 

P.s. the coupons are always around for generic brands, so get your coupon clippings and happy shopping!

4.Download a rebate app

Downloading a grocery store’s app is always a good way to get yourself coupons, but it’s also great for money rebates, too. Apps like Ibotta or Rakuten are cashback apps that give you money when you buy groceries. They are free to register and on top of other members and loyalty benefits you will save yourself money in your shop. No matter what app you get, you can often link your loyalty card or credit card and get your receipts automatically when you spend. 

Download those two, or alternatively find your favorite stores app and see what membership options they offer for coupons and deals. The mobile apps allow you to download discounts and coupons to your phone, so they can be applied at checkout when you’re in-store automatically.  

5.Bring your own bags and don’t overbuy 

Yes, it’s nothing new, but it’s still a great way to save money. Depending on your local stores and district, places like Target or Wholefoods offer a 10-cent discount per bag you bring. If you stick to the amount you had planned with your shopping, you will be ensuring that you’re saving money by never going over budget, along with getting reimbursed for bringing your own bag. A money saving hack whilst saving the planet, too? Count us in!

There are plenty of tips we can offer for you to save money on your next shop, but the biggest impact will always be couponing. Keep an eye out for stores’ weekly emails on a Wednesday and plan your shop accordingly per coupon. Remember to never over buy and only purchase what you’re going to use. It’s never a deal if you’re spending more than you had originally planned.

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